The Story Behind Momcology
"We don't heal in isolation, but in community" -S.Kelley Harrell
From the moment your child is diagnosed with pediatric cancer, your family and your life is immediately altered forever. Everything you think you know about yourself, and your future, becomes an instant question mark. You are thrust into a world of pediatric cancer and your new reality is completely foreign. You begin to live life in isolation and in a time capsule of appointments, chemotherapy and caring for a very sick child. Your whole world becomes compressed and your focus narrows to saving your child’s life. Family, friends and neighbors are hopefully there to help, but in so many ways, you can feel completely alone.
Before my child was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, I had never met another parent in my shoes. I spent years looking, searching and trying to make pediatric cancer connections in my community. In time, I made some amazing friends and my energy and spirit changed. For the first time since diagnosis, I felt at peace with the abrupt change my life had taken because I could share my thoughts and feelings with others who felt the same way. In 2011, when my friend's son relapsed, she wrote a powerful and emotional essay to cancer. I was so deeply moved by her gut-wrenching words and the knowledge that even though we were different caretakers at different parts of our own child's journey, the same thoughts plagued our minds and kept us awake at night.
Immediately, an idea was born, and I started a closed group on social media for all the cancer parents I knew with the same diagnosis. The group took off, and our new community grew quickly as it filled a gap that was missing for so many of us; the ability to connect. In time, it became clear that peer support provided much healing to the women paticipating and sharing. It became clear that this kind of support needed to be made available to every parent of a child diagnosed with cancer. Momcology, the grassroots movement, was born in August of 2011. Soon after, Momcology was interviewed by Facebook Corporate on the platform of using social networks to build communities and help others. Today, in 2016, it is commonplace for people to find eachother over social media for real-time support. We are honored to be one of the first successful initiatives to set that standard in place.
Momcology was formed to help bridge the gap of loneliness any parent feels once their child is diagnosed with cancer. We are a community. We thrive and grow because the members of our community believe in the connections that are being made and the emotional support provided by being with others who truly understand.
Since our non-profit incorporation in October of 2012, Momcology has spider-webbed across the country and is now servicing thousands of cancer parents through online support groups, restorative weekend retreats and other uniquely developed programs focused on self-care and caring for the caregiver. Parents are now communicating from all major hospitals with pediatric oncology programs in the country. All of our primary caregivers are immediately welcomed and connected by a shared experience. We are actively collaborating as caregivers and patient families to change how this journey feels.
As Momcology continues to grow and acquire partners in the childhood cancer community, our goal and mission remains simple; To empower and heal pediatric cancer families through the valuable resource of peer support.
President, Founder and Momcology Member
Mom to Matthew (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia)