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.
Candlelighters Family Camp
Candlelighters In-Person Family Camp is Back in 2022, and camp applications are now open!
What is Candlelighters Family Camp? A three-day getaway at Camp Harlow for families facing pediatric cancer. Join us as we come together and experience the magic of Family Camp while horseback riding, zip-lining, swimming, riding go-karts and bumper boats, getting creative in art workshops, and more!
Family Camp is 100% free of charge and happening over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 3–5, 2022).
CLICK HERE to apply.
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.
That’s a Wrap! Camp Outside the Box 2021
On August 29, 2021, for the second year running, we held Camp Outside the Box, a virtual scavenger hunt where families create, find, build, and laugh together to try to beat the clock and complete the list of camp-related tasks before other families do.
For 2021, we had 30 teams or families that participated in the 26 missions, with over 510 submissions throughout the six-hour event! Phew! Twelve families completed all 26 missions. Congrats to all the participants!
Camp Outside the Box was truly a wonderful way to spend the day: seeing friendly faces, furry friends, messy kitchens, favorite stuffed animals, and hidden talents. Some family-favorite missions were creating an instructional video of how to set up a tent (with whatever you have on hand), recreating camp sounds, dancing like nobody is watching, and one of our favorites: recording, drawing, or writing something nice about another team’s picture or video.
T-Shirt Design Contest
Each year, Candlelighters creates a new Family Camp t-shirt. The last two years, we have held a design contest, with the winner’s design as the focal point of the shirt.
Meet the winner of 2021’s t-shirt design contest, Jacey Rhodes! Jacey and her husband are the parents of two boys: Austin and 5-year-old Eli, who has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia this past year. Jacey came up with the design while she was doodling with her boys, trying to keep them entertained.
Jacey chose to donate back the prize of the Amazon gift card to Candlelighters, saying, “You have been a true light in a few of our dark times over the past year.” Thanks, Jacey and family! Check out their picture from Camp Outside the Box wearing their shirts.
Guidelines for Designing the Shirt
- Our theme is embracing community.
- Design an image or symbol that represents this theme.
- Design big, bold graphics that work in black-and-white or greyscale.
- Do not include a lot of detail. Fine print is difficult to print on t-shirts. The simpler the design, the better.
- All Candlelighters family members can submit a design for consideration.
Camp 2021 Memories
The Luminaries is Candlelighters’ youth and young adult program whose focus is on increasing positive social interactions among youth while building leadership skills. The Luminaries’ mission is to provide spaces for kids and young adults who have experienced cancer and their youth siblings to connect, grow, and support one another through social connections and projects.
Learn more about one of our Luminaries leaders, Garrett, and how joining The Luminaries opened up a new world for him after his diagnosis at 16. And watch Sierra’s dance to “Warrior”—a beautiful interpretation of her cancer journey. You can also check out the Luminaries playlist on YouTube.
The Luminaries program is open to anyone that has been diagnosed with cancer—or their sibling—and is aged 13–21. Due to the current environment of COVID-19, the Luminaries are currently meeting online to chat and discuss future projects. Email Lisa for information on how to join!
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 Lisa ahead of time.
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
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 5:45 p.m. We will email you the Zoom link in advance.
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.
Additionally, 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 offer help with funeral costs. If you are newly bereaved, please ask your social worker for assistance requesting funds.
Save the date for our next bereavement event: Picnic on the Farm on July 10, 2022.
Come together with other bereaved families twice during the year—once in the summer, and once again in the winter—to remember and honor the life of your child.
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 resources that we hope will be a help to you during your journey with grief and bereavement.
Support in Grief
Your Family’s Story
Every childhood cancer story is unique, and we want to learn more about yours!