How Nankind is Spreading Joy for Families Facing Cancer
A dark shadow with a harrowing impact on families, cancer is a journey no one should face alone. Nankind, formerly known as the Nanny Angel Network, makes sure that no one has to. This holiday season, Nankind is on a mission to bring compassion and support to families affected by cancer, with an added festive touch to bring a little extra joy.
THE STORY OF NANKIND
In 2009, Audrey Guth, a mother in the midst of her own cancer journey, realized the burden that many parents with cancer face, juggling being a parent and patient. It was during a chance encounter with another mother and her child in a waiting room that Guth identified a significant gap in cancer care—the need to provide support not just to patients but to their children as well.
She founded Nanny Angel Network, now Nankind, giving respite to moms with cancer. Since then, she has made it her mission to innovate and lessen the social and emotional impact of cancer on children by providing free support to mothers, fathers, and primary caregivers with cancer.
“Sally is a perfect match for our family in so many ways, her gentle and compassionate nature and playfulness truly complement her relationship with us and our children,” said Stephanie, a Nankind mom, about her experience with a Nankind volunteer. “Sally is a true angel. She manages to share her attention with two young children with very different personalities and interests.”
NANKIND’S HOLIDAY IMPACT
Cancer affects the entire family, not just the person diagnosed—a fact that Guth knows all too well. Coping with a parent’s cancer diagnosis is emotionally challenging for children, and addressing their needs can often put parents at a disadvantage—they may not even realize that their own needs are going unnoticed in the whirlwind of treatments and caregiving—especially during the holiday season when families are busier than ever.
Nankind provides critical intervention to children experiencing the trauma of parental cancer, which includes helping to grieve the loss of a healthy parent by building social and emotional skills with the help of their specially trained Volunteer Angels. The impact is incredible: through free support programs, Nankind has provided 30,000+ hours of free childcare and 60,000+ nutritious meals, empowering 4,000 children with emotional resilience in the process.
The Meal Support Program, in particular, is a lifeline for families, providing them with prepared meals during the most challenging time of their cancer journey. Healthy and delicious meals are delivered right to their door, allowing parents to not worry about shopping for groceries and preparing nutritious meals for their children, taking the time back to rest and recover.
“Few people helped during my journey, my husband, my doctor, and one close friend, but Nankind played one of the biggest roles. When I could not cook, they delivered delicious meals and would check in on me,” said Bipina, a Nankind mom.
Created during the COVID-19 pandemic in response to the concern of immunocompromised parents with cancer and grocery shopping, the program has remained a staple program within the organization, bolstered by meal support partners like Yumba, MealFix, and Toben Food by Design.
Nankind doesn't stop at meals, either. During the holiday season, Nankind goes the extra mile, putting together holiday stockings filled with fun games and toys, and delivering them to homes to surprise children with a little extra holiday cheer during the break. This thoughtful gesture brings a sense of normalcy and happiness to families navigating the challenging waters of cancer.
An invaluable free, and accessible resource for parents and families living with cancer, Nankind has transformed the cancer experience for over 2,000 families. One family at a time, the organization has built a community of volunteer angels, referral partners, and sponsors that provide free supportive care to families affected by cancer.
This holiday season, Nankind's goal is to provide 2,500 meals to families affected by cancer. With your support, they can bring comfort, warmth, and hope to homes that need it the most.
To donate, become a volunteer and learn more, visit nankind.com
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited