What is SuperSibs?
SuperSibs is a program of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a national not-for-profit organization. The goal of the program is to honor, support and recognize siblings of children with cancer to ensure they will face the future with strength, courage and hope.
Who does SuperSibs serve?
SuperSibs provides free, ongoing comfort and care support to children and teens between the ages of 4 and 18, who reside in the United States, and who have (or have had) a brother or sister with cancer.
How, when and why did SuperSibs begin?
SuperSibs began from the vision of a mother of a cancer survivor and a SuperSib. She saw firsthand the profound impact that pediatric cancer had on both of her children and recognized the need for specific sibling support. SuperSibs began providing services to children on April 10, 2003 and in 2014 became a part of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
How does pediatric cancer affect siblings?
Brothers and sisters of children with cancer are truly the shadow survivors. Though they do not experience the physical diagnosis of cancer, they are profoundly affected by this emotional journey. The sibling struggle has been largely unrecognized and unsupported – grief from the loss of childhood as they knew it, loss of routine, affected friendships, a new definition of “normal”, and the roller coaster feelings of fear, hope, loneliness, anger, abandonment, guilt, jealousy and more.
How does SuperSibs help the siblings?
Being part of a group always helps one feel like they belong. Because brothers and sisters of children with cancer are often excluded from hospital visits, meetings with doctors and support programs, they often feel invisible, isolated, confused and abandoned. SuperSibs gives the child the feeling of being included.
How can siblings get into the SuperSibs program? Who can refer?
Referrals must be made by a parent/guardian or authorized representative by filling out our online form.
What information do you need for a referral?
We collect basic demographic information. Family contact information (parents’ names, address, phone), patient name and birthdates, diagnosis and diagnosis date, hospital and doctor, siblings names and birthdates.
What happens once a sibling is referred to SuperSibs?
Once a child is referred to SuperSibs, the family will receive our new Parent Toolkit filled with important tips and tools to help parents provide the most effective support for siblings at home, at school or with caregivers. The sibling’s kit includes age-appropriate materials that will help them manage through this challenging time.
How long do siblings stay in the SuperSibs program?
Once a SuperSib – always a SuperSib! Once a child is in SuperSibs they will continue to get mailing for two years or until they turn 19. Any time during those two years or after, siblings can sign up to be in our Sibling Ambassador program. All programs are optional and can be opted out of at any time.
What happens if the sibling passes away?
When we learn about the death of a patient, we send a Bereavement Package that includes age appropriate books and journals, and a special note of comfort. These children continue to be a part of SuperSibs after their sibling passes away.
What if my child has been through the SuperSibs program already, can they sign up again?
We do not recommend that a sibling who has already been through the program sign up more than once. However, we want to continue to support their growth and encourage them to sign up for the Sibling Ambassador program where they can share their story, meet other siblings and continue to be an active member of SuperSibs.
Does SuperSibs offer scholarships?
The SuperSibs scholarship program has been discontinued, but our staff is happy to provide referrals to other sibling scholarships. Please email us at [email protected] or visit the Hope Portal which has many other resources to support families.
If we didn’t answer your question here, we encourage you to get in touch with us directly!
Email: [email protected]ade.org
Phone: 610.649.3034 or toll-free at 1.866.333.1213