In the U.S, 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, and more children die from cancer than any other disease. They have many specialists working for them to help the families and children cope with the diagnosis of cancer and work to cure them. The specialties include:
Child Life: their child life specialists help children confront fears about their illness. Through the use of play therapy and distraction techniques, we work with patients and families to help them find ways to cope with the life changing effects of childhood cancer.
Clinical Nutrition: their clinical nutritionist is a valuable resource to families, assisting them with nutrition information that will keep their child as healthy as possible. Nutritional care also helps to reduce the side effects of therapy.
Clinical Psychology: their clinical psychologist helps patients and families with the unique psychological challenges presented by childhood cancer. Our services include: individual and family therapy, coping skills, relaxation techniques, bereavement services and referrals for psychological testing.
Pediatric Neuropsychology: their pediatric neuropsychologist pediatric neuropsychologist offers help to children, adolescents and young adults who may be struggling with cognitive impairment related to their medical diagnosis or treatments. An evaluation takes place to assess cognitive strengths and weaknesses in patients, in order to determine appropriate treatment interventions in the areas of education, daily functioning and emotional and behavioral needs.
Pediatric Oncology: their pediatric oncology nurse specialists work exclusively with pediatric oncology patients through all stages of treatment, providing outpatient care, support and education. They are also skilled in the treatment protocols necessary for the long-term care of children, which allows our team to provide pediatric oncology patients with the highest quality of care possible.
Social Workers: their social workers support families with their adjustment from diagnosis, into treatment and through survivorship. Together we serve as advocates for each family, addressing practical concerns including financial assistance, school needs, employment concerns, transportation assistance and healthy coping.
Music Therapy: their music therapists use therapeutic interventions, including playing instruments, singing, listening and song writing to promote adjustment to the hospital setting. These experiences are designed to help manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, improve communication, foster social interaction and promote physical rehabilitation.
Art Therapy: their art therapy empowers patients to use art to help in their healing process. Art therapy works to engage the mind and body in order to: support coping with hospital experiences, provide a safe outlet for emotional expression, promote feelings of control and instill resiliency and relaxation.
Pastoral Care: their chaplain integrates the spiritual needs of patients and their families into the plan of care, and notifies the entire team about family faith practices and how their faith may impact medical treatment.
Genetic Counseling: their genetic counselors specialize in the discovery and explanation of a child’s personal and family history as it relates to their diagnosis of cancer. They are available to listen and understand what patients and families are going through to help them make decisions. Optional genetic testing may answer why a child developed cancer, help screen for other cancers, guide treatment strategies and identify other family members at risk for cancer.
Isaac Myers, a team captain for the purple team, explains, “I have donated to Mini-THON many times and many different ways. A few ways I have donated are change wars, sporting events, online, etc. It is important to donate to the Four Diamonds Foundation because all of the money donated helps kids with pediatric cancer. The money also helps the family and every penny counts. If you donate you are always helping someone. Families are impacted by each donation and personally I think that is the most important part of donating. Just knowing that you are helping someone is really special. I hope everyone has a chance to go to Mini-Thon and that everyone has a good time.”
Four Diamonds provides comprehensive support to children and their families by paying for care and treatment not covered by insurance, as well as additional expenses that disrupt the welfare of the children. Thanks to generous donors, Four Diamonds has been able to assist 100% of eligible childhood cancer patients treated at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital.
When you donate money to MiniTHON, it goes right to the families that are trying to cope with the diagnosis of cancer. It can really make a difference to the families and help the kids conquer cancer. If you have noticed diamonds around the school, they are for miniTHON. They are to encourage people to sign up or at least donate to the cause.
Some easy ways to donate are signing up or participating in the many fundraisers that will take place in the months of February and March. Fundraisers include: Uptown Cycling Fitness Classes, MiniTHON calendar race, MiniTHON buckets, MiniTHON jukebox, Change Wars, Commons Cafe Giraffe, and the Instagram Thrift shop.