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Love Sick

At Kids Konnected we’ve had over 17 years of experience working with children and teens who have experienced their parent’s cancer diagnosis, treatment and unfortunately at times their death. We took these years of experience and developed our own books to help children and teens navigate through an often difficult path.

Love Sick was written by Lynnette Wilhardt, LCSW and Kids Konnected’s Clinical Director and Teens from the Kids Konnected Program.

A collection of verse and image dedicated to those changed forever by cancer. It is a book for Teens written by Teens who share what their experience was like living with a parent who has cancer or coping with the death of a parent. Included in “Love Sick” is “Shrink Rap” written by Lynnette Wilhardt, LCSW and explains the psychological difficulties that teens experience when their parent is diagnosed with cancer. She offers ways to support teens and help them through this difficult time.

Here is what our teens are saying:

“When you are walking along in your life, thinking everything is great, and then, BAM, the word cancer intrudes, there are a lot of issues that run through your mind. Death. Loss. Confusion. Fear. The first things you think of don’t usually include school, but that’s a domineering factor in how a person deals with the c-word.

My childhood and schooling was pretty normal until my junior year, when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and I realized I couldn’t function the same way at school. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t make myself be happy. I’d trudge through my halls and classes unsmilingly and my grades slipped, all because the word “cancer” was tattooed across my mind’s eye. Just the thought of my mom alone wasn’t the only think I had to deal with at home my mom was actually physically suffering. Soon after she was diagnosed, she went in for treatment and surgery. I can clearly remember that day when she came home from the hospital. She was weak and in pain, and all I could do was put her to bed and try and take care of her the best I could. I’ve never wanted to switch places with someone more in my life.

This stage in my life was like a vicious cycle – my mom’s condition made it harder to be myself at school, and the fact that school sucked made it harder to deal with my mom. Although I wish this story had a phenomenally inspiring point that turned it all around, it really doesn’t. My mom went into remission, and I was able to pick up the pieces and be Lydia again. I think to be able to dig myself out of my rut I had to realize that being depressed all of the time wouldn’t make my mom get better, so eventually the state of my mom’s health reflected my attitude: on good terms, but never quite the same as it had been before, and never would be again.”

– Lydia, age 18

“It’s hard enough to be a teen. Just trying to fit in, keep friends, stay out of trouble, get good grades, get into a good college. I mean the pressure can be overwhelming at times. But add to it a parent getting cancer or even worse, dying….well, that’s just the final straw. I know, however, that my story is not unique and that there are thousands of us going through the same experience, the same feelings and the same frustrations. I wrote this book with many others because there isn’t any book out there written for teens, by teens and I just didn’t think adults really “got” what we are going through. I hope that this book helps you understand the journey you are on or going to be on. I hope it helps a little with all the feelings you will be experiencing and I hope it helps you feel a little less crazy and a little less lonely out there.”

– Grady, 17 years old

Love Sick

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...how Kids Konnected helps:

At Kids Konnected, we know that cancer affects the entire family. Each of your children will experience your diagnosis in a different way and with different feelings. Cancer is not an easy subject to talk about and many parents try to avoid the topic in fear that they will scare their children. At Kids Konnected, our approach is to provide a supportive environment to the children so that they can share their feelings alongside other children going through the same thing. We provide free services such as support groups, summer camps, education, and fun events that allow the children to have a break from their parents cancer diagnosis. Learn More

At Kids Konnected, we are here to offer support, understanding, community, comfort and a safe haven while you go through your parent's cancer journey. At Kids Konnected you are not alone and can share with people your age who understand what it is like to experience cancer within the family.

Through our yearly summer camps, youth leadership, support groups and events, Kids Konnected is there for you during the difficult and happy times as you go through your unique cancer experience within your family. Learn More

At Kids Konnected, we provide friendship, understanding, education, and support to children who have a parent with cancer or have lost a parent to cancer. Know that you are not alone and can share with other teens who understand what it is like to experience cancer within the family.

Through our yearly summer camps, youth leadership, support groups and events, Kids Konnected is there for you during the difficult and happy times as you go through your unique cancer experience within your family. Learn More

When a cancer touches a parent you know, it can be challenging to know what you can do to help. At Kids Konnected, we provide support, education, community and understanding to children who have a parent with cancer or have a parent that has died from cancer. We provide custom care packages for the children, resources, support groups, bereavement workshops, summer camps and special events. The generous donations made by people like you help us provide these free services to families experiencing cancer.  Learn more about volunteering, upcoming events and how you can support Kids Konnected. Support Our Programs