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Young Entrepreneur Series – Kids Konnected

February 15, 2012

Jon Wagner-Holtz was 11 years old when Kids Konnected was invented. Wagner-Holtz started Kids Konnected in 1993 after his mother was treated for breast cancer.

Jon founded Kids Konnected because he couldn’t find any programs that could help him find other kids to talk to who knew what it was like to have a sick parent. Kids Konnected started in California and now has programs across the United States. The organization offers a 24 hour hotline, an email newsletter, a chatroom, monthly meetings, resources, and summer camps.

Kids Konnected was developed on the premise that when a parent gets cancer, the entire family is affected and the needs of the children must be addressed. Our programs started in California and soon spread nationwide. The mission of Kids Konnected is to provide friendship, understanding, education and support for kids and teens who have a parent with cancer or have lost a parent with cancer.

“When I was nine years old, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer… My mother’s diagnosis was devastating to our family. We didn’t know what it would mean in the long run. Her illness was extremely tough for me. When she came home from the hospital after surgery, I felt it was my job to be strong for her… I was really angry. My mom was such a good person. How could this be happening to her? But I never expressed my true feelings to her. I thought she had enough to worry about without having to worry about me.

We finally made it through the treatments, and Mom started to regain her strength. She asked me to go with her to the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundations annual Race for the Cure. We went to the race, and Mom was up on the stage during the survivors’ ceremony with about 300 other women wearing pink visors. Together they were celebrating life. I thought at the time how great it was that she had such a tremendous support group. My next thought was that many of those women probably had children, and wouldn’t it be great if all of us who had parents with cancer could have such a group?”

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From → Kidtrepreneurs, YES!

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