For the Sellon family, a grueling 24-week treatment for their son Andrew at Legacy Emanuel Children's Hospital ended on a high note...or rather a musical one!
Two-year-old Andrew was diagnosed with cancer in October. His intense treatment required lengthy hospital stays over an eight-month period. But it was during this stressful time that the Sellons discovered the healing power of music, thanks to the CCA's flagship Music Rx program. The award-winning program which started in Portland now operates in 25 medical units throughout the Northwest along with two hospitals in Los Angeles.
“The Music Rx program is closest thing to allowing you to take a break,” said Chris Sellon, Andrew’s father.
Even if Andrew felt sick, Dad said he would perk up whenever the music therapists would visit his room. Dad says he particularly enjoyed tapping the keyboard or rolling his arms to his favorite song, “Wheels on the Bus.”
“When they came in, he would want to reach out, touch and play,” said Chris Sellon. “You read articles, hear about how music can stimulate the mind. I truly believe that it can. It’s a great part of our life that we’ll continue to build on.”
The program inspired Chris to buy a guitar, which the CCA music therapists helped him tune. As the Sellon family begins to spend more time at home, as Andrew’s treatment plan changes, their love for live music will remain.
“It’s definitely spurred things in our life,” said Chris. “I would thank them for offering and bringing music to our table.”
Because of friends like you, CCA’s Music Rx program provided music & tailored services 11,591 times in the last fiscal year.
Please consider continuing to bring the healing power of music medicine to kids like Andrew through CCA’s Music Rx program by making a gift on Wednesday, October 19th when GlobalGiving is matching all donations at 30% up to $1,000 per donor per project.
We’re thrilled to share that thanks to generous supporters like you, CCA was able to purchase new and improved music carts for our in-hospital Music Rx program. The updated carts feature smaller, satellite carts which can be wheeled into a child or teen’s hospital room up to the bedside. This exciting innovation allows CCA music therapists to deepen the level of music medicine they deliver to hospitalized kids.
8-year-old Bryten was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfect, which causes painful bone fractures almost weekly and has kept her from being able to walk. It has also meant long hospital stays, which are often isolating and lonely. During a recent hospital stay, CCA’s Music Rx program was about to bring a little joy to Bryten’s bedside. She had a great time playing the drums and singing her favorite song “On Top of Spaghetti.”
Chloe is eleven years old, and for the past three years she has been fighting a brain tumor that she calls Fred. Throughout that time, Chloe and her family have gotten great peace from CCA’s Music Rx Program. “Music has a way of creating a soundtrack for our lives that bring moments of joy in our happiest times, and comfort during tough ones,” says Chloe. She went on to say, “For me, music gave me inspiration and hope for better days ahead. Music was there when they found my tumor, when I had the surgery to remove it, when the tumor returned and even after my second surgery, which left me unable to eat, speak or walk. I have been through a lot, but Music Rx has been with me every step of the way.”
Chloe first learned about the Music Rx program when the music therapists would come into her hospital room and play songs for her. Though, she was very weak and could only listen, she loved hearing the musicians who would play guitar in the hallways because they would lift her spirits when she was feeling sad or was in a lot of pain. Music Rx was also important for her family. The harp players helped her sister relax when she was feeling scared, and Music Rx brought an important calm and sanity that her mom really needed. Chloe’s mom says, “Music has a way of soothing the savage beast, making way for hope.”
Now that Chloe can do most everything on my own again, she thinks about all the moments she spent in the hospital and what got her through them. “The sounds can get depressing after a while…all the machines and beeping…sometimes sounds of pain, but the beautiful sounds of music created by Music Rx brought peace and helped lift our spirits.”
Cy is a quiet, intelligent and articulate twelve-year-old boy who enjoys spending time on the computer or reading a good book. He describes himself as a computer geek, who has a silly side and loves to play practical jokes on the medical staff, “especially when I make them jump!” His mom describes him as the wisest person she knows.
In May of 2010, Cy was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Since then, he and his mother have spent most of their days in the hospital, while he has endured several rounds of chemotherapy as well as a bone marrow transplant. He really misses being at home, at school, and hanging out with his friends and his big brother, who he admiringly says is a computer nerd just like him…only “enlightened to a higher level of geekdom.”
One very special thing he and his mom have appreciated about being at the hospital is having the chance to experience the healing power of live harp music from CCA’s Music Rx team. “Music Rx brings a window of peace into his life here at the hospital,” says Beth, Cy’s mom. She went on to say, “Before their visits, I had no idea the harp had such a powerful impact on mind and body. I now regard Cy’s music sessions as essential components of his recovery.”
Cy has his own opinions about Music Rx, “To put a long story short, harp music is awesome! It makes the most beautiful sound and makes me feel so peaceful. All in all, the good in the hospital does outweigh the bad!”
When Danny was diagnosed with bone cancer, he and his family knew this meant long stays in the hospital and less worry-free time together. Danny's mom remembers the day Music Rx came into their lives, changing their hospital room into a concert hall. "The Music Rx team came by with their music cart, and Danny and his sisters picked up instruments and started singing songs by The Beatles...they had so much fun! Music Rx gave us something to look forward to during our hospital stays and took our mind off of Danny's treatments and worries about his future. It was the highlight of our hospital visits!"
Music Rx infuses the hospital environment with the healing power of music through bedside music therapy, hallway performances and an interactive mobile music cart that travels through every unit of the hospital.
Since July 2010, the Music Rx. Program has provided more than 3,000 music interactions to children, teens, family members and health care providers!
Thank you for supporting the Children's Cancer Association Music Rx. Program. Because of your generous contributions, Music Rx relieves fear, anxiety and pain by offering tailored musical experiences at bedsides and in hospital hallways, from oncology and burn units to intensive care and rehabilitation.
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Vice President, Development