Kids Konnected

What is a kid to do when he learns that his parent has a serious illness? The parent usually gets the medical care that she needs. What about the special care the child needs when dealing with his parent's illness? Jon Wagner-Holtz knows first hand what that is all about. In 1993, he started a group to help others and himself.

When Jon was nine years old, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The news was hard for his family. They did not know if she would get better or if she would die. She had surgery. When she came home, Jon felt like it was his job to be strong for her. He watched her go through special treatment called chemotherapy. The treatment made her sick. It made Jon angry that she had to feel that way. Jon never told his mom how he felt. He thought that she had enough to worry about without worrying about him.

Jon's family lived in Massachusetts. Jon's dad got a job in California while his mom was going through treatments. His dad flew back and forth when he could. Jon was having a hard time with the situation. Jon's mom thought it would make him feel better to talk to a special doctor called a psychologist. Jon did not like talking to the doctor. He thought that the doctor did not know how he was feeling because he was not a kid who had a sick parent.

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