Amanda Kuryluk, serves as a volunteer with the Bus Stop Club, a not-for-profit agency that provides siblings of children with chronic illnesses or special needs support and mentoring to help them overcome the everyday challenges they are faced with while their moms and dads are dealing with a sick child or a child with special needs.
Often times these siblings face problems at home and school that go unnoticed because their brother and sister has been diagnosed with a physical or mental disability, requiring much of the parents’ attention. For some of these children, their parents spend a great deal of time transporting their sick child to and from hospitals outside of the capital region.
The Bus Stop Club provides a safe and fun environment and allows the children to express themselves and talk about their issues at home. It also gives these children an opportunity to be around other children in similar situations, providing comfort in knowing they are not alone.
Amanda is a volunteer at the Bus Stop Club’s Guilderland chapter. She enjoys interacting and working with the Bus Stop Club children and feels that it is rewarding to see the children in her group grow and progress each month.
For Amanda, this organization hits close to home. When Amanda was a teenager, her best-friend’s sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 15. While the sick sibling and parents would spend months at a time in Boston for treatment, Amanda’s best-friend and younger sister would stay with Amanda and her family. Back then there were no support groups for siblings of children with special needs. Amanda is happy to see that children today have a place to go and be normal kids.
In addition to attending therapy sessions lead by local area pediatricians, the volunteers engage in many fun activities with the kids. Past events include bowling, swimming, laser tag, game nights, and horseback riding.