Band Aide Buddies
The Band Aide Buddy program, founded by Network member Jennifer Werkmeister, provides affected children with teddy bears that they can take with them to surgeries and other hospital stays. Here’s how it started, in Jennifer’s words:
I was diagnosed with BCCNS at the age of fourteen, at which time I had to have a few different surgeries. Before my very first surgery after being diagnosed, my mom gave me a bear to take with me to surgery. When I came back to my room, my mom had band aids on my bear where I had my bandages. Every surgery after that, it was the same thing: my bear had band aids where I did.
In 1999, when I had my last jaw cyst surgery, my mom wasn’t there to put the band aids on. The OR nurse asked me about my bear, and I shared my story with her. She then took the wooden cross off of her necklace and attached it to my bear with sutures. After surgery, I woke up briefly to see this nurse in my room, putting my bear under my arm. When I finally woke up and was able to focus, the bear had two band aids across its mouth, with well wishes from the OR nurse.
To this day, fourteen years later, If I go to see a specialist for BCCNS or have a surgery, my bear, Miracle, is with me. He and I have been through some difficult surgeries together, and he has brought me a lot of peace when I need it most.
Now the BCCNS Life Support Network would like to give you the chance to have a friend to go with you through your journey with BCCNS. If you would like a Band Aide Buddy, we can send you a Build-a-Bear certificate to go and build your own buddy. You can also use this certificate to order a “Buddy” online if you do not have a store nearby. The certificate also comes with a “You are not alone” T-shirt for your “Buddy”.
We send Band Aide Buddies to children with BCCNS free of charge, but donations are always welcome. Requests can be made by contacting the main office.
Here’s a list of summer camps that children affected by BCCNS may qualify for. Follow the links for more information.
- Camp Wonder– A summer camp for children with serious or fatal skin disease. Run by the Children’s Skin Disease Foundation. https://www.csdf.org/campwonder.aspx
- Camp Discovery – A week-long camp for children with chronic skin conditions. Sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/for-kids/camp-discovery
- Victory Junction – A camp based in North Carolina for children with serious illnesses or chronic medical conditions. http://victoryjunction.org/
- Hole in the Wall Gang Camp – Founded by Paul Newman, this summer camp and year-round center helps children with cancer, chronic illness, and other serious medical conditions. http://www.holeinthewallgang.org/
- Camp Trillium – Operated by the Trillium Childhood Cancer Support Centre in Canada, this summer camp has two Ontario sites and operates day camps in ten other cities. http://camptrillium.com/
- Camp Simcha – A kosher overnight camp operated by the Chai Lifeline, located in New York. http://www.campsimcha.org/
- The Taylor Family Foundation – Supporting Camp Arroyo, the Taylor Family Foundation provides a summer camp for children with life-threatening or chronic illnesses in Northern California. https://ttff.org/
Spread the Sunshine
Founded by Marjorie Campbell of Tennessee, the “Spread the Sunshine” Program is BCCNS Life Support Network’s little way to connect members of the Network and let them know that they aren’t alone as they live with their condition. The Network sends out cards of all sorts, from birthday to get-well, from sympathy to Valentines, to help brighten the day for members all over.
If you want to be part of the fun and “spread a little sunshine,” or if you want to get a few golden rays in your own mailbox, let us know and we’ll help you get connected.
College-age people affected by cancer may qualify for a scholarship from Cancer for College, a 501(c)(3) charity founded by a two-time cancer survivor. Priority is given to residents of southern California, and giving in general is limited to residents of the United States attending school in the US or Puerto Rico.
Some local branches of the American Cancer Society also give out Youth Cancer Survivor scholarships. You can use their ZIP-Code finder for more information on local events.
The Foundation for Faces of Children also offers a scholarship to children with craniofacial conditions living in the New England area who are pursuing post-secondary education