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Children’s Blood & Cancer Center Children's Blood & Cancer Center Blog

Let's Support the Fight Together!

September 16, 2013
Tags: childhood cancer awareness, support,, Children's Medical Center Foundation of Central Texas

Childhood Cancer Awareness

Over the next year, 80-85 Central Texas children will be diagnosed with cancer at the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center at Dell Children’s. Thanks to advances in pediatric cancer treatment, more than 80 percent will survive.
 
Cancer awareness is year round at the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center. As we roll into September--National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month—let us be reminded of the support these children and their families need to get them through one of the most difficult challenges in their lives.

Day in and day out, the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center staff is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of each child and adolescent served.  From the moment of diagnosis, the team rallies around both the patient and family for support in the journey that lies ahead.

As a child fights his or her battle, they can become consumed with illness. This is where psychosocial support is needed.  Psychosocial support helps children as they grow and mature to meet their emotional, social, mental and spiritual needs. By participating in activities such as special camps or art therapy, patients thrive and better cope with the stress and anxiety that often accompany treatments.

Coping with cancer can be overwhelming for teens and adolescents. Hungry Bunch is a teen support group which helps teens connect with other teens with similar illnesses and helps them stay strong, positive and hopeful for the future. Patients build supportive friendships through monthly activities to sports and cultural events, summer camps, and even a special prom.

One volunteer has attended the Hungry Bunch prom for several years and says his participation helps him realize what’s important in life. “Prom is amazing,” he said. “Patients interact, dance all night and have a wonderful time. They are comfortable with or without their wigs, walkers or wheelchairs. Their differences made absolutely no difference at all and they accept one another.”

Survivorship! It’s what families strive for. Over the last few decades research and advanced treatments have increased survival rates to more than 80 percent. When cancer treatment ends, survivors begin lifelong follow-up care for screening, prevention and treatment of late effects from their treatments. Through the Cancer Survivorship Clinic, survivors not only receive treatment but also learn about cancer-fighting foods through the Food Fight for Life nutrition program and learn about the benefits of exercise through Survivor Challenge, a physical activity group for patients and families. Educational support is also available for those struggling to learn following years of treatment.

This is just a glimpse of what patients, families, medical and staff support teams go through when a child is fighting the cancer battle. Together we can join the fight! Visit the Children’s Medical Center Foundation of Central Texas and see how you can make a difference in the lives of our young survivors.

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