The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation launched its new sibling support program, Just Among You Siblings or J.A.Y.S. Team, on Thursday, June 7 at TIAA Bank Field with the help of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The new program is geared toward siblings between the ages of 6 and 18 who have a brother or sister tackling childhood cancer and need support to stay emotionally and physically healthy.
“A diagnosis of cancer impacts the whole family,” said Keli Coughlin, executive director of the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation. “The emotional impact of childhood cancer is real and can leave siblings with an array of feelings. The goal of our new program is to provide brothers and sisters of children with cancer an opportunity to meet other children who are walking in similar shoes, learn more about their siblings’ diagnosis and be there with support.”
Families at the launch event were treated to a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the Jaguars’ team areas, as well as fun, games, dinner and a make-your-own ice cream sundae bar. Overall, parents in attendance got a first look at J.A.Y.S. Team, including the program details, what to expect and how the program will be beneficial for the siblings of children with cancer.
“Children experience various emotions when a sibling is diagnosed with cancer, that stress can make it difficult for them to handle,” Sibling Support Program Specialist Kim Todd said. “As a certified child life specialist, I have seen how siblings’ daily lives quickly change when a brother or sister becomes ill. They are often cared for by extended relatives and may feel forgotten and unloved when parents’ time and attention are focused on the child who is ill. J.A.Y.S. Team will provide siblings with opportunities to express their thoughts, fears and feelings openly and to promote positive coping.”
For more information on the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, visit .