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Lions Pediatric Cancer Program supporting kids, families

A childhood cancer diagnosis can come with a range of physical, emotional, social and financial challenges for the child and their family.

Due to this, the Lions Pediatric Cancer Program was developed as a way to support children and families who are impacted by such a diagnosis.

The Single District 10 Lions, which is a group of 55 clubs located throughout the Upper Peninsula, uses a multi-pronged approach to help children and families through the many challenges that come with such a diagnosis.

One aspect is financial, as the Lions help families with “some of the many costs that insurance does not cover,” Christine Smith, chairman of the Single District 10 Lions Pediatric Cancer Program, said in a Tuesday Journal article.

The program also addresses the social, emotional and physical needs that come with pediatric cancer.

“Through a partnership with Bay Cliff Health Facility, Lions will cover expenses for families to participate in a fun family weekend at Camp Quality, May 7 – 9, 2021. Planning for the camp is flexible and will adjust to the changing demands presented by COVID 19,” Smith told the Journal.

“Lions funds will also help provide free wigs for children who have lost hair through chemotherapy. Through a partnership with Maggie’s Wigs4Kids, Lions from across the Upper Peninsula will be reaching out in September, during Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, to encourage donations of hair to make these wigs.

And Lions have partnered with Kids Kicking Cancer, a global organization dedicated to lowering the pain of children by teaching them martial arts as a therapy. Children learn breath work, meditation, and traditional karate. Lions are helping to stock backpacks for participants with books for children ages 2-18, and $5 gift certificates from Target, Meijer and Walmart.”

We are glad to see the Lions offer such a compassionate, multi-pronged approach to supporting children and families who are battling pediatric cancer.

This critical program is supported by grants, as well as donations from area residents. A commendable community outpouring of support recently occurred, as a returnable can fundraiser held by Lions Clubs from Marquette, Engadine-Newberry and Gwinn amazingly allowed the clubs to garner around 80,000 returnable cans, raising a total of $8,172 for the program. It also recently received a generous $7,500 grant from the Graymont Community and Economic Development Fund.

We commend all who volunteered at and donated to the can drives, as well as the Graymont Community and Economic Development Fund, for their contributions to this extremely worthy cause. We encourage all who can donate, volunteer or help out otherwise to do so, as U.P. children and families facing pediatric cancer need your support.

Furthermore, Smith told the Journal that the Lions are facing some challenges getting the word out to eligible families, and we join her in encouraging any U.P. resident who has a child with cancer to reach out to the Lions Club and inquire about resources.

Contact Chris Smith at lionchris906pcc@outlook.com to get involved, or to learn more, visit the Facebook group Upper Peninsula Lions Supporting Kids With Cancer.

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