Chemo Pal Mentor Program Delivers Friendship

by Children's Cancer Association

The friendship and play of CCA’s Chemo Pal Mentor® Program is a big hit among younger pediatric patients, but can be a tougher sell to older teens. Last year, our Chemo Pal team received a referral for 18-year-old Greg, who seemed isolated, and was often alone in the hospital. The hospital staff thought he could really benefit from the program. Greg hesitantly agreed to be matched, and requested a mentor similar in age who would like playing video games. Clearly, Greg was asking for a friend.

Luckily, the team found John, a cancer-survivor who knows the loneliness and isolation of cancer treatment, and who was willing to brush up on his video game skills to connect with this special young man. Instantly, Greg opened up, and the two spent hours together throughout Greg’s treatment. And even though Greg has graduated from the chemotherapy treatments, they stay in touch and get together often. John isn’t just another adult in Greg’s life – he’s the friend Greg needed as an inspiring role model, and as motivation to successfully complete his treatment.

Greg 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.

Links:

Eight-year-old Sierra is as comfortable scrambling on the soccer field as she is riding a big horse around a practice ring. This blue-eyed athlete doesn’t let Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma (a rare childhood brain tumor) slow her down.

But she’s not just sporty; this gregarious girl has a creative side, one that shines when she’s hanging out in treatment with her Chemo Pal mentor, Nathalie. Sierra and Nathalie spend hours doing all kinds of crafts – lots of necklaces and bracelets – and painting and drawing. And, they laugh a lot.

Sierra’s mom, Amy, says, “From the moment Nathalie walked in with her bag of fun, she and Sierra were fast friends. She brought energy and companionship and gave Sierra something to look forward to when going in for doctor appointments and treatments. As a parent, it’s difficult to navigate appointments – having challenging conversations with doctors while doing your best to distract your child.

Their friendship gave me a chance to focus on conversations with doctors and relax knowing that Sierra was enjoying her time instead of dreading it."

Sierra 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.

When Jesse met his Chemo Pal mentor, Paul, last year, he had already begun treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancerous tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones. He was in need of a friend to help get through long days at the hospital. Paul brought him exactly what he needed – boundless energy, a positive attitude, and lots of Legos. Recently, Paul was there to celebrate alongside Jesse when he BEAT CANCER – and even had special t-shirts made to mark the momentous occasion.

Jesse 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.

Mason loves Nerf battles, remote control cars, even math. But there’s something else he cherishes: his special relationship with his CCA Chemo Pal Mentor Kiva. The two have been fast friends ever since Mason was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma two years ago.

After 14 months of treatment with Kiva by his side, Mason’s brave fight against cancer continues. But through it all, there’s one thing he can always count on: the steadfast comfort and joy CCA and Kiva provide.

Mason, a 2014 CCA Community Hero, is one of 255 Pacific Northwest children and teens that CCA’s Chemo Pal Mentor Program brought the joy of friendship to last year. Trained Chemo Pal Mentors devoted 7,436 hours forging and strengthening friendships and family bonds, bringing diversion, fun, and activities to kids during their treatment.

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 one-to-one with compassionate adults who offer supportive relationships throughout their chemotherapy or other treatments.

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.

Lexi’s world is full of appointments and procedures to treat her leukemia. But it’s also full of bubbles and ponies, baby dolls and princess dresses. Most importantly, it’s filled with joy.

That’s thanks in part to Lexi’s Chemo Pal Mentor, Collette, who’s made it her mission to bring comfort and laughter to this fairy sprite of a girl. Lexi’s mom, Amanda, says, “The best part of having a Chemo Pal in our lives is the happiness it brings Lexi. On tough days, we can always count on Collette to be there with a hug and a smile.”

Lexi is one of 255 Pacific Northwest children and teens that CCA’s award-winning Chemo Pal Mentor Program brought the joy of friendship to last year. Trained Chemo Pal Mentors devoted 7,436 hours forging and strengthening friendships and family bonds, bringing diversion, fun, and activities to kids during their treatment.

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

 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Children's Cancer Association

Location: Portland, Oregon - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.joyrx.org/​
Project Leader:
Children's Cancer Association
Portland, Oregon United States

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.