Kids Care

 “We all have something in common. We've all lost a family member or friend to cancer. We are all at different ages and stages of our lives. We've come to understand that by helping each other, we've been able to help ourselves. We hope this film helps others, too.”
- Kerri Ford, age 16

Kids Care addresses the issues and needs of young people who have lost a loved one to cancer. The documentary features a memorable group of young people, each dealing with the death of a parent, sister, cousin or best friend. The participants, some as young as 8, others in their teen and early adult years, talk candidly about their experiences. They explore their hopes, and their search to re-establish 'normal' while learning to live with their loss. They also describe what friends, parents and teachers can do to help kids cope with feelings of fear, anger, isolation and sadness.

Much of Kids Care was filmed at Camp Oochigeas, a residential camp for children affected by cancer, in Ontario's scenic Muskoka Lakes region. Producer-director Laura Sky documents some sad moments with the film participants, as well as some very enjoyable times in this safe and peaceful place. The Muskoka setting also makes for a visually beautiful film. But what is most striking is the instant bond of understanding that develops among the kids, regardless of age, culture or background. Six months later, Sky catches up with some of them to see how they're doing and to learn what approaches have helped them begin healing. They speak to us directly, clearly and courageously.

Kids Care offers bereaved young people, their families, friends, teachers and caregivers the tools to start talking; by sharing stories and thoughts, offering support and above all, connection. Most importantly, Kids Care shows how kids can help other kids deal with loss and grief.

This documentary was inspired by SkyWorks' 2001 film, How Can We Love You? which profiled two women living with metastatic breast cancer. Audiences who saw that film often expressed concern about the needs of children in families experiencing cancer.

Made by kids for kids: The kids who appear in Kids Care contributed during every phase of the project, from research through to the final edit. They are also resource people and peer facilitators at community screenings. SkyWorks wishes to thank the Kids Advisory Group and the Adult Advisory Group for their commitment to this project.

Kids Care's key production partners are: Bereavement Ontario Network, Camp Oochigeas, the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, Sudbury Regional Hospital – Supportive Care Program, Wellspring, Willow Breast Cancer Support and Resource Services and Working Women Community Centre, Breast Cancer Education Project for Immigrant and Refugee Women.

Ronald McDonald House Charities is the national tour sponsor of Kids Care. The Ontario community tour has been made possible through the generosity of The Lawson Foundation.

The Kids Care Project won the Henry Hampton Award for Innovation and Excellence in Film & Digital Media. The award was bestowed by the Council on Foundations based in Washington D.C. in 2007.