Mothers Fighting Cancer

Estimates suggest that about 18% of cancer patients have minor children.*  Mothers who are fighting cancer and struggling with life and death also have to worry about someone else's needs.  Most mothers don't have much time to contemplate what's happening to their body because their attention is in constant demand.  It is important to adjust your expectations and discover strategies to give you more time to focus on your own physical and emotional needs.

*Parental cancer and the family: a population-based estimate of the number of US cancer survivors residing with their minor children.

Weaver KE, Rowland JH, Alfano CM, McNeel TS

Cancer. 2010 Sep 15; 116(18):4395-401.


During these trying times, it helps to have extra support.  It is important to ask your family, friends, and other people you trust to temporarily take over certain responsibilities so you can focus on your health and family.


It may be helpful asking for assistance with:

  • Rides to and from school or after-school activities

  • Tutoring for your child to ensure they will not fall behind in school

  • Finding and scheduling counseling for your child's potential stress, fear, or sadness

  • Cooking, laundry, cleaning, housework, or yard work


Setting up a "Meal Train" is a free, easy way to coordinate meal delivery for your family.


Here's how it works:

  • Enter your name, email, where to drop off meals, and when meals would be most helpful

  • Enter food likes, dislikes, allergies, and the best time to drop off a meal

  • Optional: add a Donation Fund to increase participation.

  • Invite others to join via email or social media

  • Paid version ($10): "Meal Train Plus" includes meals, childcare, housework, visitors, rides, pet care, errands, and lawn care assistance


There are many online fundraising options to help you and your family.



  • Your personal website gives you one centralized, private place to share health updates

  • Write messages explaining ways family and friends can best help you—because they want to help you

  • You can even link your CaringBridge website to a personal fundraiser or other helpful tools

  • Your home page incorporates a feed of Well Wishes and Journal comments, drawing your whole community closer in exchanging meaningful thoughts


  • The world’s largest and most trusted online fundraising platform

  • Less private option compared to CaringBridge, but anyone in the world may donate.  You may also choose to make your fundraiser private in your fundraiser settings

  • 0% platform fee

  • $650 million + raised total on average per year for medical fundraisers

Terminally Ill Mothers

Both mothers and fathers report being insecure about what and how to talk with their children about cancer and death. Mothers struggle to find age-appropriate ways to talk to their children, and they worry about their children’s ability to cope with the situation.*


It is helpful to have basic knowledge about grief healing and how to best support your child.  Our strategies and tools focus on helping your child heal and preserving your legacy with your child for years to come.

*Parental cancer and the family: a population-based estimate of the number of US cancer survivors residing with their minor children.

Weaver KE, Rowland JH, Alfano CM, McNeel TS

Cancer. 2010 Sep 15; 116(18):4395-401.


Children who have lost a parent miss hearing their voice, or the smell of their perfume, or wish to touch a personal item that used to belong to them.  It is not going to be easy, but the greatest gift you can leave behind is something for your children to remember.

Write letters or record audio/video for your child to listen to on special occasions and at personal milestones.  You may also want to set aside gifts for your children to coincide with these events.

  • Birthday

  • Prom

  • Graduation

  • College

  • First/New Job

  • Engagement/Wedding

  • Family Planning (Pregnancy, Birth, Parenting Advice)


Resources available for grieving children are almost nonexistent.  After conducting significant research, we developed easy-to-use grief healing workbooks to use at home (or at school).  Our workbooks are available for 3 age groups: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.  There is a "Parent's Guide" and "How To Use Zam" manual for additional grief healing assistance.  It may also benefit you to find a trusted adult who will commit to being a "lifeline in grief" for your child when you are no longer here.

The Super Dog Zam books were written with inspiration from children, teachers, and psychologists.  The Zam books use a story and activity format to guide children as they cope with illness, dying, or death of a loved one.  These books were written with help from her son Andy and daughter Malene.

We are currently revising The Super Dog Zam book series, and they will be available online for download FREE OF CHARGE shortly!

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