Kids with Cancer Need Some Normalcy

Kids with cancer need some normalcy
Photo by Halacious on Unsplash

When a child receives a cancer diagnosis, pieces of their childhood slip away as treatment becomes the top priority. And while friends and classmates are busy with sleepovers, baseball games, and playing with neighborhood kids, the child with cancer is busy with doctor appointments, medical tests and scary procedures. But, kids with cancer need some normalcy in a new world that is anything but normal.

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Childhood Cancer Awareness 2021

Childhood Cancer Awareness 2021 statistic
Source: Coalition Against Childhood Cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2021 – a time to raise awareness of pediatric cancers and to recognize the children and families affected by childhood cancers. It’s also a time to emphasize the importance of supporting research on these devastating conditions.

The color gold symbolizes Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2021. In fact the color was chosen to reflect how precious children are and the resilience of childhood cancer heroes. In light of this, join Mikey’s Way and turn the world gold in recognition of childhood cancer!  

Cancer By the Numbers

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Distraction can help kids cope with cancer

Distractions can help kids cope with cancer
Distractions such as gaming systems, laptops and tablets like the ones Mikey’s Way distributes, can help kids cope with cancer.

Kids with cancer face many painful and scary procedures that can be both traumatic and stressful. They endure long hours of isolating and lonely treatments. And, they face hours of what Mikey Friedman referred to as “toxic boredom.” But what Mikey came to understand first hand is that distraction can help kids cope with cancer treatment.

Mikey believed that there was an immediate and pressing importance to help cancer patients cope with the mental stress of cancer treatment. “We’ve seen that distraction and psychological intervention can aid in nausea.  But there is much more.” he wrote. He believed that distraction could also help kids cope with cancer treatment.  His own personal experience led him to believe that others could benefit from the use of distraction activities such as the gaming system he had.

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Savoring Every Moment

Mikey savoring every moment with his Dad

Mikey lived his life savoring every moment.  He knew the importance of each time interval. And as the clock ticked, he savored each moment. He appreciated his time on this earth; with relish, compassion and purpose.  His work to create Mikey’s Way Foundation is a testament to who he was and how he chose to live his life and use his time.

In one of his many journal entries, “A Moment in a Two-Month”, Mikey expressed the importance of savoring every moment.  

Time is Relative to the Observer

“Time is relative to the observer. Humans conspired together to invent the second as a means of measuring time intervals. Everyone lives by the second. It dictates the hour, days, weeks, months, and years. And the calendar keeps our engagements to the second in order. But time is relative to the observer. I am not bound to the second. Rather, I measure them in two-month intervals. When you think about it, both measurements are equally arbitrary; both are equally indifferent to the intrinsic behavior of existences. Only here’s the difference: my time interval is important; your second is meaningless.”

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Child-Life Specialists & Social Workers!

Child Life Specialists and Social Workers

We are so proud and honored to work alongside the many extraordinary Child-Life Specialists and Social Workers at our Participating Hospitals. We celebrate them not only during their special recognition month in March but throughout the entire year! In our eyes Child-Life Specialists and Social Workers are all Super Heroes! 

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Chemotherapy and Hair Loss

Chemotherapy and hair loss
Photo from NCI Bill Branson photographer

If your child has cancer and is about to begin chemotherapy, they may very likely experience hair lose.  Unfortunately, chemotherapy and hair loss tend to go hand and hand. And for a lot of kids, especially teen agers, hair loss can be one of the most difficult and devastating side effects of treatment.

Losing hair takes away cancer anonymity. It’s like an emoji to the world that a person has cancer. And while some kids are able to take it in stride, it can be pretty distressing for others. Especially if a child isn’t comfortable sharing the news.

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Preparing Your Child for Medical Tests

Preparing Your Child for Medical Tests
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Medical tests can be scary, no matter how old you are.  And for kids with cancer, it’s really hard because tests and procedures are a large part of their cancer journey. But by properly preparing your child for medical tests you can help lower their anxiety and provide them with valuable coping skills.  

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Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast!

Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast on February 18th

If you’ve ever wanted to dish up a bowl of your favorite ice cream for breakfast rather than your usual bowl of oatmeal, February 18th is the day to do it! And while Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast is a day that gives you permission to indulge in one of life’s little pleasures for breakfast, the real goal of the day is to increase awareness about childhood cancer. 

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COVID-19, Kids With Cancer and School?

Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

Having a child with cancer is tough enough, but during a pandemic it’s even tougher. And as the pandemic lingers, the question is – should kids with cancer attend school in-person during COVID-19?

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Gift for a Child with Cancer

Gift for a Child with Cancer
Photo by Ekaterina Shevchenko

Selecting an appropriate gift for a child with cancer can be tricky. It’s hard to know what they’d like or even be able to use when they’re not feeling well. And you certainly don’t want to buy something that is inappropriate or would make their situation worse. But don’t let this stop you from giving a gift for a child with cancer. You just need to do a little homework before choosing a gift.

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