To Help Kids Handle Stress of Cancer, Community Program Encourages Fun

When a family is facing a disease like cancer, fun is often the farthest thing from their minds. But young kids are meant to have fun. The belief that childhood and fun should go hand-in-hand, even if the child in question has a parent who is battling cancer, helped inspire a kid-focused program called On Belay, the subject of this HooplaHa Original video.

Crescentia Healy-True was a mom to two girls when she was diagnosed with cancer, and she sensed immediately that her daughters would need support systems in their lives to, first, help them continue to indulge in fun activities, and second, connect with other kids going through the same thing they were. It's the magical combination of both goals that makes On Belay so powerful in the lives of the young people who participate.

"I remember being really angry and really upset all the time," says Anna McCusker, age 15, about the time when her family was consumed with worry about cancer, "because my aunt was really close to me, and there was nothing that I could do to help her... But now that I have On Belay, I can come here and just forget about everything at home... and I can talk to people about it, and it's okay, because they're like, I understand."

The feeling that Anna describes aligns beautifully with what Crescentia Healy-True hoped to instill in kids through the program. "On belay means basically that 'I've got you' or 'I'm holding onto you,'" explains Liz Weld, the On Belay Program Director. The term comes from climbing, which is done in pairs or groups, and which is one of the On-Belay program's various kinds of adventure activities. "So it's creating that metaphor for, no matter what happens, you're safe."

On Belay serves families across New England with monthly events and other resources. To learn more about their programs, check out their website or follow along on Facebook or Twitter.

This video was produced by Lucia Nazzaro and shot/edited by Heather Holloway. Want to see more awesome kid-related videos? Visit the Kids Are Awesome YouTube page, part of the HooplaHa Network... and don't forget to smile.

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You have just stepped into the Bendix Diner, a staple in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey since the 1940's. It's no surprise that The Bendix can serve up a sizzling Burger with deep fried onion rings and a frothy chocolate shake. What is unique about this meal is the waiter who delivers it to your table – his name is John Diakakis, and he is blind.

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Sullivan the Therapy Dog Helps Make A Christmas Movie - Sullivan's Travels

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Do you ever wonder what a day in the life of a therapy dog is like? In the OGTV Original Series "Sullivan's Travels," a golden retriever therapy dog named Sullivan Travolta takes us along with her as she assists folks in all kinds of settings. Having been trained at Project Chance in Jacksonville, Florida, Sullivan provides support and happiness to kids and adults in schools, nursing homes, classes, and any other program where she's needed.

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