Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all...
— Emily Dickinson

As a parent with cancer, you are bound to have a lot on your mind. You have to care for
yourself and your kids. You may wonder: how do we get through this? 

- 3 million children live with an adult with cancer (American Cancer Society, 2016).
- Women who have childcare responsibilities experience symptoms more severely and in greater number than others who are treated with chemotherapy (Miaskowski et al, 2016).

What is The Feather Foundation? We are a 501 ( c ) 3 non-profit organization that provides financial, emotional and practical support to parents who have cancer. 

Financial: help towards childcare related costs.
Emotional: online groups, guidance and tips on parenting with cancer and self-care with cancer.
Practical: a resource list of other assistance available for parents with cancer.
Plus, COMING SOON! Training for healthcare professionals.


Donate and Help

 You Can Support Us By Making A Donation Today. Give In Someone’s Honor, And Join Our
Community Of Supporters. We Can’t Do This Work Without You. Thank You!

Please Use The Button Below To Process Your Donation Today.

Click to Donate

Parenting Through Cancer

The First Time You Talk About Cancer

When preparing to talk to kids about your cancer, you may wonder: How do I say it? What words do I use? When and how much? The answers to these questions lie in what you know about your kids. It's also helpful to think about their age and developmental understanding. Remember whatever you actually say: you aren't causing whatever reaction your child has -- but you can soften it with love, patience and openness.

Keeping The Conversation Going

Of course, the conversation about cancer doesn't stop with that first talk. Your kids might have more or new questions. There might topics you didn't anticipate, developments or changes that you can discuss together. Click below for questions to ask yourself to determine if it's time to talk more and for tips on how to keep the conversation going.

Being A Super Mom or Dad With Cancer

When you’re a super parent, it’s tough to not be able to do some of the things you could do with your kids before cancer. You may feel more tired. You may have a shorter fuse, or feel less playful. You may feel as though you’re acting differently with them.  

Click below to hear more about what being a super mom or dad with cancer looks like and get ideas of new activities to do together. 

Supporting Mind and Body

You want to get through this body and mind — and you have probably heard some recommend mind-body therapies.  You’re motivated to be the healthiest person you can be.  But, how do you decide what, if anything of these, is best for you?

Exploring Their Thoughts And Feelings

Some sadness, fear and anxiety is to be expected when your kids face your cancer diagnosis and treatment. Like with other life challenges, they will need guidance on how to express and manage their thoughts and feelings. Click below for some suggestions on how you can help your kids explore, express and learn through art, play and more with you or a supportive care professional.

Staying Connected When Away from Home

Maybe you’ve had to stay inpatient after surgery for a few days – or, you’ve had a bone marrow transplant that requires you to stay in isolation for months... Here are some tips for managing thoughts and feelings that may arise from being away from home.

When You Don’t Feel Like Celebrating…
Holidays and Special Occasions

Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries can be anything but the special break you’ve been wishing for, when you have cancer. 


Just for You: An Online Support Forum
for Parents with Cancer

If you just need space to think or share with others like you, consider joining our online community. You can talk to other parents also impacted by cancer and parenting through it all! Get connected, receive support and information. This online group is private, facilitated by an oncology social worker.
Please fill out our sign-up request form below and, pending our review process, we will send you a personal invitation and password to access The Feather Foundation Forum

Already a member of our support community?


In Your Words...

Here we share glimpses into the lives of our community members. What does cancer, family and
parenting mean to them? 

by Monica Hill

When you become a parent your life changes. You are  filled with both hope and worry for the future and an overwhelming responsibility for this little tiny human. Your sense of self becomes partially if not entirely defined by your role as mommy or daddy and every decision you make you think about how it will impact your child. 

For the rest of this article, please click here: Having a Child, Hope & Cancer

by Dr. Meredith Hemphill Ruden

Knowing my purpose, like knowing myself, is a work-in-progress. There have been a few moments in my life that were defining – but only so because of the rest, those little moments that seemed unimportant to me at the time. Let’s take a big moment. On a bus ride across the Turkish countryside, I received a terse sounding voicemail. Call us back, we have your results. I thought of the ugly mole on my leg and the biopsy site that wouldn’t quite heal that replaced it. And, when I finally got through between dropped calls and service interruptions, I learned that what I had hoped was an irrational fear wasn’t. I did have melanoma – an aggressive, early stage cancer. I was 25 and abroad, without a frame of reference for anything I was hearing over the phone.

For the rest of this article, please go to

Interested in sharing your story? 
Please email for submission details.


Helping With Childcare Costs

The Feather Foundation understands that the costs of cancer add up - and believes that the cost of extra childcare help should not be an additional worry. 

Please complete the application below with a healthcare provider (social worker, case manager, nurse or physician) if you would benefit from a one-time financial grant for childcare. This grant gives $300 and is eligible to NY and NJ residents.


Other Resources

American Cancer Society:
Cancer Support Community:
National Cancer Institute:

Camp Kesem (throughout U.S.A.):

Casting For Recovery:
First Descents:
Harmony Hill Retreat (WA):
Mary’s Place By The Sea (NJ):
Reel Recovery (throughout U.S.A.):
Smith Center for Healing & The Arts - Cancer Retreats:
Stowe Weekend of Hope:

Cancer And Careers: Genevieve's Helping Hands:
Good Days:
Healthwell Foundation:
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society:
Needy Meds:
Patient Advocate Foundation:
Partnership for Prescription Assistance:
Rema Hort Mann Foundation:
Ulman Foundation:

*And through individual pharmaceutical companies for certain drugs/therapies.


Contact Us

Send us your questions and/or comments below. You can also call, email or mail us at:

The Feather Foundation
P.O. Box 628,
Maplewood, NJ 07040
(862) 702-9559

We look forward to hearing from you!

Name *