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NEWS

Caregiving Youth Shine on NBC’s TODAY Show with Maria Shriver: A National Spotlight Ignites Hope for Change

Boca Raton, FL – July 10, 2024 – Millions of young caregivers across the U.S. juggle the demands of school, extracurricular activities, and a critical but often unseen role: supporting loved ones who have health challenges. These remarkable young people received a national platform today on the TODAY Show with Maria Shriver, marking a crucial step towards greater recognition and support for Caregiving Youth. The American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) and Kesem, a leading organization for children of cancer patients, teamed up for this appearance.

The TODAY Show segment highlighted the experiences of two inspiring teens who are caregivers:

Jacob (Florida): an eighth-grader who exemplifies the dedication of Caregiving Youth nationwide. Through AACY’s Caregiving Youth Project, Jacob receives multiple support services as he cares for his mother with multiple sclerosis and his grandmother with dementia.

Rocco (California): a 17-year-old pillar of strength for his family since his mother’s cancer diagnosis. Despite his own challenges, Rocco has provided invaluable support to his family while attending Kesem’s free summer program, Camp Kesem.

AACY and Kesem anticipate the TODAY Show segment will be a catalyst for a surge in recognition and support, potentially marking a turning point for Caregiving Youth advocacy. Across the U.S., an estimated 5.4 million* children under the age of 18 years face unique challenges caring for family members, often lacking access to the crucial resources and support they deserve.

Millions of viewers gained a powerful understanding of the realities faced by Caregiving Youth and the family members they care for. By witnessing the challenges and resilience of these two teens, viewers are empowered to act. Whether you’re a Caregiving Youth or know one, learn more, join AACY and its partners to champion these children and secure vital recognition & support.

*5.4 Million Caregiving Youth Data Source: Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 – AARP Research Report – National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP.

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About American Association of Caregiving Youth:
American Association of Caregiving Youth® (AACY), a 501(c)(3) non-profit headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, champions the needs of over 5.4 million young American caregivers aged 18 or younger who provide essential care for chronically ill, injured, elderly, and/or disabled family members. As the leading national voice for Caregiving Youth, AACY raises awareness about this hidden population and is a trusted resource for families, policymakers, educators, and healthcare professionals on the issues Caregiving Youth face, regardless of the care recipient’s diagnosis.

AACY offers a comprehensive approach combining direct support and national advocacy. Locally, they provide direct assistance to middle and high school students through the Caregiving Youth Project. Nationally, its Caregiving Youth Institute (CYI) spearheads C.A.R.E. initiatives focused on Connection, Advocacy, Research, and Education. AACY’s impact extends further through national partnerships and affiliates.

For more information, visit aacy.org

About Kesem:
Kesem supports children ages 6-18 through and beyond their parent’s cancer with free, fun-filled, creative programs and a lasting community. Kesem is the leading national organization dedicated to this unique population of over 5 million children.

Kesem is comprised of more than 4,000 volunteer college student leaders at over 120 college chapters nationwide. Kesem serves 7,500-10,000 children yearly through free year-round programming, including our flagship summer program, Camp Kesem, the national virtual offering, Club Kesem, and day programs. Kesem also provides care packages, personalized greetings, birthday cards, local gatherings, and leadership groups for youth and adolescents and their families.

For more information, visit kesem.org

Media Contacts:
American Association of Caregiving Youth
Dr. Connie Siskowski, Founder and President
561-391-7401 | connie@aacy.org
Washington, D.C. | Sara Poole | poole.sara@gmail.com

KESEM
Domonique Hollins, Chief Brand Officer
646-320-0793 | domonique.hollins@kesem.org