As a Board Member for TeamConnor Pediatric Cancer Foundation, I have had the privilege of getting to see the work of The Circle of Care intimately, as we have considered their organization for receiving grants from our foundation.
We, as a Board for TCF, have been amazed at the work Circle of Care does. They are on the frontlines during a family's most difficult time, anticipating their needs before they are even aware of what it is they need. Through the Purple Pages, the Bags of Love, and the support they provide through hospital volunteers and phone support, they help families know that they are not alone.
A cancer diagnosis is a terrible thing, but particularly for a child. Circle of Care is there from the very beginning and walks with the family through the duration of their treatment. They truly are an amazing organization.
As the Child Life Specialist for inpatient pediatric oncology, I have been able to see, first hand, the impact Circle of Care has on children and families. At the time of diagnosis, families receive a "Bag of Love" which includes fun items for kids, care items, snacks, and vital educational materials for caregivers. This bag serves as a "welcome" to the hospital as well as an introduction to the Circle of Care program which is a resource families typically rely on throughout their treatment process.
Circle of Care provides volunteers that come into the hospital several times a week. These volunteers are invaluable in that they are willing to help in any way they can! Volunteers are able to play with children while families are talking with medical staff, able to "pick up" lunch or snack items, provide play activities at bedside or in the playroom, or, to lend a listening ear.
The Connexions program by Circle of Care is a lifeline to helping families comminucate! This programs provides laptop computers that patients and families can use to update blogs, communicate via email with friends and family, research a diagnosis/procedure, play games, or, watch movies! These laptops are usually the first things families ask for upon admission!
Another special program that makes Circle of Care unique is Art from the Heart. This amazing program partners creative teams with patients to create room make-overs! Patients are chosen by a lottery system several times a year and, if chosen, patients are able participate in creating a new special space, just for them! This program makes all the difference for children undergoing treatment as many children are spending more time at home after a diagnosis. It also gives the children something to look forward during their difficult journey of illness.
I can't say enough about Circle of Care and all they have done for our families. Every time we email or speak on the phone, they are always willing to help proivde support- whether financial or emotional. This is a relationship that I hope will continue for many years!
I am a pediatric oncology socialworker and have worked closely with the Circle of Care on behalf of my patients and their families. The Circle of Care is a wonderful organization to work with, their response time is quick and without delay. The feed back I have received from my families has been very positive. The caring nature of the people involved with the Circle of Care speaks for itself. One of our teenage patients could not afford to attend her prom, Dawn from the Circle of Care ,went above and beyond, and made this patients dream become a reality . This organization far exceeds expectations.
For years Circle of Care has been an inspirational, dedicated, and passionate organization that truly makes an impact. The Circle of Care volunteers bring joy and comfort to kids and families during extremely chaotic times. Child by child, they transform the world of kids being treated for cancer and their families. I am forever grateful for all of their support.
A truly amazing organization. My son was diagnosed with hodgekins lymphoma at the beginning of summer of his sixth grade year. As most kids were celebrating the start of the summer we were in a hospital and then housebound most of the time. It seemed like every day I was telling what he could NOT do. No going in the sun, no going in the water, no crowds, etc. It was a very lonely and sad time. There was very few positive things I could offer him to take his mind off of this very scary situation. During the chemo there seemed to be very little room for joy. Then came circle of care. They were amazing. They got him involved in the room decoration and had all kinds of ideas. He was able to share with his friends something positive and fun HE was doing! I think it gave him something to focus on and look forward to. It was one of the few things he could actually enjoy and still gets enjoyment out of to this day. It was a wonderful gift which lifted his spirits in a way nothing else could. I can't say enough about these wonderful people who give so much of their time and energy to make complete strangers happy. Thank you circle of care!!
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Circle of Care. Their programs offer comfort, support and resource assistance to families who are facing one of life's biggest challenges. In big and small ways, they let families at our center know that someone understands what they are going through. The relief a family feels when I share that Circle of Care can help with a light or rent bill is beyond words. They are always responsive to a special request and available to go the extra mile.
Circle of Care always goes above and beyond in helping families in so many ways. All I need to do is call them and share a story and they have always been available to help our oncology families. For example, during the holidays they purchased entire meals (from turkeys to stuffing, to deserts) for families who could not afford a meal or who did not have the time to cook due to their child being hospitalized. I have known Dawn and Liz for many years. They are caring, compassionate, and dedicated women who understand what our families experience on a day to day basis. I applaud them and Circle of Care for their support of children with cancer at Yale.
My daughter was diagnosed with brain Cancer at the age of 10.
During her treatment, I was unable to work...adding to the pressure of an already devastating illness.
Circle of care provided us with Gas Cards and Grocery Store Cards.
They always seemed to come when we were at the end of our rope.
God Bless Circle of Care.
By the way my daughter just celebrated her 4th year as a Survivor !!!
E.S., Fairfield, CT
At 2 pm we were told to head to the hospital asap to treat my daughter who had Leukemia. It a shocked state, we rushed ourselves there and forgot many items. Circle of Care had a bag of necessities in the hospital waiting for us. There were cards from children and as I said many necessities for my daughter and for myself and husband. They knew exactly what we would forget! Also, high school students visited the oncologist office often to do crafts with the sick children. My daughter won a room makeover from Circle of Care-her room was redone the way she wanted it! It was awesome having them come to our house and do this for us. They even made sure my older daughter was in the loop and treated her great! Dawn and the girls were wonderful! We will never forget them. They were a shining star during an awful time of our lives. Thank-you!!!!!!!
"Your son has cancer". Our world came crashing down. We were moved from the Emergency Department to an inpatient room that was to be our home for the next four weeks. On the bed was a large, zippered bag. A bag filled with comfort. A fresh shirt for me (we'd been in the ER all day), an oral thermometer to keep track of any infections (how many times a day did I use that during treatment?), a pen, a pad of paper (how else could we keep track of what the doctors were saying?), lots of other gear and a very important stuffed bear for a very scared little boy. Circle of Care, a bunch of strangers I've never met, brought our family into their circle of love at a time when we needed it most. We are forever grateful.