How HAM Helps Siblings of Those with Life-Threatening and Chronic Illnesses
As you probably know HAM supports children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses. But what about the siblings? You guessed it! We reach out to them too. It’s hard enough for them to watch their siblings have to go through so many treatments and tests, but what can tear them too is to watch their brothers or sisters receive cards and gifts from so many supporters and they get nothing, or next to nothing.
At HAM, we find it important to reach out to these kids just as we would their ill siblings. We can’t overlook them and think they are doing okay because they aren’t the ones who are sick. But still, these children are going through a rough time as well and need support. Here are some ways we support the siblings who have an ill sibling:
Through sending cards – We like to include the siblings when sending cards through HAM even though they aren’t in our main card group.
Hope Boxes – While we aren’t sending “Hope Boxes” yet, we plan on including siblings under age 18. “Hope Boxes” are care packages to families who have a loved one ages 0-16 with a life-threatening and chronic illness.
Through our “Family of the Month” initiative – We took a break from it, but we like to include siblings to show how they care.
Sibling Writers – We would love to feature blog posts from siblings telling what it’s like to have a sibling with a life-threatening or chronic illness: They can tell it in form of story, poem or a regular blog format.
Sibling Card Club – We would like to open up a separate card group where people can send to siblings separate from our card group for children battling life-threatening & chronic illnesses.
Sibling advocates – Siblings who have a sibling with a life-threatening or chronic illness often have to grow up beyond their years and often like to advocate for the disease their sibling is battling. We would love to post short videos on our YouTube channel of siblings telling us the importance of awareness and how they are advocates.
We want to focus on siblings between 8-18. However, any sibling under 18 years of age, needs their parents’ or guardian’s permission to participate in any of the above initiatives. Siblings may contact us via our “Contact Us” page tab on this blog and we will send them the electronic form for their parent or guardian to sign and email back to us. We will then give them the information. Some of the initiatives listed above are still being developed. However, if you tell us you are interested via email, we will keep you on the interested list database we will create and email you again once we are ready to launch them. Currently, we are ready for sibling writers, “Family of the Month” initiative, and sibling advocates. Our goal is to help more siblings who have a sibling with a life-threatening or chronic illness – We call them “Super Siblings”, in 2017. Thank you for your support!