NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 11, 2013

Kids in families with cancer to go rock climbing

NEWBURYPORT — On Saturday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., 30 children who have or have had a family member with cancer will come together at Metro Rock Climbing Gym to engage with a unique community of support.

One in five people who are diagnosed with cancer have children. On Belay, a Durham, N.H.-based nonprofit, builds community among these kids. On Belay uses adventure activities like indoor climbing and high ropes course work to create a metaphor for participants. The activities teach kids that if they can figure a way through these challenges, they can overcome anything, including living with a parent or family member’s cancer.

At the program, participants connect with other children facing similar family situations, think creatively, challenge themselves, support others, ask for help and build physical and emotional confidence. Empowered by their experience at On Belay, participants return home with confidence and new skills to tackle the challenges they face.

“I liked how I could come to climbing and make friends and feel being On Belay! It was kind of hard at first when I was told to trust people I didn’t know, but now, I can trust all of them” — KK, 11-year-old participant said in a press release.

On Belay programs are free to all participants, thanks in part to gifts from the New Hampshire Charitable foundation and generous community supporters. There is still space in the Friday program. To register a child, visit the On Belay website, www.on-belay.org, or call 1-866-44BELAY.

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