For many chronic illnesses, the only option to ease the suffering comes in the form of extremely expensive medication and treatments. Aaron’s Apple provides direct funds to eligible families for medication, treatments, and patient amenities for chronically ill children whose families cannot afford these costs.
FAMILY ASSISTANCE (Also known as Case Management)
Case management is the heart of our work at Chai Lifeline Canada. Case managers provide immediate help, information, emotional and psychological support, and access to Chai Lifeline Canada’s program and services. They deliver bespoke services based on the needs of individual families and the resources that are available.
Jennifer Barkin z”l Arts and Culture Fund
The Jennifer Barkin, z”l Arts and Culture provides arts and cultural experiences for clients of Chai Lifeline Canada. As iIllness often negatively impacts Chai Lifeline client families financially, attending participating in cultural events and activities is often the first item cut from the family budget. Attending a cultural performance provides the rare opportunity to transport clients away from the stresses of illness, provides the opportunity to socialize with others who understand what they are going through, and brings gladness and joy to their hearts. Through the Fund, Chai Lifeline clients have attended concerts, plays, museums and continued with music and dance classes.
Chai Lifeline Canada families are invited to events approximately once a month; this includes holiday-related events for Purim, Pesach, and Chanukah. For families battling serious illness, this program provides a much-needed distraction and for others, this is an opportunity to create shared family experiences with a terminally ill family member.
Joyful family memories were created as five families greatly in need of a respite from their daily situations traveled to the Bahamas, Florida, Niagara Falls, San Diego, and a cottage in the Kawartha region.
Chai Lifeline Canada case managers and volunteers ease the stress of child’s hospitalization by visiting the child and their family, bringing games and toys, and helping the family navigate the hospital. Additionally, Chai Lifeline Canada may provide transportation assistance, meals for patients and caregivers, and an ipad for children to ease the boredom of an extended hospital stay.
When a child or spouse is in treatment, families are under tremendous stress; shopping and putting healthy meals together is not a priority. Volunteer cooks prepare fresh nutritious meals and frozen meals to be used at the convenience of families. Chai Lifeline Canada provides dinners including pizza, home cooked meals, and catered meals. Depending on the circumstances, some families receive meals weekly, some twice weekly and some on an emergency basis when they are stuck in the hospital unexpectedly and the kids at home need dinner.
Penina’s Helping Hand provides support to children who have a seriously ill parent. Case management, counseling, special trips, toy drives, family retreats, and crisis intervention services all bring help and hope to children, families, and communities. Offerings also include an annual trip to Orlando theme parks.
At the height of the Covid pandemic, the case management team recognized that caregivers and parents were feeling extremely isolated. In response, they launched online support groups open to clients across Canada. This program continues both online and in person. Support groups have included: dads supporting an ill spouse, moms with cancer, teens with illness, and parents supporting isolated teens.