Feeling alone during times of need can compound the difficulties of illness. Children need supportive surroundings when going through the challenges of cancer and their parents need a deep sense of understanding. Having a home for families to live amongst each other promotes an additional level of compassion and friendship. Families relying on a large support group tend to cope better and at OK Kids Korral, the guests’ stay is about much more than lodging.
1. Connect with others going through the same things
OKK offers a movie theater, game room and teen area, indoor and outdoor play areas, and much more to target the specific needs of children with cancer. However, things happen to a child with cancer that only another child with cancer can truly understand. When a little one begins losing their hair, they don’t feel as self-conscious because they are surrounded by other children with bald heads. When they get ill in one of the common areas at the Korral, it’s just another day and everyone pitches in to clean it up. The Korral creates a peer group for our children that last 24/7.
2. Embrace a community of hope
By providing families with private suites, indoor and outdoor dining areas, and comfortable living areas, OKK allows people to focus on what really matters – their children. We fully support each and every child who comes to OKK, and we work to provide an atmosphere of hope, love, and optimism. Children can focus on something fun and uplifting away from the hospital and experience a sense of comfort in our community.
3. Develop new coping skills
Parents also find solace in the friendships they make with other families. Meeting people who understand each other’s situations during this time can create a much-needed release from the pressures of coping alone. Many parents worry they won’t be able to find the strength to cope with a cancer diagnosis for their child, but their friendships at OK Kids Korral show them they are not alone. Parents begin to accept and give help to others while expressing their feelings to other guests. The bond between the families is strong and necessary during the process of battling cancer.