Understanding The Sibling Experience

When a child experiences a serious illness, whether physical or mental, all of the attention of the parents and of the medical team is focused on making that child well, and rightly so.  The whole family unit is restructured, and parents are consumed with worry and fear for their sick child.  Siblings are also traumatized by this experience, yet their needs are often overlooked.

Due to circumstantial neglect, the healthy sibling becomes the forgotten child who is left alone to process and deal with intense emotional responses that he or she has as a result of the health crisis of their brother or sister.  Now the healthy sibling has become a sick child who suffers in silence in the background.

What Siblings Feel


How we Help Siblings


Our practical programs and activities recognize and reward siblings for their own personal struggles, and help siblings express themselves and cope with stress.


We educate parents, families, hospital staffs, schools, and communities on the negative impacts of childhood illness on siblings and on ways they can increase the protective factors for siblings.


We engage in advocacy and policy work to ensure that siblings have rights and equal access to needed treatments and programs, along with funding and research.