Audrey Guth is a 2-time cancer survivor, of thyroid cancer and breast cancer. In 2009 she launched the Nanny Angel Network to help lessen the impact of cancer on families.
“The first thing that goes through your mind after being diagnosed with cancer is, what’s going to happen to my children? How are my children going to be okay?” Audrey said.
So, she launched the Nanny Angel Network to provide in-home care for children whose mothers are undergoing cancer treatment. The program provides 4 hours of home care a week to moms, who can use that time to go to appointments, rest, or do anything else.
During that time, the volunteers, who are specially trained in therapeutic play activities, are able to give kids the opportunity to share their feelings in a safe and an age-appropriate way.
“We are supporting moms through supporting their children and ensuring that they are going to be okay through this, through their cancer journey, however it may end.”
Audrey and her team hired a child life specialist and developed a program for children that will help them build resiliency, have some sense of normalcy, and be kids just a little longer.
Audrey also got to work answering the question that has been following her since her father passed away: how to talk with kids about cancer.
“If you don’t tell kids the truth, and you don’t share, they are so perceptive, they make up their own stories, and their own stories are much worse than the truth,” she said.
“Kids are so resilient, but they learn not to trust if they think you are hiding something from them. So, a big part of our program now is teaching moms how to have the cancer conversation with their kids, and to support them through the conversation, if there is a likelihood that they are not going to survive their cancer journey.”
Written by Kelsey Moroz, Conquer the Patient Voice Magazine.