Cooper Trooper Foundation

The Courage Kit For Siblings

The Cooper Trooper Courage Kits are a wonderful and extremely beneficial resource to help support the coping of siblings and caregivers of patients with a cancer diagnosis. The courage kits provide the child life specialist tools to aid in explanation of the brother or sister’s disease, parents the tools to help the sibling express the many feelings they might have, and the sibling themselves an opportunity to feel seen and heard with the special items given to them that tell them they are brave, special, and a trooper, too.

Allie Leidy, MA, CCLS and Katie Beard, BS, CCLS

Child Life Specialists Pediatric Hematology & Oncology , Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

Courage Kits For Siblings

Thank you for your interest in receiving our Courage Kits for siblings of children diagnosed with cancer. Cooper Trooper Foundation currently distributes our FREE Courage Kits to these special siblings in two ways.

1.) A kit can be requested via our online form to be mailed (at no charge) to the sibling(s) home address. This can be requested by a family member or friend who has the information needed. It does not necessarily have to be requested by the sibling’s parent.

2.) Courage Kits can be mailed in bulk quantities to hospitals and facilities, serving families of children diagnosed with cancer. For example, a Child Life Specialist could complete the form for Hospitals/Facilities, to request a shipment of Courage Kits, that could then be on-hand and distributed in that setting.

What's In A Kit
  • Trooper T-Shirt
  • Courage Medal
  • “I’m a Trooper” Awareness Bracelet
  • A book (a book specifically geared toward siblings of children diagnosed with a chronic illness- to assist parents in helping their child deal with common emotions that arise when a sibling is diagnosed)
    • Hi, My Name is Jack (for younger siblings)
    • When Your Brother or Sister Has Cancer (a guide for teens)
  • “I’m a Trooper” sticker
  • Journal/Pen
  • Stuffed Animal (for younger siblings)
    • Older siblings will receive a special gift in place of the Huggable Hope duck
  • Informational Brochures/Resources for Parents

Stories From Families

“A Cancer diagnosis doesn’t just effect the patient – it significantly effects the entire house.  All lives are turned upside down and will never be the same.  Everyone has to immediately and forever adjust to a “new normal.”

Right after our daughter Caroline was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma (when she was age 4), our son Andrew (then age 9), got a backpack from The Cooper Trooper Foundation.  It was full of goodies just for him – comfort items and books explaining what his sister was about to go through, and how he fit into her treatment journey as a super-sibling.

Families are often apart for days, weeks or months at a time.  Our family was apart for almost 200 nights in a 16 month period; Andrew often only being able to see Caroline through FaceTime.

Each child is equally important the day before the diagnosis as well as the day of, and after.  The spotlight is instantly on the child that is diagnosed (rightfully so)…but it’s extremely important that the siblings don’t get lost in the shuffle…life still goes on despite fighting this disease…there’s still school, sports, social activities, etc.
The Cooper Trooper Foundation saw the need to support the siblings, and we’re so thankful!”
— Margaret Lantz
www.carolinestrong.com


“MJ has seen in his short life a lot more than most kids his age. ( or any age for that matter). The kids tv show, Doc McStuffins, sings in their little theme song about going to the doctor…”it will only tickle a little.”  Well unfortunately I wish that is all we had to deal with “a little tickle.”
But, MJ was with me the night I found Faith’s tumor while rubbing her belly. He sat in the ER with us, and saw his Dad and I cry like we never had before. He saw her after they removed her tumor, and was kinda freaked out by her huge incision. He listened to Faith cry in pain. He laid with her in her hospital bed for hours after her lung biopsy.  He reminded her not to move because “you got a big tube in your tummy Faith.” He has had to walk through this journey every step of the way. I always feel so bad for him. I can barely comprehend everything that is going on, much less through the mind of a child.

MJ has had a lot of questions obviously.  He has asked me “why did Faith get a bad knot in her tummy?”, “do I have a bad knot?” ” I thought Faith was better?” “Is Faith going to die?” “Am I going to die?” “Are you and Dad going to die?” His questions have sometimes ripped my heart out.  I try to answer them in a way that is honest and that hopefully he can understand.

But MJ has been the truest blessing through it all.  He keeps us laughing. He keeps Faith moving. (mainly away from sharp objects he’s throwing) 🙂 and he always says the sweetest things.  He told Faith the other day “Faith you don’t have any hair?!  It’s ok. Guess you are trying to grow it? Right Mom?”

His innocent mind constantly searching through this journey.  One day when I was really struggling he said to me “Mom, don’t cry. Crying doesn’t help anything.”  He is so right, and I am so thankful I have him to keep me smiling, to keep his Dad smiling, and to most importantly keep Faith happy.

