Each year, over 400 children are newly diagnosed with cancer in Israel – a rate of more than one child per day.
Larger Than Life and Larger than Life — L.A. Family recognize that the success of cancer treatment depends, among other factors, on the ability to create and preserve a healthy, normalizing atmosphere for the children, who find themselves facing a potentially terminal illness. Adolescent cancer patients often face detrimental social issues as they battle the disease during the period when they would otherwise be focused on developing maturity and skills to transition to adulthood.
Our philosophy is that success is not defined merely by cancer remission, but by giving children and adolescents with cancer the experiences, skills and support to move beyond their cancer diagnosis and become happy and healthy human beings. Treatment programs therefore must address cancer, but must also dedicate resources to the development of the ultimate goal: strong, successful cancer-survivors whose experience with cancer was not so traumatizing that it continues to negatively affect their life long after they regain their physical health.
Unlike their adult counterparts, children with cancer have many unique needs related to their treatment and care. Children with cancer are isolated from classmates and often have long interruptions in their education; they are frequently separated from their families (which can be particularly challenging for the development of sibling relationships); they spend significant time in sterile, clinical settings; they cope with enormous pain without guarantee of success; and they usually do not act as fully empowered decision-makers in their treatment plans. Furthermore, family relationships change under the enormous burden of having a child diagnosed with cancer. In a matter of days, it becomes the central reality around which everything revolves, consuming all of a family’s resources – physical, emotional and financial.
Emotional stress (above and beyond the physical challenges of cancer treatment) has a significant effect on the efficacy of cancer treatment. Research shows that the more comfortable a child is – both in environment and state of mind – the better the chance for recovery.
Faced with this reality, our goal is simple: To support recovery and healthy development. Larger than Life — L.A. Family makes it possible for children with cancer to enjoy happy, normal childhood experiences that other children their age often take for granted.
- Working with hospitals to improve the atmosphere in the wards where children receive often painful and prolonged cancer treatment;
- Creating activity programs for children undergoing treatment;
- Providing family-strengthening services through mentoring, community-building and family-focused “getaways”;
- Providing financial support for medications/medical procedures that are not approved for coverage by National Health Insurance;
- Supporting medical services that are otherwise impossible; and
- Performing outreach to increase community awareness and involvement in the struggle to improve the lives of children with cancer.