Survivors Supporting Survivors helping teens heal from childhood cancer

Posted at 2:53 PM, Dec 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-19 19:46:01-05

IDAHO — It's news no family wants to hear, pediatric cancer. But, one local group, Survivors Supporting Survivors, is helping teens heal from such a devastating diagnosis.

“We came out here ice skating and did a gift exchange, white elephant, and just hanging out and talking with each other,” Skylar Holloway, Survivors Supporting Survivors member said.

It's a teen support group for any teen that has previously experienced a pediatric cancer diagnosis. A group that no child dreams to be a part of, but one that is helping children and teens come together for support.

“It has been amazing, I have made some really great friends, and lifelong friends here," Holloway said. "It has just made me feel not alone in my journey that I went through and I can share with them that experience.”

Survivors Supporting Survivors meets once a month for different activities to help them through their healing journey, and to connect them with others who have been through similar things.

“We try to mix a nice range of high adventure stuff, sometimes we paddleboard or sled, ice skate like tonight," Benton Smith, program manager of Camp Rainbow Gold said. "And sometimes we do things a little craftier like make ceramic bowls or blow glass."

“It’s connecting with my camp friends and relating and experiencing the same things we have been through, cancer, and sharing our stories, and just enjoying a good time together.”

The program is free and volunteer-led, and they are always looking for more cancer survivors to connect with.

“They’ve helped me get through some really tough things," Holloway said. "I have lost so many friends and family to cancer and I know I wouldn’t have been able to get through it without my camp family and my camp friends and I always know I have them to lean on for support.”

“They can come and just focus on connecting with each other," Smith said. "We call it Survivors Supporting Survivors because of the shared history that they are coming with and they drive the conversation whether they talk about the activity or their past.”

The group's next festivities are in January at Bogus Basin, for more information or to join the group, click here.