Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance has officially launched the Keaton’s Teen Alliance program created by teens, for teens!
With the support of a few Keaton’s teens, the Family Navigators have been able to learn more about the obstacles and barriers teens face, especially when they have been diagnosed with cancer, excluding them from what some might consider a typical teenage life. Listening to the stories of our teens encouraged Keaton’s to jump to an action plan, the group that would support them in feeling included.
Keaton’s Teen Alliance is inclusive of teen patients and their siblings who fall between the ages of 13 to 18 years old. These teens can look forward to fun bi-monthly events and hangouts just for them, and even a special teen zone with enjoyable games, crafts, and more at all family events. The Keaton’s Teen Alliance events serve as a way for teens to build new friendships through fun, but therapeutic activities, while providing inspiration and support to others.
Since the end of 2021, Keaton’s Teen Alliance has included a Teen Zone at each Keaton’s family event. As the group has officially progressed, Keaton’s has hosted a Teen Brunch Social out at a local Sacramento park where the teens were able to enjoy food, play ice-breaker games, learn about each other’s music tastes, and even play sports with each other. Over the summer another local nonprofit, Hearts Landing Ranch, opened their space and hearts to us by inviting our teens to enjoy a Movie Night Under the Stars. Teens had the opportunity to paint on the rescue horses of Hearts Landing Ranch, eat pizza, and build their snack boxes to watch the original movie, “Jumanji.” For each of these past events, parents had the opportunity to kindly drop their teens off with the trusted Keaton’s team and enjoy some well-deserved respite outside of the events.
Parents and caregivers have described this group as “priceless,” and have shared how limiting life has been due to physical pain, anxiety, and more, but having a group of teens experiencing similar journeys has really helped them feel comfortable outside of their new comfort zones. Along with the parents and caregivers, Keaton’s feels relieved that these teens have others to connect with to not feel so alone in this journey.
With such enthusiastic eagerness from the teens about upcoming events, Keaton’s Teen Alliance is looking forward to connecting with the Together We Heal Community to provide therapeutic art activities and flower picking to our teens. With this event and many more to look forward to, there is no doubt that Keaton’s Teen Alliance is leaving its mark and impact on teens battling cancer, their families, and hopefully the world.