World

Being there for single parents with cancer

Published 4:48 PM ET, Fri December 4, 2015
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01 CNN Hero Jody Farley-Berens01 CNN Hero Jody Farley-Berens
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Jody Farley-Berens' nonprofit provides assistance to single moms in the Phoenix, Arizona, area who are battling cancer. John Nowak/CNN
Nearly 12 million parents in the United States currently are raising kids on their own. When single parents face a devastating illness such as cancer, everyday needs like cleaning and cooking can become a struggle. John Nowak/CNN
Since 2006, Farley-Berens and her network of volunteers have given practical, financial, and emotional support to more than 300 parents and their children. John Nowak/CNN
The group focuses on day-to-day support, such as bringing prepared meals and supplies for the home, doing housecleaning and paying bills. "It's that old-fashioned mentality of neighbors helping neighbors," Farley-Berens said. John Nowak/CNN
Farley-Berens saw the need firsthand, when her childhood friend — a single mother of four— battled breast cancer. "Paying the bills, cleaning her home, making dinner for her kids -- all of that became a real struggle. ... I just tried to do those little things that I hoped would relieve her of some stress," Farley-Berens said. John Nowak/CNN
Farley-Berens says her group aims to help parents "focus on what's important, which is their health and their family." She hopes to start new chapters of Singleton Moms in other states. John Nowak/CNN
Farley-Berens: "It's my hope that Singleton Moms can bring joy -- and say to cancer, "You can't defeat us. We are still going to be strong and we're going to celebrate life. And you can't take that away from us." John Nowak/CNN