Improving Health Outcomes in Young Cancer Patients

by HopeLab

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.”

Thank you for supporting our work! Won’t you join us in celebrating?

Robin Avant stands in front of our booth.
Robin Avant stands in front of our booth.

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!

Two nurses from Toronto came by to chat.
Two nurses from Toronto came by to chat.
We gave away 100 copies of the game!
We gave away 100 copies of the game!
Taylor Carol, then and now
Taylor Carol, then and now

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.]


HopeLab's new Re-Mission information card (Front)

Battling cancer is not easy. With the Re-Mission video game, HopeLab is helping teens and young adults with cancer as they engage in the fight of their lives. The game is a powerful tool for patients, as well as the caregivers who support them, and we’re working to spread the word.

Every spring, HopeLab attends a number of conferences to talk to people who work directly with young people with cancer. These conferences include doctors, nurses, social workers and child life specialists who have dedicated themselves to helping young patients fight their cancer. Robin Avant, HopeLab’s Manager of Special Projects, is our ambassador in this important work. (See her in action above). This year, Robin attended the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers in Tennessee and the Child Life Conference in Boston, MA, where she introduced hundreds of health care providers to Re-Mission. Robin educates conference attendees on the research demonstrating the effectiveness of Re-Mission in helping young cancer patients stick to their treatments and lets them know how to obtain free copies of the game. The Re-Mission information card distributed at these conferences (see above images) features one of the many young patients whose lives have been improved through their experience with the game.

Every day young people are newly diagnosed with cancer, and we want to be sure that health care providers know that Re-Mission is available free of charge to their patients. Your donations help us provide Re-Mission to these dedicated men and women and the young people they serve.

Thank you for your support of our work to make Re-Mission available to young cancer patients all over the world.

HopeLab's new Re-Mission information card (Back)
Robin Avant speaking to conference attendees
Robin Avant speaking to conference attendees
Taylor, Jim, and Pat Christen (President of HopeLab)
Taylor, Jim, and Pat Christen (President of HopeLab)

Earlier this month, HopeLab was honored to be given the opportunity to present the impact that the Re-Mission video game has had on the lives of kids with cancer at the annual TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Long Beach, Calif. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Pioneer Portfolio hosted a special lunch event on games for health at the conference featuring some amazing thinkers and doers, including our very own.

At the event, Pam Omidyar, HopeLab founder and board chair, joined John Maeda, President of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), in a discussion about approaching health as a design challenge. Pam shared HopeLab’s experience with Re-Mission, and we had the privilege of having Taylor Carol, a young patient who played Re-Mission during his treatment, and his dad, Jim, attend the event.

Taylor is a leukemia survivor now in full remission. He was first introduced to Re-Mission when he was diagnosed and played it during his treatment for the six months of his hospital stay. Taylor’s story continues to inspire the work HopeLab is doing to improve the game to increase the efficacy and fun factor for young people with cancer. It’s stories like Taylor’s, and our focus on measuring the impact of our work through research, that keep us moving in the right direction.

We were thrilled to share our work at TED. And we’re honored to know that Re-Mission is a leading example of technology that’s positively transforming the lives of young people.

Pam speaks about our process of seeking direct input from kids
Pam speaks about our process of seeking direct input from kids
John Maeda offers his perspective on the topic
John Maeda offers his perspective on the topic



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Organization Information


Location: Redwood City, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
HopeLab Foundation
Redwood City, CA, California United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 197 donors like you, a total of $7,389 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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