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Blog Posts HOPE

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Blog Posts HOPE

  1. 1. Transformation Wednesday- Therapy dogs have long been utilized in patient care and have proven to positively impact patients’ health. In 2014, a study was done in Pediatric Oncology, measuring the impact of therapy dogs. Children newly diagnosed with cancer were the focus group; thirty service dogs and more than one hundred children from five pediatric hospitals in the United States. One of the children who took part was Bryce, a 5-year-old boy with leukemia undergoing treatment at the pediatric outpatient clinic at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee. For sixteen weeks, Bryce and his mother would meet up with Swoosh, a Pomeranian therapy dog, and his handler Michelle Thompson for a twenty-minute session before his appointment at the clinic. Swoosh helped Bryce not think about his treatment and feel healthy. The experience with Swoosh and Thompson gave Bryce and his mother something to look forward to — even on clinic days, Greenwell noted. One day as they were rushing to their appointment, Bryce said, "I don't want to be late for Swoosh." "We've had amazing things happen," said Cooper- Greenberg, whose Dalmatian visits the pediatric oncology unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, http://bit.ly/2fOBzSr. "The reserved child or reserved older patient or psychiatric patient, or whoever, just comes alive when they see the dog," she said. "It breaks down social barriers and isolation." Therapy dogs are trained to have no reaction in the face of odd human behavior, said Cooper-Greenberg, who has helped train thirteen dog therapy teams. Even if for only twenty minutes, not thinking about the treatments and illness is a blessing. The article and further results from the study can be read here http://wb.md/2f7xJE0. Transformation Wednesday- Immunotherapy is a new method being used; the promising new treatment for patients with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The treatment has shown a 93% complete remission rate, starts with researchers taking T cells from the patient. The researchers then re-engineer the T cells within the TCPC at Seattle Children's Research Institute to recognize cancer cells, http://www.seattlechildrens.org. The next step, also a pivotal moment, is when the new and improved cancer-fighting T cells are re-infused so they can go to work killing cancer wherever it may be hiding in the patient's body. Teddy bears are historically known to be comforting to sick children. Giving strength to a child diagnosed with cancer means the world at Seattle Children’s Hospital. A cuddly teddy-bear named T-Bear who wears a mask and purple cape brings hope to children with cancer. Making a life changing moment more personal was the overall goal, letting the children know they are not alone. "It's more than just delivering medicine to a sick child," said Lindgren. "Delivering the T cells to our patients and families is always the best part of our day. Our scientists are incredibly invested in our patients and their battle against cancer. We wanted each family to know we care about them. They are super heroes to us, and their T cells are super heroes too." Not only does T-Bear help in the patient's celebration, but he's also a partner in their battle against cancer. T-Bear is more than just a stuffed animal to kids at Seattle Children's, and so in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Russell Wilson personally delivered a T-Bear to patients on the Cancer Unit, donated by Safeway. He wanted every child to feel comforted and special. The article can be read here http://bit.ly/2fOybHg. Motivation Monday- Support, strength, and hope become more than crucial when a child is diagnosed with cancer. Fearing the worst and hoping for the best become overwhelming emotions.
  2. 2. When relatives and friends can’t provide the support due to lack of understanding the fear and devastation; families look elsewhere. Support groups are a great tool when going through tough times, specifically an illness in the direct family. Finding the right support group is not easy sometimes; knowing where to look is half the battle. A useful source to find the right support group is Ped-Once Resource Center http://www.ped-onc.org/resources/supportorg.html. Specifically, childhood cancer support groups can be found with this source. No one should have to go through devastation alone; talking with another whom understands one’s emotions is part of the healing process. Healing is the first step in order to be of support to the sick child. The HOPE foundation believes in a support system and providing families with the tools to win the battle http://www.hopefoundaton.org/. Financial support becomes the next step, which is where the HOPE foundation comes in. Giving hope to families going through a devastating time is the mission and promise the HOPE foundation makes to families in need of hope. Motivation Monday- Prayers give hope to a seven year old girl battling cancer. Lee has been battling cancer for two years now. She has always wanted to Vlog and when her illness took a turn for the worst she did just that. She started her Vlog adventure by requesting prayers and nearly 150,000 people watched her video and responded with heart felt prayers. Lee’s mother shares with ABC the feeling of not being alone is overwhelming in a positive way. Prayers provide so much hope and support for a mother of three and a sick child. Lee said in the viral video posted Wednesday, "Well, tomorrow I'm going to get a PET scan and we really need it to be clear so we can go to transplant. And I was wondering if you could pray for me?" A day later, Lee's mother posted an update on a Facebook page documenting her leukemia treatment, called Team Brighter Days, that Lee's PET scan came back "clean." They are now able to move forward with the scheduled bone marrow transplant in the next few weeks. Although Lee’s battle is only in the beginning stages, the hope given through the power of social media is amazing. The ability to post a prayer and the public able to view and respond means the ability to pass along hope. Lee’s story can be read here http://abcn.ws/2f7FwSx. Share Lee’s story and pass on the hope and strength of a girl battling against cancer; give hope to those fighting the same battle. Tip Tuesday- Knowing how to help families whose children have cancer or a serious illness is becoming a realized, lacked skill set. Learning a friend’s or relative’s child has been diagnosed with a serious disease can leave people wanting to help, but not knowing how or what to say. The lack of knowing often causes people to distant themselves and wait for the friend of relative to reach out. Jeanelle Folbrecht, Ph.D. associate clinical professor of psychology, suggests staying engaged with the family in a way not to be intrusive. Showing the willingness to help is the key to being supportive. Knowing the right thing to say at the right time is not the focus; one is not going to be able to say something magically making the pain disappear. However, certain expressions such as “It’s going to get better” should be avoided. Also, avoid putting the situation in a religious stand point unless the person expresses this view point first. Some may find this stand point offensive and uncomforting. Responding to others whom are trying to be of support is difficult for some due to the demand of medical appointments and the care of their child. Staying engaged with them anyways is important because they are going to need support. Offering suggestions phrased in a way families can decline without feeling rude is helpful as well. For example, phrasing as a question instead of a statement. Expert advice can be further explored here http://bit.ly/2fxN2Xc.
  3. 3. Tip Tuesday- Explaining long term illness to a child is difficult and is not a readily available skill set. One does not prepare for the event of one’s child will become terminally ill. Honest communication is vital to helping a child adjust to a serious medical condition. Letting the child know he or she is sick and will be receiving an extensive amount of care is important. Give clear and honest answers to all questions asked in a way the child can understand. Accurately explain and prepare the child for ongoing treatments and possible procedures. Avoid using harsh terms and phrases such as “This won’t hurt” if the procedure is likely to be painful. Instead be honest and explain what the child is to expect in each procedure. If discomfort is to be expected, explain what the child will feel. If it is reassuring to your child, you may refer to your religious, spiritual, and cultural beliefs about death. You might want to stay away from euphemisms for death such as "going to sleep." Saying this may cause children to fear going to bed at night. Giving the child the opportunity to express his/herself is also important. Expression through music, drawing, writing are all healthy forms of expression. Kids will need reminders they are not responsible for the illness. Being told illness is common and curable is important to be expressed. A child will ask "why me?" offering an honest "I don't know" is okay. Explain even though no one knows why the illness occurred, the doctors do have treatments for it (if that's the case). If your child says "it's not fair that I'm sick," acknowledge that your child is right. It's important for kids to know feeling angry about the illness is okay. Stay updated on helpful communication methods here http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/seriously-ill.html#.

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