My name is Genevieve.  I am eight years old, and I am going into fourth grade.  I live in California.  I love goats, reading, and I love to play with my dog Leia.  Everything about my life is completely normal, except for one thing.

My Dad has cancer.  My Dad has had cancer since before I was born.  He was diagnosed with a rare type called Thymic Cancer, just three weeks after my big brother, Nathan, was born.  He beat it, but before I was even one year old, his cancer came back.  At that point, the doctors knew that it would never totally go away because it has a high chance of reoccurrence.

Cancer is at the center of every decision we make, and it stinks.  My Dad is always in some sort of treatment.  Some people think cancer treatment means chemotherapy. For my Dad, cancer treatment is all sorts of things in addition to chemotherapy.  It’s surgery, radiation, doctor appointments, and hospitalizations.  It’s sleeping all the time, nightly sweats, nausea and forgetting about things.

Cancer treatment is spending our vacation budget to buy special medicines, special creams and special foods.  And the hardest part is when my Dad gets sick and starts treatment again.  It means more treatment, and we don’t get to spend the time with him like we want to.

Kids Circle has really helped me to get through these moments.  When I go to Kids Circle, my Dad’s cancer is not the main thing we talk about.  It’s a place to feel connected to the other kids that are going through the same thing and we get a chance to forget about cancer for a while.

We eat a snack.  We do arts and crafts.  We sing karaoke and we have fun.  But we also talk about cancer sometimes, when someone has a parent who is going through a rough time. But Joyce, the person who leads Kids Circle, talks about it in a way that we all can share our feelings.

Kids circle has really helped me to get through my Dad’s Cancer.  In fact, Kids Circle is the only place, except for home, that I feel comfortable talking about cancer.

Not only that, but Kids Circle is also a great place to make new friends.  I’ve made many friends, with many different personalities, and many different stories.  They have been friends that are able to help me out, and know how I feel about having a parent with cancer.

This feels good.  Everything about Kids Circle makes me feel good and makes me want to smile.  The friends, the fun, the tips, the help, and so many other benefits.

I want to thank everyone who supports the Cancer Support Community, and making it possible for me to have fun at Kids Circle. Thank you for helping my Dad so he doesn’t face cancer alone.

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Kids and Teens Circle is one of dozens of groups offered free of charge at Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara. Learn about all of our programs here, and learn how you can help here.