Cathy’s Story

At the young age of 32, Cathy Gabrielsen, a wife and mother of two toddler boys, added “cancer survivor” to her resume.



Battling breast cancer, Cathy struggled with the inability to lift, cuddle & care for her boys while she was in treatment. The added physical and emotional stress that came with treatment was something she did not anticipate and was not prepared for. Through her personal experience Cathy identified a need that the healthcare system did not provide to the staggering number of young women diagnosed with cancer: in-home services for the children affected by a cancer diagnosis.

With this revelation, Cathy became a pioneer in cancer support services. She established the non-profit, Cuddle My Kids (CMK) in 2007 to serve as an in-home, no-cost cancer support program offering enrichment and creative play to children who have a parent or caregiver in cancer treatment. CMK provided the cancer patient a respite to focus on their recovery and personal needs while stimulating the children both physically and emotionally through creative play, arts & crafts, books & music. Cathy’s vision provided an outlet for kids to express themselves in a positive environment with one goal in mind: having fun! Offered as a six-week in-home program with re-enrollment on an as-needed basis, Cuddle My Kid’s (now Connect Thru Cancer’s) aim is to help increase the quality of life for cancer patients and their families during cancer treatment.

Make a change in someone’s life.

Make lasting connections.