Family Support

Who helps us through the difficult times?

Being a parent of a child with a chronic condition is not easy. There is so much to learn, so many sleepless nights, medications to give, treatments to remember. There is constant worry and constant pressure to do the right thing. For our children, there are teachers, doctors, nurses, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents and caregivers to support them. But what about us? Who helps us through the difficult times and keeps us going? The good news is that there is strength in numbers. Alone we are isolated, afraid, uneducated and unappreciated. Together we are supported, loved, appreciate and accepted. There is no one who knows what you are going through like another parent in the same situation. We are here for you, and we are here for each other. No matter what your background, there is the common bond which we share:  we are all trying our very best to make our children healthy, safe and happy.

Interested in becoming a member of Stone’s Buddies?

  • If you are interested in becoming a member, your child needs to be a regular patient at Oishei Children’s Hospital and be referred by a member of our medical staff.
  • During your next hospital visit, ask a staff member about participation in our program. (Please let us know if you are interested in becoming a part of a mentor program or support group. If you have any ideas for our speaker series, please contact us by email.)

Two Support Groups for Stone’s Buddies Families

We currently offer two support programs specifically designed for our Stone’s Buddies families. Both groups are run by Dr. Robert Perelli from the Center for Family Systems Theory of WNY, Inc. Dr. Perelli brings over 30 years of experience in counseling families living with a chronic or life-threatening disease. He uses the principles of Family Systems Theory to help members of the group understand and manage their grief.  

Family Matters

...an educational support group especially designed for parents of a child living with a chronic or serious medical condition.

  • The diagnosis of a child with a serious medical condition can be an overwhelming emotional strain on the entire family.  At a time when a marriage needs to be the strongest, mothers and fathers may have little time and less energy for each other.  A sick child can literally come in-between two parents as they struggle to decide what is best for their sick child and their other children.
  • This program was developed by Stone’s Buddies with parents and families in mind to give a monthly educational support group designed to strengthen families with a child who has been diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness.
  • Introduces various principles of family systems and well developed theories to show parents and families how to strengthen their relationships, encourage better sibling relationships and give the opportunities to manage situations and circumstances that one may feel they have little to no control over.

Living With Loss Support Group

Often times the parents of the deceased child have been so busy taking care of their family that their own needs are postponed or even forgotten.
The Living With Loss support group was especially designed to serve the unique needs of parents who are grieving. In the company of other couples who have experienced the death of a child and with the guidance of a professional facilitator, each member of the group will have a chance to learn how to live with the loss of their child. Although there are no easy answers and each couple must proceed at their own pace, the Living With Loss support group is especially designed to give grieving couples a place to be with other parents who have walked the same path that you have walked.