Why Me is a Worcester Based non-profit organization created to help Central New England families cope with childhood cancer. Why Me is not affiliated with any national organization.
Why Me was started in 1985 by 13-year-old Sherry Shepherd during her four year battle with cancer. In the last months of her life, Sherry became determined to do something that would have a lasting value in the community to help children with cancer. With the help of her dad, she founded the non-profit organization WHY ME, which stands for Worcester Help for Youth, Memories Everlasting.
Today, over 36 years later, Why Me offers a comprehensive approach to supporting the entire family through a pediatric cancer diagnosis. We are here from the moment a family hears the words “your child has cancer” and continues throughout every step of their journey. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the effect on the entire family is profound and pervasive. The initial diagnosis is devastating, followed by fear and anxiety for all that lies ahead. Pediatric cancer protocols can last years and life is disrupted not just emotionally but financially as well. Through our all-encompassing support services and programs, families find the tools and assistance needed to manage these changes. The organization continues to be managed in part by individuals who have had a child with cancer and wish to help others who now face the same challenge. This deeply felt personal perspective serves as a guiding light in delivering services that are essential, compassionate and life affirming.
What “support” means:
While a childhood cancer diagnosis may be the most difficult challenge a family can face, with tangible support, guidance and friendship, together we can make this difficult time a little easier. Through family fun events, dinners, group outings, summer camp and other programs, families forge enduring bonds of friendship through the power of a shared common experience. From support groups, to logistical and financial support, as well as staff visits – whether at home, hospital or clinic – families receive support to address the specific ways their families’ lives have been disrupted. At Why Me we are always striving to meet the unique and increased needs of every family with ever-expanding programming that benefits each child and each family here in our community now, when they need it most. All support and services Why Me provides are free of charge.