Did you know that every 3 minutes a family hears the devastating news that their child has cancer? That’s nearly 16,000 kids each year that must spend time in a hospital versus a playground or art class. During treatment, it’s important for kids to get to be kids as much as possible. Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego recently honored Childhood Cancer Awareness month with celebrations and fun activities to get outside, like chalk art.
“Chalk art allows them to express themselves,” says Judy Wagner, parent liaison at Rady Children’s. “Kids just love chalk, and ultimately, kids just want to be kids.”
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family needs support. The Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s offers families a full range of pediatric clinical services, including psychosocial programs and resources, to help patients and their families from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.
“There are a lot of smiling faces and joy,” says parent Hannah de la Cruz. “Just being outside, drawing. Being around other kids and parents going through the same thing makes us feel less alone.”
Created nearly 30 years ago, the Hematology/Oncology Parent Liaison Program helps guide parents as they begin the unfamiliar and often frightening journey through childhood cancer. Parent liaisons have had one of their own children treated for cancer and are available to share their own personal experiences and coping strategies. They offer emotional support and suggestions for dealing with the day-to-day challenges a cancer diagnosis may bring to a family. Learn more about our psychosocial programs at the Peckham Center, here.