FAMILY SERVICES – A Family of Families

Jacob’s Heart offers an array of supportive services to families of children with cancer under the age of 18 who are living in Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and South Santa Clara Counties. We have a comprehensive grief support program for families who have lost a child to cancer or other circumstances. Families become part of Jacob’s Heart by referral from social workers at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and University of California at San Francisco Children’s Medical Center.

We believe that no family should have to face childhood cancer or the loss of a precious child alone. Our no cost services are designed to support each family uniquely and aim to meet the individual needs of each member. For some families, this might mean a blanket and teddy bear for their child in the hospital, support groups for parents and siblings, and individual counseling. To others, it may mean financial assistance, social support from other families who have faced pediatric cancer, and referrals to additional community resources.



Every family has unique needs.

The Counseling and Case Management Program provides a complete assessment of family needs and assistance in locating resources to meet those needs. We take special care to work with other community agencies to connect families with additional services, such as in-home medical care and transportation services.

Working with each family member to address his or her individual needs, the Jacob’s Heart team is present to celebrate successful treatment, as well as to celebrate, honor, and mourn the children whose lives are lost to cancer or other illnesses. Jacob’s Heart is there at diagnosis, during treatment, and beyond, with the goal of continuing to maintain quality of life, no matter what a family’s socioeconomic status. All services are provided at no cost and are available in Spanish and English.

Jacob’s Heart is currently offering support groups and counseling for families of children in treatment as well as grief support to families who have lost a child to cancer or other circumstances. In addition to family counseling, we host eight-week thematic support groups as well as monthly drop in groups for bereaved families.


Connecting parent to parent and teen to teen.

The Peer to Peer support program at Jacob’s Heart creates a family of families and offers families connections to other families dealing with similar challenges of a life-threatening cancer diagnosis or the loss of a child to cancer or other circumstances. Parents meet to talk, and share challenges, triumphs and tears. As one parent put it, “I learned more from talking with other parents than I did from my doctors.” 

Jacob’s Heart is training and supporting a team of parents who have the experience and expertise to act as Parent Guides to other VIPs – Very Important Parents.

Being a teenager with cancer is profoundly different from being a small child diagnosed with cancer. Teens with cancer need their own kind of support. High-school-aged teens enduring cancer are able to advise the Board of Directors at Jacob’s Heart through the Teen Advisory Group, affectionately known as the TAG Team, and connect with one another by participating in specialized activities.


Jacob's Heart Family


Day to day support throughout the course of treatment.

Jacob’s Heart offers financial assistance to families experiencing hardships due to the child’s illness. We offer coordination and referrals for transportation, help with groceries, gas and other emergency needs.

The Financial Assistance program addresses the financial stressors associated with pediatric cancer.  Direct financial assistance supports families dealing with long hospital stays and getting to and from distant hospitals with gas and/or grocery cards. Emergency financial assistance is available upon request to assist with household bills, groceries, medical prescriptions and, when necessary, funerals or memorials.


“I am not contagious.” Educating the community about childhood cancer.

In 1999, Jacob’s Heart led the initiative to declare September “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month” in the State of California. Since then Jacob’s Heart has worked tirelessly to raise awareness within our communities through outreach, gold ribbons, materials, media relations, and special events.  By forming partnerships with schools, groups and organizations, Jacob’s Heart also provides information about the impact of pediatric cancer upon children and families and reminds the community about the truth about cancer.

Jacob's Heart Brother and Sister
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