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.
Aug 5, 2015

Celebrating the Sweet Things

Christopher was a sweet bundle of energy who loved animals and playing musical instruments. CCA first came into his life after he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma at just 18 months old. He was matched with a Chemo Pal mentor who brought fun and friendship during treatment, and enjoyed visits from CCA’s MyMusicRx team. Christopher battled hard for a year and a half before entering hospice care. Wanting to fill Christopher’s final days with joy, his parents asked CCA for a special party with family and friends, and some of his favorite things – frogs and reptiles! CCA's Link program reached out to the Beaverton Bakery, who provided an incredible frog cake, and to House of Reptiles, who brought along a variety of slimy, scaly guests that made Christopher laugh and smile with joy.

CCA’s Link program is a community network of caring people and organizations that unites local families facing serious pediatric illness with connections to local and national resources. We help families with specific, essential needs, from providing a child with a new pair of eyeglasses to granting the wish of a child with a terminal illness. Other CCA programs that prescribe joy to families with seriously ill children and teens include:

  • Chemo Pal® Mentor Program, an award-winning program that matches children and teens with trained adult mentors who provide friendship, diversion, and fun to kids undergoing treatment.
  • 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 includes bedside sing-a-longs led by trained music specialists, instrument lending from customized mobile music carts, concerts, and iPad and headphone check-outs. The online extension, MyMusicRx.org, is the only digital music program of its kind; it enables seriously ill kids to play and download free music games, explore digital instruments and watch exclusive video song prescriptions from their favorite artists – whenever and wherever, 24/7.
  • The Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin™, a secluded home along the Pacific Coast nestled in 24 acres of surrounding woods with plentiful wildlife and a serene lake, provides an essential health connection with nature and an extraordinary place for families to relax and create once-in-a-lifetime memories.

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Aug 5, 2015

A Friend to See Him Through

Ultimate Spider-Man fan, Brandon, and his Chemo Pal mentor, Cassie, recently celebrated the end of his treatment over cookies, LEGOs, and Hot Wheels. Cassie, Brandon, and his family formed close bonds throughout Brandon’s seemingly constant inpatient treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). While Brandon is happy not to be in the hospital as much, he will definitely miss seeing his friend regularly. But now that he’s feeling better, Brandon and his family have become regular participants in many CCA events, like our recent Four Days Fore Kids golf tournament where Brandon learned some putting techniques from golf pros.

Brandon 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 6,823 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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Aug 5, 2015

When Music Medicine Hits All the Right Notes

Chris is an awesome teen who was recently treated in the Children’s Emergency Department at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. Unfortunately, Chris was in need of a procedure that required an IV, and being no fan of needles, the IV was making him nervous and anxious. That’s when a nurse went looking for one of CCA’s MyMusicRx in-hospital musicians. After coming into the hospital room and introducing himself, the MyMusicRx Specialist started playing some songs. The music made Chris feel better, so much so that he asked the MyMusicRx Specialist to stay and continue to play during the procedure and help calm his nerves.

CCA continues to deliver MyMusicRx to thousands of seriously ill kids like Chris across the U.S. and Canada, serving 4,000 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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