Superheroes & Sidekicks

The Superheroes and Sidekicks (S&S) program aims to provide support by pairing community volunteers with children who are battling cancer, their siblings and their parents. The entire family can benefit from friendship, assistance and companionship. Community volunteers serve as mentors (Sidekicks) and are paired up with a child battling cancer or one of their siblings (Superheroes). This program was designed to ease the burdens of treatment and last year close to 20 families benefited from their participation. Here's what one Supermom had to say about the program:

“The thing I like the most about Connor's Heroes is the fact that you provide support to our entire family, not just the patient. All three of my children love having a Sidekick and it especially makes my other two feel special to know that they have their own Sidekick. Thank you also for thinking about the parents. As a single mom, I really appreciate that you allow me to enjoy a parent's night out so I can connect with other parents who understand exactly what I am going through.” –Mackenzie Geisel

Kids that are fighting cancer not only feel sick and endure tremendous pain and suffering, they also fight isolation from friends, low self-esteem, and the boredom of long, arduous hours of clinic and hospital treatments. Kids are limited in their ability to play due to suppressed immune systems and treatments, and having a supportive, compassionate friend there throughout their treatments goes a long way. Pairing mentors with children during their cancer journey will help them through the toughest of times, and let them just be kids again. Mentor will spend time with them at clinic, the hospital, home, or at any number of special events to play, do crafts, catch a movie or a ballgame, ride a bike, go for a walk or just hang out together.

Often neglected and overlooked when a child has cancer, a brother or sister suffers too. These super siblings need a friend, a “Sidekick,” to reassure them that they too are special and important.

Parents of kids with cancer have an unbelievable burden thrust upon them that can be overwhelming. Parents need Superheroes and Sidekicks to help them prepare for the journey that they will undertake with their family, and to help foresee as many of the pitfalls and problems as possible. Parents are focusing on the health of their sick child, while all the other obligations of being Mom and Dad are still present. Knowing that your child and their siblings have a mentor, who supports, empowers and entertains them, can make a huge difference.

Connor's Heroes will carefully screen and select volunteers from a variety of backgrounds. These volunteers will be paired with their own special Superhero. Volunteers will be trained and supported by Connor's Heroes, to provide the best experiences possible, and to maximize the fun that the Superheroes and Sidekicks can have.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer in the Superheroes and Sidekicks program, please click the “I want to Volunteer” link at the top right of this page. We will email the application materials to you at that time. Our next volunteer training session is on Thursday, March 29, 2012 from 6:30-8:00 pm at 3900 Westerre Parkway, Suite 300, Richmond, VA.

To view a more detailed description of a Sidekick's job, click here: CHF_-_SS_Mentor_Job_Description_2011.pdf
To download our complete application materials (including the job description), please click here: CHF_-_Superheroes__Sidekicks_application_2011.pdf
All of these forms should be completed and returned before volunteers attend the training session.

Connor's Heroes is especially grateful to the Altria Companies Employee Community Fund and the Rotary Club of Innsbrook for the amazing monetary grants that allow us to provide this program.