The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute Comforts Kids Receiving Cancer Treatment



we were here getting cured and feeling good about it and we noticed the children were fearful so we said we need to do something about that about two-thirds of our children treated here have brain tumors and about a quarter of them have tumors called sarcomas that arise from muscle and bone cells we decided to start a foundation that would be based primarily on raising money from prostate cancer patients guys like us and so we did some of that before we left very successfully why do we need to keep your heads down for your treatment good and we focused the fund to underwrite the salaries of people like Kim Ealing the Child Life Specialist of the art work that's being done Mitch and the band kids cope best through play why are we doing a picture of your head you and I might cope in a different way but if these kids are able to reenact different things that are happening to them they're they're able to cope better with their treatment so one thing that's important for our education and preparation is using what we like to call me dolls we take that doll and we help sort of play through the different stages and steps that are going to happen during a procedure again to sort of ease anxiety and help with coping maybe for me murder is you're feeling the heat yeah for me if it hadn't been for Kim being here and doing what she does I think what this would be a whole different scenario I think I was very concerned that grace we'd have to have general anaesthetic every time she had a treatment and we came on the first day and we met Kim and Kim took her off and made the mask with her and from that moment I knew she'd be okay the scariest part was handing your child over so you come here you come to a new country you come you know to it to a new treatment and you hand your child over and having him be able to sort of come and introduce herself and almost be the child's friend in the child's eyes and take her away has made that whole thing a lot easier for us and therefore less stressful and when we hired a Child Life Specialist we took this critical population and reduced the number of kids who needed anesthesia by 40% who could focus on reducing anxiety reducing fear common sense tells you that if we can avoid delivering chemicals each day to put kids to sleep they're going to be better off in the long run in this pediatric recovery room you will find patients who are preparing to go back for their treatment each day being readied for anesthesia and then other patients returning from their treatment recovering from the effects of anesthesia we need to make it a less sterile less medical place we rely heavily on donations and generous support of former patients and Friends to fund things like our Child Life specialists our recovery room renovations and a number of other aspects related to the holistic care of a child and their family during this critical time the best thing that we do in here is a six-foot 300-pound chime that they get to ring post-treatment and that's for everybody whatever we're treating we want to celebrate with them with the gentle ringing of a chime all it takes this thing one child during those bells that's a successful day you

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