Building Resilience in Childhood Cancer Patients
Why Children with Cancer
“You have cancer.” These are the words that 15,780 children in the U.S. will hear each year, according to The National Cancer Institute. 43 kids per day, two young souls per minute, will begin fighting for their life. Each year, 1,960 children will lose this battle. Amongst the survivors, 60% will face life-long severe side effects, including amputation and secondary cancers. The psychological stress of having cancer can affect a person’s overall health and ability to cope with the disease. It invokes feelings of fear, uncertainty, and vulnerability. The treatment of cancer can be as brutal as cancer itself. Simply put, battling cancer is war. And childhood cancer is a uniquely tragic war because the battlefield is the body of a child. For many children, this is the first time they have faced adversity in life. There is a lack of knowledge to overcome challenges, and they can’t do it alone. One Summit summons the bravest and strongest reinforcements for the war against childhood cancer, the Navy SEALs.
Why Navy SEALs
Becoming a Navy SEAL requires candidates to overcome near-insurmountable obstacles. The SEAL program is the toughest military training in the world and tests an individual’s physical endurance, mental tenacity, and ability to work as part of a team. SEAL training pushes candidates to the limit, and beyond, to ensure they have the core values necessary to succeed in the most demanding conditions and against all odds. Approximately 80% will quit during training. The candidates who can overcome these challenges and become Navy SEALs understand the will to keep fighting, even after their bodies and minds told them to quit.
If knocked down, I will get back up every time. I am never out of the fight.
Navy SEAL Mentors
A mentorship is a powerful tool to that provides youth with encouragement, support, and confidence. Providing the children with an adult, outside of the family, that they can lean on for strength and support is a significant factor in building resiliency.
Our Climb for Courage is an experiential learning approach to building the foundation to resilience. On the rock wall, each child practices setting goals, being courageous, persevering when faced with challenges and working as a team. The children reflect on what they learned and discover how to apply their new skills to the challenges they face in their cancer battle. The acquired skills coupled with their new teammate and support system set the foundation to resilience.
We encourage the children to invite their siblings to attend the Climb for Courage event with them. Childhood cancer is a disease that impacts an entire family. Often the other siblings feel depressed, guilty, resentful, anxious and abandoned. We aim to restore the bond between siblings that was strained when one sibling was diagnosed with cancer.
Mutual Beneficial Mentorship
We aspire to provide the Navy SEALs with a unique opportunity to utilize their skill set in a positive light. The hardships they endure through their careers is unimaginable. One Summit allows them to inspire hope, foster companionship, and contribute to the well-being of a child faced with enormous adversity. They understand their skills are transferable and can are applicable for the betterment of a child.