Children's Cancer Association

When seriously ill children and their families need more than medicine, CCA's innovative programs create joy one moment at a time.
Jun 1, 2015

A Dose of Music Medicine

Savannah is a young lady who has frequent hospital visits to treat cystic fibrosis. One of the best things about Savannah is that she is always waiting for music. When CCA’s MyMusicRx Specialists come by her room, she often asks, “Where have you been?!” She requests the MyMusicRx Specialists, hoping for a playful distraction from her day, which is full of various treatments, tests, and therapies.

Savannah wasn’t always so open to music, though. It took the interactive elements of our MyMusicRx iPads in order to get her excited about our program. She thumbed through numerous apps, until she landed on a songwriting app that gives her the chance to create all kinds of silly songs that she always plays back with a huge smile on her face.

CCA continues to deliver MyMusicRx to thousands of seriously ill kids like Savannah across the U.S. and Canada, serving 4,400 children in the past year. Trained MyMusicRx Specialists engage kids in bedside sing-a-longs, offer instrument lending for self-expression, and provide access to CCA’s digital music medicine program, MyMusicRx.org. Scientifically proven to help pediatric patients manage pain, boost immunity, and decrease emotional stress, CCA uses music medicine to heal.

With your generous donation, we can grow this program and spread the healing joy of music to more children, teens, and families.

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Jun 1, 2015

The Language of Friendship

CCA’s Chemo Pal Mentor Program encountered a unique challenge when a young boy from China named Hexuan started chemotherapy treatments at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital – they needed to find a special friend for Hexuan who could speak Mandarin Chinese. His mom really wanted somebody who could read him short stories and teach him a little English to pass the lonely hours at the hospital. CCA’s Specialists jumped into action, matching Hexuan with Robert, Portland local who speaks Mandarin! Hexuan now has a friend who can understand his jokes and play games for hours during long appointments at the hospital.

Hexuan is one of the 250 Pacific Northwest children and teens CCA’s Chemo Pal® Mentor Program has brought the joy of friendship in the past year. Trained Chemo Pal mentors have devoted 6,730 hours forging and strengthening friendships and family bonds, bringing diversion, fun, and activities to kids during their treatment. Chemo Pal mentors also give parents a much-needed break to grab a cup of coffee, talk with doctors, or spend time with their other children.

In 2013, Oregon Mentors awarded CCA’s Chemo Pal Mentor Program with their most prestigious award for mentoring excellence, recognizing the program for exceeding standards of excellence and quality.

With your support, we can match even more seriously ill children and teens with compassionate adults who offer supportive relationships throughout treatments.

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Jun 1, 2015

A Restful Retreat

Fynn, diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia a month before his fourth birthday, is now six years old and in the maintenance phase of treatment. He loves animals, especially dinosaurs and sharks, and he is obsessed with transformers. Fynn and his family recently had a special weekend away at the Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin™ and shared some of their experience in a journal entry at the cabin.

“We just wanted to say a huge thank you for our wonderful weekend at the Caring Cabin! What an amazing place! We loved placing Fynn's stone together as a family. We found the stone of our Chemo Pal's previous buddy, Grant. Fynn knew that they both shared Ed, Chemo Pal to both the boys, and Fynn decided their stones should go together.”

More than 40 family members like Fynn’s visit CCA’s luxurious Caring Cabin hideaway in a typical month. This free adventure helps restore the energy and hope kids and their families need to battle their illness over the long haul. CCA understands that play can sometimes be the thing that’s needed most.

The health benefits of nature are scientifically proven to decrease anxiety, stress, and depression, and have been noted to boost the immune system to fight cancer. For pediatric patients, the Caring Cabin, nestled in 24 acres of surrounding woods with plentiful wildlife and a serene lake, provides an essential health connection with nature and healing.

Other CCA programs that prescribe joy to families with seriously ill children and teens include:

  • Link, a community network of caring people and organizations that provides wishes and unites local families with essential needs and connections to resources.
  • Chemo Pal Mentor® Program, an award-winning program that matches children and teens with trained adult mentors
  • MyMusicRx®, a one-of-a-kind music medicine program that lets “kids prescribe” the music experience that feels right to them. The in-hospital program, led by MyMusicRx Specialists, includes bedside music and provides access to CCA’s digital music medicine program, MyMusicRx.org, which enables kids to play free music games, explore digital instruments and watch exclusive video song prescriptions from their favorite artists – whenever and wherever, 24/7

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