Candlelighters was started in 1977 from a desire to connect families. Now, 45 years later, that passion is still at the heart of what we do and how we serve.
Our vision for fostering transformational, lifelong relationships begins with supporting the entire family as they face childhood cancer together from diagnosis through treatment and beyond and embracing them into a community that understands what they’re going through.
No matter where you are in your journey, we are here for and with you.
Parent & Caregiver Support Group
Connecting with other parents and caregivers who understand having a child diagnosed with cancer can be incredibly helpful. Join our online support group meetings, facilitated by Dr. Marianne Kabour.
This will be a chance to meet other parents and caregivers so that you can share your thoughts, stories, and concerns related to childhood cancer. If there’s a specific topic you would like to address, please send it to Nicole ahead of time.
Parent & Caregiver Support Group Sign-Up
These online support groups are hosted by Candlelighters, and moderated by Dr. Marianne Kabour. We meet on Zoom the first Wednesday of each month at 6:45 p.m. We will email you the Zoom link in advance.
Parent Mentorship Program
Candlelighters Parent Mentorship Program began with the recognition that there is an unmet need of social-emotional support for parents and caregivers of children facing pediatric cancer throughout Oregon and SW Washington. We heard – and hear – frequently from hospital care teams that parents/caregivers with newly diagnosed children are desperate for connection and ask for help to meet other parents who have experienced a similar diagnosis. But due to privacy regulations (HIPAA) regulations, the hospital care teams are not able to facilitate direct parent-to-parent connection. We began exploring ways to fill this gap in partnership with the hospitals we work with.
The mission of the parent pilot mentorship program is to provide Candlelighters parents with unique understanding, encouragement, and support that only another parent who has walked a similar path can provide.
Mentors are Candlelighters parents who would like to give back by providing peer support to parents of newly diagnosed children. They also meet criteria around the length of time from their own child’s treatment, and are provided training that we developed with the help of the clinical staff and the psychosocial team at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Randall Children’s Hospital.
Candlelighters Programs staff matches the mentor with the mentee, and makes the introduction, with scheduled check-ins throughout the mentorship.
We currently have space for more parents who wish to be matched with a mentor. If you have a child in treatment, and are looking for another parent to talk to, please contact Nicole, or fill out the form at the right, and Nicole will follow up with you.
Our long term goal is to provide an expanded, sustainable, referral-based parent peer support program in collaboration with our partner hospitals. We’re also grateful for a grant from the Knight Cancer Institute to fund the program.
Parent Mentorship Interest
Please tell us a little bit about yourself, and we'll get in touch.
The Luminaries is Candlelighters’ youth and young adult program whose focus is on increasing positive social interactions and building leadership skills. The Luminaries’ mission is to provide space for kids and young adults who have experienced cancer and their youth siblings to connect, grow, and support one another through fun social connections, projects and activities.
Watch videos to learn more about the Luminaries. Garrett, one of our leaders shares how joining The Luminaries opened up a new world for him after his diagnosis at 16. Watch Sea’s dance to Warrior a beautiful interpretation of her cancer journey. Check out the full Luminaries playlist on YouTube.
We understand that the pain and grief of losing a child are unimaginable. You are not alone.
Candlelighters offers two opportunities during the year for bereaved families to gather for a time of remembrance and to connect with others who are walking a similar path.
Bereaved families are always welcome to attend all Candlelighters family activities. Meeting and getting to know other families experiencing the same kind of grief offers strength and healing through community.
We also help with funeral costs. If you are newly bereaved, please ask your social worker for assistance requesting funds.
Annual Bereavement Events
Candlelighters also offers two opportunities during the year for bereaved families to gather for a time of remembrance and to connect with others who are walking a similar path.
Funeral Fund Assistance
We understand that when a child passes away, the focus should be on the family and not the bills associated with such a loss. Candlelighters offers a one time Emergency Funeral Financial Assistance, up to $500.00, to help ease the burden.
Please ask your social worker for assistance with requesting funds from Candlelighters.
We have compiled the following resourcesâ€”including support groups, bereavement camps, and educational materialsâ€”that we hope will be a help to your entire family during your journey with grief and bereavement:
Support in Grief
Candlelighters Family Camp
Candlelighters Family Camp 2023
Family Camp 2023 took place over Labor Day weekend at Camp Harlow, Eugene. Thank you to all of our volunteers, families and supporters for a wonderful weekend of connection, laughter, friends and memories.
Here’s what was new this year: more new-to-Candlelighters families than ever before, our new Programs Coordinator, Nicole, a new lantern lighting ceremony to end camp, and (not really new, but back after several years) on-site haircuts for families donated by local professional barbers and stylists.
The hardest part about camp is what makes it such a blast – choosing from the numerous fun activities offered at Camp Harlow, including the pool, bumper boats, go-carts, gaga ball, basketball, pickleball, mini golf, zipline, horseback riding, big swing, suspension bridge, climbing wall, playground. and craft shack. Phew! Take a look at the photos. We already can’t wait til next year!
About Candlelighters Family Camp
Since 1995, every Labor Day weekend we have hosted Family Camp in Eugene, OR for all Candlelighters family members. These three incredible days are filled with laughter, play, connecting, love, and healing.
Our families come together and get the opportunity to experience the magic of Family Camp while horseback riding, zip-lining, swimming, riding go-karts and bumper boats, attending campfires, and so much more! This is a weekend for families to come together and create lifelong memories.
Candlelighters Family Camp is offered to children diagnosed with cancer and their families. Attendance is 100% free of charge, ensuring that all families who are interested in having the Family Camp experience can participate regardless of socioeconomic status or trying to balance medical bills during treatment.
What makes Candlelighters Family Camp unique is that the experience is for the entire family. Parents, siblings, and even the child living with cancer enjoy a weekend where the worries of treatments and associated struggles are left behind.
“The Candlelighters staff, volunteers, and camp staff were above and beyond amazing. We can’t thank you enough. Seeing my little girl that happy and free was everything. We all agreed it was the best weekend we’ve had since her diagnosis and can’t wait to come back. Thank you for all your hard work and time.” – Camp 2022 attendee
Your Family’s Story
Every childhood cancer story is unique, and we want to learn more about yours!
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