Offering a very unique way of helping children work through and beyond illnesses.
September 2014. The sad fact is that the numbers of children with life-threatening illnesses, diseases, and disabilities are not diminishing. Fortunately, remission and survivorship rates are increasing, thanks to medical breakthroughs. There is, however, a lack of emotional support and funding to help these children manage the long-lasting psychological impact of living with an illness.
Enter: Sheri Sobrato Brisson, MA, philanthropic youth counselor, and coauthor of the groundbreaking book Digging Deep: A Journal for Young People Facing Health Challenges. Being a long-term survivor of a brain cancer and numerous operations and hospitalizations as a child, Brisson has made it her life’s work to support the “healing process” for youth dealing with a health crisis; not just cancer, but kids in outpatient treatment, kids at special medical camps, kids in palliative care, kids in remission, kids undergoing physical rehabilitation, kids on dialysis and more.
“To me, having cancer turned out to be a gift,” says Brisson. “Oddly enough, the gift that my cancer gave to me was freedom—freedom that I could choose to live my life the way I wanted to live it.”
Brisson learned how important it was for her to connect with people in real and honest ways and to live her passion—supporting sick kids. Freedom came for Brisson when she decided to structure her life to meet her needs—and now she is teaching those with a health challenges to do the same.
In a powerful, inspiring, motivational, and informative interview, Brisson will discuss:
- Why she decided to write Digging Deep with coauthor and accomplished creative journal author, Rose Offner
- How having a tool such as Digging Deep would have helped her when she was going through her illnesses
- Why she knows the emotional needs of sick kids are not being addressed
- The philanthropic cause she is leading to get this tool in the hands of thousands of children across the United States
- The professionals who are already using Digging Deep as a tool in leading institutions such as: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, American Cancer Society San Jose, Advocate Lutheran Children’s Hospital, Soaringwords, and Team G Foundation
- The impact she has already seen with children, families and professionals using Digging Deep as a tool for self-expression and communication
- How a parent or organization can get involved with this philanthropic cause
About the Authors
Rose Offner, MFA, is an accomplished author in the field of journal writing. Her work as a motivational speaker, writer, and visual artist has given her insight and understanding into the ways that imagination, voice, and soul can be captured and shared in stories. Offner has more than twenty years of experience leading and facilitating classes on the art of journaling with children, teens, adults, and professionals. She knows first-hand that journaling can transform lives. Therapists, educators, and individuals across the country are using Rose’s previous journal writing titles to guide inner transformation.
Sheri Sobrato Brisson, MA is a brain tumor survivor who discovered the importance of self-reflection during her recovery. From her personal illness experience and a dozen years supporting families and children with serious illness, her life’s philanthropic mission is to empower families and children facing serious illness. She has started and facilitated support groups for children with illness and their families for over twenty years with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, National Brain Tumor Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and Packard Children’s Hospital. She has served as Board Member for many children’s health nonprofit organizations including American Cancer Society San Jose, UCSF/Mt. Zion Auxiliary, Creighton Health Institute, Okizu Foundation, and Parents Helping Parents (PHP) and the founding board of Bravekids. Brisson received her master’s degree in counseling from Santa Clara University and her undergraduate degree in human biology from Stanford University. She and her husband live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their two young children.
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Resonance House Publishing/Digging Deep