He might only be a five year old boy, but it is HIM who many days keeps us going.

THANK YOU to the Cooper Trooper Foundation who help the siblings of children battling cancer.

Their whole world is turned upside down and it’s nice to have someone reaching out to them during this very difficult time. “


“Receiving the Cooper Trooper Kit for Ayven’s siblings was wonderful! Not only did the kits brighten their spirits, but it also helped them feel recognized during a time when a lot of attention and concern was being put on their sister. We really enjoyed the book that came in the kit!  It unexpectedly helped open the doors of communication with our three year old about what was going on with her baby sister.We are truly grateful that our girls were Cooper Trooper Kit recipients.” -Kim, Schenectady, NY


“My 6 year old grandson was diagnosed with ALL B Cell Leukemia and was treated at Vanderbilt. His little sister is 3 years old and has been through a lot. We are so glad that you thought of these little troopers too. Cancer affects the whole family. Thank you so much.” – Peggy



“Taylor the Tornado” (battling Neuroblastoma)-His 7 siblings received a kit….”They were all so excited to see a package in the mail for them! I really can’t thank you enough! The little ones are going to wear their shirts to school tomorrow and take their books, so the teachers can read them to the classroom. I absolutely love the book “my name is jack” that comes in the kits…It has really helped my five and eight year olds! They really felt special.” – Scott and Gina, Bronson, MI



“Thank you so very much. The kids were all so excited. This truly means the world to Camron’s sisters and baby brother. Angelina (7) said,  “aw mom this is so awesome! I feel so special that they think I am such a good big sister!” Nevaeh (5) said, “even though Camron has cancer, we are pretty cool too!” Camron was so excited for them! He is used to getting things sent for him and the excitement he had for his siblings was amazing! We really can’t thank you enough!”   -Angelina, Nevaeh, and Isaiah, Virginia



“Often times the sisters and  brothers of child cancer patient can feel a little left out. Thank you to the Cooper Trooper Foundation for remembering the siblings. The Cooper  Foundation gave Olivia a sibling Courage Kit when her sister was diagnosed in November 2014. So thankful we received a package, so thankful we met this sweet family, so thankful they remember
If you heart is so inclined, please support our new friends in their endeavor to support the siblings of childhood cancer warriors! I can assure you the siblings are warriors too!”  

Request A Kit

Do you know of a courageous sibling of a child fighting cancer? Our kits can be given out in the hospital setting by Child Life Specialists or other hospital staff working with the family OR can be mailed at no cost to you, to any sibling of a child diagnosed with cancer.  We desire to help these brothers and sisters feel celebrated, valued, and supported, during this challenging time. It is also our hope to be a resource to parents as they walk through the emotions experienced by the entire family. Our Courage Kits are designed specifically for siblings of a child with cancer vs. other chronic illnesses. 

*At this time, The Cooper Trooper Foundation can only mail kits within the United States and Canada. Also, please be sure the address to be shipped to is correct. It should be sent to the sibling’s residence and not the hospital. The hospital will return packages, so please be sure you have the family’s home address, if you are completing the form for someone.

Facilities/Hospitals

Do you work with families of a child diagnosed with cancer? We would love to provide our FREE Courage Kits for siblings of a child diagnosed with cancer to your hospital or cancer center. This enables you to have these kits “on-hand” to distribute to siblings or to the parents, who can then bring something special home for their other child(ren).

Current Facilities Distributing Our Courage Kits

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital
Vanderbilt- Nashville, TN

Pediatric Specialists of Virginia
Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Northern VA- Falls Church, VA

University Health System
Pediatric Blood and Cancer Center
San Antonio, TX

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital
Green Bay, WI

Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center
Austin, TX

Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders
Children’s Hospital at Erlanger
Chattanooga, TN

Cleveland Clinic- Cleveland, OH

Central DuPage Hospital- Winfield, IL

Nevada Childhood Cancer Association- Servicing: Sunrise Children’s Hospital, St. Rose Hospital, Centennial Hospital, University Medical Center, Mountain View Hospital

Reorder or Request Courage Kits

 

 

Share Your Experience

We want to hear from you! If you have received one of our sibling “Courage Kits” for your child or if a sibling would like to share their own thoughts, please take a minute to give us feedback and send in a photo of your child with their sibling(s) and Courage Kits. We strive to make siblings feel valued and supported by remembering them in the midst of this challenging time and it’s important for those who support CTF to see 1st hand the impact we are having on the families we serve. It’s difficult to do that without getting this feedback from YOU. Thank you for taking the time to do this, as we want to continue to help others walking down a similar road.

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