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Monday, June 10, 2013

Angel nannies 'bring some humanity' for mothers coping with cancer

Having cancer is an expensive proposition. Through the course of surgery, chemo and radiation there are drugs to buy, trips to make, income lost. If you have money and only yourself to take care of, it's a punishing regime. If money is tight and you've got young kids, it feels impossible.

Young mothers are often forced to be patients and caregivers at the same time.

It was that image – of women in the chemo room with little children climbing all over them — that stunned Audrey Guth when she herself was receiving treatment in 2008 for breast cancer.

"How do they manage, I wondered, how could they possibly manage?"

With her own money from the commercial nanny agency she runs, along with private donations, Guth founded the Nanny Angel Network (NAN), and started sending out the first volunteers in 2009. Toronto-based NAN aims to provide a bit of relief – a weekly block of free child care for mothers being treated for any type of cancer.