Prescribe Joy to Seriously Ill Kids and Teens

by Children's Cancer Association
Vetted

Last February, nine-year-old Jayden was in a terrible car accident in which her mother and twin sister were killed. She was facing a long hospital stay and the hospital staff thought a room makeover might bring this little girl a bit of cheer in the midst of such a difficult time. CCA sprang into action, first talking to Jayden to see what she liked, then transforming her room with a new comforter, One Direction posters, and pictures of her family. The “before” and “after” was remarkable, and so was little Jayden’s reaction when she saw it.

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. The program helps 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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Aaliyah appears to be your average starry-eyed seven year old. She loves to make friendship bracelets, dance to her Wii, and hang out with her older sisters. But this little girl has experienced things that most kids won’t in a lifetime. She’s endured six tough rounds of chemo, keeping her in the hospital for nearly a year battling Anaplastic ependymoma, a brain tumor in the brain stem.

Aaliyah’s family hasn’t been able to do a lot of the things other families can do. So, a getaway to CCA’s Caring Cabin was just the thing they needed most – an opportunity to breathe the fresh coastal air, walk through the woods, eat S’mores, and create special memories together with aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Aaliyah’s mom, Yesenia shared, “Economically, you cannot do a lot of things other families can do. We are really excited that we get to do this, we are really thankful for the people who made it possible too.”

“Ignite your light and let it shine” are lyrics from Aaliyah’s favorite Katy Perry song. And shine she did during her adventure vacation at the Caring Cabin.

More than 40 family members like Raquel’s visit CCA’s luxurious Caring Cabin hideaway in a typical month. This free adventure helps restore the energy and hope kids 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, 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.

Cassie is a spunky redhead who loves arts and crafts, and since December 2010, she has been battling Neuroblastoma. When Cassie’s family home had a leaky roof, CCA’s Link program connected them with three companies who joined forces to replace the family’s roof, alleviating her parents’ worries about soggy ceilings and dangerous mold.

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.

Raquel, a 2014 CCA Community Hero, is a soft-spoken 12-year old with a sweet smile and an affinity for fuzzy hats. Since her diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Raquel has spent a year in treatment and faces yet another grueling year of it.

CCA understands the immense toll that a cancer diagnosis and its treatment can take—that’s why they sent Raquel and her family to the Caring Cabin for a much-needed break.

More than 40 family members like Raquel’s visit CCA’s luxurious Caring Cabin hideaway in a typical month. This free adventure helps restore the energy and hope kids 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, 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.

Links:

CCA is thrilled to be chosen as GlobalGiving's Project of the Month for March 2014! Learn more about this exciting honor by visiting globalgiving.org/project-of-the-month-club.

Ryland spent more than 130 nights in the hospital while he underwent chemotherapy the first time. A relapse in 2012 sent his family again into a state of separation and anxiety. They desperately needed a way to reconnect.

“The Caring Cabin allowed our family to temporarily leave behind all the stuff that comes with fighting cancer day in and day out,” said Ryland’s mom, Jenn. “We didn’t even realize how much we needed it until we got here.”

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

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

  • MusicRx®, CCA’s flagship music medicine program that soothes and rejuvenates hospitalized children, teens, their family members, and the medical professionals who care for them, by infusing the hospital environment with the healing power of music.
  • MyMusicRx, an online extension of MusicRx. Kids and teens across the U.S. and Canada can register to receive free music medicine at MyMusicRx.org. On any given day, 24/7, they can play online music games, explore digital instruments, record original music, watch exclusive video greetings from favorite artists, and connect with other youth.
  • Chemo Pal® Mentor Program, an award-winning program that matches children and teens with trained adult mentors who offer supportive relationships throughout treatments.
  • Link, a community network of caring people and organizations that provides wishes and unites local families with essential needs and connections to resources.
 

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Organization Information

Children's Cancer Association

Location: Portland, Oregon - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.joyrx.org/​
Project Leader:
Children's Cancer Association
Portland, OR United States
$264,952 raised of $500,000 goal
 
1,551 donations
$235,048 to go
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