Kristen Trimble and Brandon Arndt at last year’s MHF Walk/Run for Children’s Cancer. The 2014 Walk/Run is set for March 15.
Imagine being told your child has cancer. It is the most dreaded news a parent could imagine.
Thankfully for the Santa Clarita Valley, the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer (MHF) provides families stricken with this news both the financial and emotional support they need at such a devastating time. With everything from grocery and gasoline cards, to Kare Kits for the hospital for newly diagnosed patients and their families, as well as counseling and tutoring services, MHF serves as a beacon of hope when families find they have none.
The Foundation serves patients from birth through 20 years of age. MHF offers a couple of support groups for parents, patients and siblings, as well as a group for families who lose their child to cancer. The Foundation recently started a support group for young adult cancer patients, as well.
In addition to MHF staff, the young adult support group was started with the help of local residents Kirsten Trimble and Brandon Arndt, both of whom were diagnosed with a type of brain tumor called a Glioblastoma multiforme—she at the age of 23, after two other brain cancer diagnoses starting at the age of 17, and he during his senior year in high school. Both Trimble and Arndt have received MHF’s services.
The peer led group meets on the fourth Thursday of every month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Michael Hoefflin Foundation office. The group is open to all cancer patients and survivors between the ages of 18 to 29, regardless of whether or not they have received services from MHF. About 10 members attend so far, and MHF would like invite more people to join.
“We are working on making the group more interactive,” said Trimble, explaining that psychotherapist Candye Rucker lets her and Arndt facilitate the meetings. “We want people to share their stories, to share what they’ve gone through, in a way that will ultimately help them.”
Anita Seibert, outreach program coordinator for Michael Hoefflin Foundation, noted that there was a need for such a group. “This was a group that needed to come together for a long time,” Seibert explained. “This group fills the need for young adults dealing with the emotional effects of cancer who need others who can understand their stories and relate to them.”
For more information about MHF, please visit http://www.mhf.org. Like the organization on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/michaelhoefflinfoundation.