Help when cancer strikes

That’s what the Angel Foundation in Mendota Heights is for.

The 15-year-old organization recognizes that a cancer diagnosis affects the whole family, and their programs meet the needs of kids to adult caregivers.

The Angel Foundation offers two groups of programs. Team Yarn hats will be given away through the Facing Cancer Together programs. These free programs are provided to adults with cancer and their families during diagnosis, treatment and end-of-life. Year-round groups, programs, events and resources are provided at no cost.

Support groups for families: parents, caregivers, young adults with cancer (18-26), young adults with a parent with cancer (18-26), and children’s medical play groups. On March 31, participants will learn the M technique of gentle touch and relaxation for the whole at the Angel Foundation office. Family Art Studio is coming up Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to noon at Adler Graduate School - Art Therapy Studio in Minneapolis. The next Children’s Group Medical Play Session will be Saturday, April 2; children will learn and explore real medical materials.

Families are invited to attend social gatherings throughout the year. This is a wonderful and fun opportunity to grow your support community.

A 4-week program for the entire family. Peer-based groups focus on therapeutic themes to promote communication and understanding of the cancer diagnosis and how it impacts a family. The next session will be Mondays April 4, 11, 18 and 25, 5-8 p.m., at Park Nicollet Fraunshuh Cancer Center in St. Louis Park.

A three-day camp for kindergarten to18-year-olds with a parent or caregiver who has had cancer. A unique and fun opportunity for intentional and meaningful activities and experiences. This year’s camps will be offered June 16-18 or Aug. 16-18, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Eden Prairie.

Monthly events and programs where teens (13-18) can interact with their peers who also have a parent/caregiver with cancer. Teens will build strength and resiliency through a variety of therapeutic and expressive art activities. In March, teens explored the art of making a documentary with digital filmmaking as a format for self-expression through W2 Films. On Saturday, April 2, the group will hang out at Base Camp at Fort Snelling. Splatbat Paintball is planned for Friday, May 27 from 6-8 p.m. in Minneapolis.

To register for these programs, contact Jessica Lindsay at or 612-627-9000 ext. 503.


Melissa Turgeon sees art as a way to create meaning out of something that doesn’t make sense. As written in the Fall 2015/Winter 2016, Angel Foundation newsletter:

Art Therapy helps validate that feelings are real or understand outside of yourself. It inspires exploration of materials to inevitably discover self-truths and identify feelings when words aren’t enough.

This validation of feelings and the impetus to find others who can understand and relate to one’s situation is one of the reasons that families participate in the Facing Cancer Together program — to find that community that understands and can validate each other’s feelings — whether it is fear, hope, confusion, or anger. Art Therapy aids in building that connection to yourself and others, without having to try and find the right words.

Often times, painting drawing, or sculpting through pain or grief can help illuminate and resolve issues. Art Therapy isn’t necessarily about teaching a skill, but rather meeting individuals and families were there are at and discovering an inner world of images.

For people living with cancer, Art Therapy can be an avenue to explore feelings of mastery, control and body image. It can aid in learning what pain triggers one may have or can help process anxiety and thoughts. ... Imagine painting through pain, exploring clay to pound out your frustrations as a caregiver or writing a song to let it all out.


The other set of programs offered by the Angel Foundation aim to help with the tremendous financial pressures a cancer diagnosis can bring. Studies show that 40% of cancer patients will fall below the poverty level sometime during their treatment.

Angel Foundation provides emergency financial assistance to adults in active treatment for cancer, living in or treated in the seven-county metro area of the Twin Cities to meet critical non-medical needs such as:
- Housing payments
- Food
- Utilities
- Fuel costs

More at or call 612-627-9000.


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