For five years now, HopeLab has been participating as health and wellness exhibitors in the the Celebrate Life with HOPE event. The first year HopeLab participated, the event was held at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA. Since 2007, it has been held on the back lot of Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA. Celebrate Life with HOPE is an event sponsored by the HOPE program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. It’s the largest annual event of its type in the nation with 2,400 kids with cancer and family members in attendance.
My colleagues Robin Avant and Richard Tate set up shop to demo Re-Mission and give away pens, stress balls and other fun Re-Mission related materials. While they were there, a few kids enthusiastically approached Robin and Richard to let them know their fondness of Terika, HopeLab’s Research Assistant. Why Terika? Well, she’s been the one from HopeLab coordinating all of our user testers at hospitals and camps, down the west coast to Montana and as far out as the east coast. She does a fabulous job of making our cancer patient user testers feel at home as she works directly with them, as evidenced by our teen Re-Mission enthusiasts.
We’ve found that Celebrate Life is a particularly joyful event where we get to connect with kids and their families, as well as develop deeper community with those serving kids affected by cancer. As Robin put it, “The one thing that stands out for me is that attendees are surrounded by love and that is evident in the eyes of every person there and in everything they do to help make the event a success.”
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One of HopeLab’s core values is courageous experimentation. We like trying new things, especially if it means we might broaden our impact in the world and reach kids in need. Last week, we put this value into action by participating in the International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN) for the first time.
Robin Avant and Liz Song from HopeLab traveled to ICCN in Atlanta, Georgia to introduce Re-Mission to over 500 nurses, representing 40 countries. The focus this year was “Enhancing Knowledge, Promoting Quality,” and we took it as an opportunity to share Re-Mission and to hear about what is going on in the cancer nursing world across the globe.
Here are some reflections from my colleague Liz Song about the event:
“About 90% of the nurses we talked to had never heard of Re-Mission, so it was exciting to talk about the game to a completely new audience. In fact, it was refreshing!
“We were delighted to talk to nurses from countries around the world, including Australia, Bolivia, Chile, South Africa, Mongolia, India, Japan and Israel , to name a few. The nurses were thrilled to hear that Re-Mission is available completely free of charge, and were grateful to receive free copies to take back to young cancer patients they serve.
To our Global Giving supporters, thank you for your donation - each contributions help us provide Re-Mission completely free of charge to kids, families, and clinicians all over the world!
We’ve reached another milestone, thanks in part to the generosity of the Global Giving community!
As of November, HopeLab has distributed more than 150,000 free copies of Re-Mission to young cancer patients and clinicians around the world. We’re enthusiastic about this marker of HopeLab’s impact in the lives of young people with cancer. Based on information provided by the Livestrong Young Adult Alliance, we know that almost 70,000 young adults between the ages of 15 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer each year – that’s almost equivalent to the entire population of Redwood City, California, where HopeLab is based.
With new diagnoses of adolescent and young adult cancer each year, we’re committed to putting Re-Mission into the hands of as many of the young people who might benefit as possible. In an article published in Pediatrics, researched showed that Re-Mission empowers youth to adhere to their treatment, better understand their cancer, and increase self-efficacy (see link below).
We want to continue giving this powerful gift to young people in need. Please join us in our work to help young patients fight their cancer!
[Photo: Taylor was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2007; he started playing Re-Mission soon after. He’s now a healthy teen who supports HopeLab’s work by sharing his experience with cancer and Re-Mission.]