[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/03/art.atwood.ypwr.jpg caption=”Kate Atwood, second from right, was 6 years old when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.”]When I was 11, my father died. I didn’t know anyone my age who had lost a parent. I thought that only people who were my parents’ age lost a parent.
I certainly didn’t know Kate Atwood then, but I’m happy to know her now. Atwood’s mom died from breast cancer when she was 12. Atwood saw the need for an organization to bring bereaved children together to let them know they’re not alone.
In 2003, she started Kate’s Club, a group that empowers kids after the loss of a parent or sibling. Social, recreational and emotional support programs help them cope with their loss and remember that even though they just had to grow up fast, they’re still kids at heart.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview