The Angel Foundation's Teen Outreach Program:

In 2001 Margie Sborov founded the Angel Foundation with funds from the doctors in her husband's oncology practice - Minnesota Oncology. Not only did Margie and Mark both work in the field of cancer, but they had also been personally affected by it when their friend died from cancer at a young age.

Margie felt compelled to start a non-profit organization that would meet the non-medical needs for adult cancer patients and their families, such as paying their rent and buying groceries. Since its inception, Angel Foundation has provided millions of dollars in non-medical emergency financial assistance so families struggling with a cancer diagnosis don’t have to face another set of worries.

After the success of Angel Foundation, the organization realized there was also a lack of support for the children of parents with cancer. Often when a parent has cancer, teens may need to accept additional responsibilities for keeping the family moving forward such as cooking, shopping, cleaning, driving younger siblings to extracurricular activities and sometimes even driving the parent to treatment as they often are either too weak or sick to drive themselves. Teens often drop out of their social activities and their peer group due to the added responsibilities increasing their anxiety and sense of isolation. In short, teens become caregivers.

In response to this need for more support, the Teen Outreach Program was created. Teen Outreach provides respite from this stress and a place where teens can interact with their peers who also have a parent with cancer. Teen Outreach focuses on exploring and building individual strength and resilience through a variety of activities including movie nights, rock climbing, bowling or artist led creative activities.

Swing Back At Cancer proudly donates 100% of its profits to the Teen Outreach Program, and have even raised enough money to be the sole contributor of the program. Cole, his family, and other members of the Swing Back At Cancer committee have gotten to see first-hand the impact this donation makes on the program and the teens by participating in recent Teen Outreach events.

Swing back At Cancer is hopeful that the 2017 donations will be the most yet!

Getting to know many of the teens personally has had a huge impact on me. These are incredible kids who, despite the hardships they are going through with their family, stay strong and positive. The Teen Outreach Program provides a safe place for them to just enjoy being a teenager. I feel more motivated than ever to raise money and continue to support this great organization.
— Cole Scattarelli

Cole and some of the swing back committee members at an angel foundation fundraiser in September 2014.


HEAR THEIR STORIES:


  The transition from middle school to high school is not easy for anyone. For Dan, it was feeling isolated from peers because his mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and he felt the responsibility to be the man of the house. Then he found Angel Foundation. “I did not want anyone to feel bad for me but to just remind me that they were there,”Dan says. “Angel Foundation not only gave me the opportunity to escape the world of cancer -- by attending Wild games or learning to cook pasta or rock climb -- but rather a place where cancer wasn’t taboo. Angel was a place where I could just be a teen and not have to feel cancer weighing me down.” Dan continued his connection with Angel Foundation by becoming a volunteer teen mentor, a role that allowed him to share his experiences with other teens, and finally, as a staff member, as the organization’s teen outreach coordinator. “Angel to me is empowerment when stricken with chaos,” says Dan.

 

The transition from middle school to high school is not easy for anyone. For Dan, it was feeling isolated from peers because his mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and he felt the responsibility to be the man of the house. Then he found Angel Foundation.

“I did not want anyone to feel bad for me but to just remind me that they were there,”Dan says. “Angel

Foundation not only gave me the opportunity to escape the world of cancer -- by attending Wild games or learning to cook pasta or rock climb -- but rather a place where cancer wasn’t taboo. Angel was a place where I could just be a teen and not have to feel cancer weighing me down.”

Dan continued his connection with Angel Foundation by becoming a volunteer teen mentor, a role that allowed him to share his experiences with other teens, and finally, as a staff member, as the organization’s teen outreach coordinator. “Angel to me is empowerment when stricken with chaos,” says Dan.

 
  Montana, a teen whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago and with cervical cancer 2 years ago, knows first hand the effects a parent’s cancer can have on a teen. "We were so close, then everything just fell apart,” says Montana. “There was big elephant in the room, and we just didn’t know how to do anything around it. So Angel Foundation stepped in and got our family back together. Now we have a closer relationship than we’ve ever had before. Angel Foundation means a lot to me.” Participating with other Angel kids in group activities — recording music, rock climbing and photography — are among the benefits of her involvement with Angel Foundation. “It’s really an awesome program. Plus she gets to share her feelings and gets the support of other people in the program,” says mom Melanie, who has also received emergency financial assistance from the organization.

 

Montana, a teen whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago and with cervical cancer 2 years ago, knows first hand the effects a parent’s cancer can have on a teen.

"We were so close, then everything just fell apart,” says Montana. “There was big elephant in the room, and we just didn’t know how to do anything around it. So Angel Foundation stepped in and got our family back together. Now we have a closer relationship than we’ve ever had before. Angel Foundation means a lot to me.”

Participating with other Angel kids in group activities — recording music, rock climbing and photography — are among the benefits of her involvement with Angel Foundation. “It’s really an awesome program. Plus she gets to share her feelings and gets the support of other people in the program,” says mom Melanie, who has also received emergency financial assistance from the organization.