"The greatest gift we can give to another human being is our time and compassion." - Susan Binau
When Susan Binau was first diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2006, she felt an overwhelming urge to leave a legacy for her four children. This legacy took the shape of Survivor Tools: books, grief healing tools, and an online academy for patients and families facing life-threatening or terminal illness. Susan created her legacy during her battle with illness, and during a period of devastating loss after losing five close friends and her father.
Combined, all of these experiences have motivated Susan to continue reaching out to help people who are going through similar experiences.
"I found purpose in creating Survivor Tools that can be used to ignite hope for families who are facing life-threatening illness, loss, and grief." - Susan Binau
Create your own AngelKit:
Sometimes small things can make a huge difference, especially in sterile environments. Hospital rooms are far removed from the comfort and safety of "home." The AngelKit contains unique items aiming to provide patients in the hospital with the relief and solace they deserve.
Inside the AngelKit:
- Pamphlet: "Dignity in the Final Hours"
- An LED candle
- A CD with soothing music (provided by MusiCure)
- Lip balm
- A hanging angel mobile (angels are a universal symbol of love, hope, and protection)
- Essential oil
- You may add more personal items depending on your loved one's wishes and needs
"I had heard about the AngelKit package and contacted Susan Binau and her organization. We received a donation, and it was everything we needed. I work as a therapist, and have used the tools and advice described in the booklet from the AngelKit. I just never thought of using these tools at my mom's final stages.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. - Maria Confrarotta & Family
BOOKS FOR ADULTS
The Caring Soul Series is a collection of inspirational books based on the experiences and wisdom of people who have faced challenging life events ranging from serious illness and death to grief. Each book in the series has been carefully selected to provide knowledge, relief, and comfort for anyone facing a difficult time in their lives.
The Art of Dying - A practical, spiritual, and inspirational self-help book for terminally ill people and their loved ones. The heart of the book is advice from and voices of people who supported their loved ones until the end, and from those who have since passed. Faced with terminal diagnosis, yet little guidance on how to cope with what comes next, both patients and loved ones may feel lost in the storm of new emotions, uncertainty, and fear that follow.
Till Sickness Do Us Part - Courageous couples share how they faced health scares and what they learned. This book is intended for those seeking information regarding how to cope with difficult health issues in their marriage or relationship, or those wanting to support someone facing these challenges. This book discusses everything from pain, grief, anxiety, and relationship imbalance, to the taboo subjects such as sex and guilt.
Mommy, Can I Call You In Heaven? - How we coped with cancer as a family. "No one taught me how to navigate life with cancer. Parenting four minor children and not knowing if I would live in 6 months was an emotional roller coaster. It was a jungle to find answers and resources. I learned that knowledge is power" -Susan Binau. This book is about the hardest subject: when a family must take responsibility and cope with life-threatening disease. When Susan was diagnosed with colon cancer she witnessed first-hand the lack of support for families in her situation. She spent the next 10 years developing resources for other families in need.
Danish versions also available.
BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
The Super Dog Zam Grief Series workbooks are developed to support families with grieving children. Rather than becoming frustrated by the lack of support from their surroundings, adults have the opportunity to empower their families to discuss grief and death.
*TO BE PUBLISHED SPRING 2020*
How To Use Zam: When a loved one dies, children need extra help and support. This book provides guidelines for parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals using Zam workbooks.
Parent's Guide: This guide was written to help you understand how to support your grieving child. The parent's guide is a resource for understanding how children grieve, and an inspiration for adults who wish to help grieving children and families. Coping with loss is never easy, but having resources and tools such as the Zam workbooks makes it easier to navigate, make decisions, and help others.
Super Dog Zam (Ages 3-5, 6-9, 10-13): The biggest challenge when it comes to children in grief is not the grief itself, but the fact that their surroundings during times of grief often demand silence. Why? Unfortunately, death and grief are unspoken topics for many, and one of our culture's biggest taboos. The Super Dog Zam books were written with motivation from children, teachers, and psychologists. The Zam books use a story and activity format to guide children as they cope with the illness, dying, or death of a loved one. These books were written with help from her son Andy and daughter Malene.
Super Dog Zam shares his heartfelt story of loss and grief. Through his story, Zam provides support to children who have experienced the death of a loved one. This developmentally tailored book gives children and adolescents a forum to explore and express their feelings. Zam and his friends help to facilitate meaningful conversation between children and caregivers, who can foster the healing process. - Kristin Wieneke Malatino (Child Psychologist, PhD)
The Super Dog is a great tool for children who have lost a loved one to use as part of their healing process. The fact that it's a simple make-believe fantasy makes it easy for children to access the emotions surrounding death. The story and workbook can work well for individual children as well as for groups, as it facilitates a discussion about the difficult subject of death.
- Karen Simon (Director, Montessori School of Celebration)
Enroll in Serenity Academy
Serenity Academy is a FREE online platform providing support for patients and families facing life-threatening or terminal illness.
Filled with practical tools, extensive research, and compassion, these programs cultivate clarity of mind and improved decision making in addition to offering spiritual insight. Serenity Academy uniquely relates to people facing tough journeys, helping to guide them to a more confident and stable perspective in preparation for the road ahead.
At the heart of the programs are voices of people who walked the path and bravely found ways to live meaningfully while battling illness, and what they did to prepare for a dignified passing.
The instructor is colon cancer survivor and founder of Women Fighting Cancer, Susan Binau.