At Angel Foundation, we know parenting through cancer is hard, but we are here to help you discuss your diagnosis and treatment with your children. Angel Foundation guidebooks and resources provide accurate, developmentally appropriate information to share with your children. We also have a list of additional local resources to help your family along the way.



Talking to your children about your diagnosis can be difficult, but it is important to keep communication channels open. Our Family Guidebooks are here to help get the conversation started. Filled with self-care and coping information, plus tips for talking to children of all ages, our guidebooks will help you and your family manage the cancer diagnosis at home.  Click the links below to download an age-specific guidebook. Contact us or call Emily Rezac at (612) 627-9000 ext. 507 if you would like a copy mailed to you.

Parent Guidebook
Teen Guidebook
Pre-Teen Guidebook
Children’s Guidebook




Sometimes questions will come up for which you don’t have an answer. That is okay, we are here to help! The resource links below will help with specific questions, or you can contact our office for one-on-one support. Emily Rezac is available Monday-Friday to help discuss your family’s needs: call (612) 627-9000 ext. 507 or contact us via email.

How to tell your child you have cancer
Age-appropriate tips and tools
Basic definitions of cancer and its treatment
Prepare your child for upcoming surgery


AngelPacks are given to children. pre-teens and teens who have a parent or grandparent with cancer. Free backpacks contain a guidebook and items that provide comfort, reduce stress and promote healthy conversation. Currently, AngelPacks are available at more than 50 clinics and hospitals in the Twin Cities metro area. If you’d like to receive AngelPacks for your children, please ask your healthcare team or call Emily Rezac at (612) 627-9000 ext. 507.

After talking with your child about a cancer diagnosis, books are a helpful way to follow up that discussion. Books can help answer questions, let the reader explore feelings, and clear up any possible misconceptions.




  • Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings, by Ellen McVicker
  • Still Me, by Rebecca DuBois
  • When Someone You Love Has Cancer: A Guide to Helping Kids Cope, by Alaric Lewis

Separation anxiety:

  • I’m Here, by Peter H. Reynolds
  • The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst



  • Love Sick: Teens Reflect on Growing Up with a Parent Who Has Cancer, by Lynnette Wilhard
  • My Parent has Cancer and it Really Sucks, by Maya Silver and Marc Silver
  • Reflections – Teen Thoughts on Having a Parent With Cancer, by Katie Jecha



Parenting through a diagnosis:

  • Can I Still Kiss You? Answering Your Children’s Questions About Cancer, by Neil Russell
  • Camp Chemo: Postcards home from metastatic breast cancer, by Camille Scheel
  • How to Help Children through a Parent’s Serious Illness, by Kathleen McCue
  • When a Parent has Cancer: A Guide to Caring for Your Children, by Wendy Harpham


Download this list

Smartphones can be used in all sorts of ways, especially for distraction, communication and learning. Technology can provide a great way to develop strategies during times of stress.





  • White Noise
  • Nature Sounds Relax & Sleep
  • Relax & Rest Guided Meditations
  • Worry Watch
  • Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame
  • Smiling Mind



  • BellyBio Interactive Breathing
  • Buddhify
  • MindShift



  • Tayasui Sketches
  • Art Set
  • Emotionary App
  • Carnival of Animals


Download this list

Brighter Days Grief Center
Offers a private and compassionate space for adults and children anticipating or enduring the passing of a family member. Tutoring and financial services also available.

Camp Kesem
A college-student run summer camp for kids with a parent who has cancer, is in remission from cancer, or has passed away from cancer.

Cancer Legal Care
Provides legal information and help at no cost for Minnesotans affected by cancer.

Fairview Youth Grief & Support
Fairview Youth Grief Services offers a free, comprehensive seven-session grief support program in the fall and winter for families with children ages 4 through 18.

Gilda’s Club Twin Cities
A clubhouse offering social and emotional support through a variety of classes and workshops.

Jack’s Caregiver Coalition
Provides support groups and programs for men who are caregivers to a person with cancer.

Open Arms
A nonprofit service organization that cooks and delivers free meals specifically tailored to meet the nutrition needs of individuals living with cancer and other serious illness.

A health crisis resource center that offers educational programs, support groups, and complementary therapies. Pathways provides programs designed to support a creative healing response to life threatening illness.

United Way 211
A free and confidential community helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 2-1-1 helps people access information they need to navigate the ever increasing and complex array of human services. The first step to finding help is knowing who to call.

American Cancer Society
Provides information on cancer, programs and research.

Free online Cancer Support Groups and Resources for cancer patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

Disability Rights Legal Center
A free resource that provides information and education about cancer-related legal issues to the public through its national telephone assistance line.

Imerman Angels
Provides personalized connections that enable one-on-one support among cancer survivors and caregivers.

National Cancer Institute
Offers current, credible cancer information from the National Institutes of Health.

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
Educational resources and advocacy for persons with any type of cancer.

Patient Advocate Foundation
Provides patients with arbitration, mediation and negotiation to settle issues with access to care, medical debt, and job retention related to their illness. Offers the Co-Pay Relief Program, which provides direct financial assistance to insured patients who meet certain qualifications to help them pay for the prescriptions and/or treatments they need.

Note: The listing of these resources does not imply endorsement by Angel Foundation.

Half of all Minnesotans will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, and 74% of those will struggle financially due to that diagnosis. That struggle, known as cancer related financial toxicity, can cause skipped doctor appointments, rationing of medication, as well as increased stress and depression.

Angel Foundation, in partnership with Ameriprise Financial, BlueCross Blue Shield of Minnesota and with support from the Financial Planning Association of Minnesota and the Foundation for Financial Planning, is launching a pilot program to help combat this growing problem.




Watch this video or read this Star Tribune front page story to learn more.