Support Groups

The most effective way for parents to safeguard their physical and emotional health when caring for a very sick child is through social support, stress management, and finding ways to take care of themselves.

Chai Lifeline Canada offers a number of support groups in Toronto, as well as at our home in Camp Simcha.

Father’s Group (“Dads, Drinks & COVID19”)
This is a group for Chai Lifeline father’s of any background to get together and discuss the challenges that they are facing from the current situation. Father’s share what they have found to be difficult and strategies that they have found to be helpful. Everyone offers support and ideas for each other based on their experiences. Each member that has joined the group has a different story regarding how they are clients of Chai Lifeline (ranging from child with cancer/ spouse that has died/ child with other chronic illness).

Single Parents
The self isolation restrictions pose a very unique challenge for single parents of small children.

Mothers of Children with Chronic Health Issues 
An opportunity to meet other mother’s who are in a similar situation, discuss the struggles and fears and to support each other.

Mothers of Children with Cancer (Wine @ Nine) 
An opportunity to meet other mother’s who are in a similar situation, discuss the struggles and fears and to support each other.

Parents of Children with Diabetes 
This is a monthly group that is meant to give parent’s an opportunity to meet other parents that are faced with a similar situation. It gives them a space to share experiences, tips and feelings. Some topics that will be addressed: drastic changes to daily life, child’s self concept and attitude, fear for the child’s future, isolation from non-understanding extended family and friends, your own emotions over your child’s diagnosis.

Teens with Cancer
This is the online continuation of the group that began before COVID19, where we met up for a fun activity and then sat around eating dinner and talking about how cancer has affected them. We now meet up on zoom to play a fun interactive game, joke around and talk about cancer.

Mothers of Children with IBD
A series of educational and supportive presentations for moms of kids with IBD. Moms hear from a child nutritionist who works with kids with IBD, a child therapist who works with kids who feel isolated or ashamed because of symptoms and dietary restrictions, and an experienced parent whose child with IBD is already an adult. Each presenter gives participants time for Q and A. Moms also utilize the space to share feelings and experiences and feel understood by others who are traveling the same journey. 

Retreats and Respite Services

7

Support Groups

75

Family members participating in support groups

“As the parent of a newly diagnosed child, I felt so overwhelmed when I came (to the Annual Winter Retreat). In just a weekend, I learned so much, but most of all, I feel like I’ve made friends who I can talk to about what’s happening. I am leaving here with hope.”