ABCs of Cancer Help Young St. Jude Patients Understand What’s Happening to Them
At the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one will find a wall filled with a long row of letters and notes from kids receiving treatment. It’s the ABCs of Cancer wall, and it’s one of the simple, yet brilliant ways doctors and caregivers at St. Jude help children.
The idea is to let kids pick a letter and then write about how their treatment feels. “C” could be for chemotherapy. “W” is for “wish,” as in “I wish this was all over.”
“My mask protects me,” one little girl says in the video above, choosing the letter “M” on that day. Young Aaron chose “F” for a future fishing with friends and family. Sadly, Aaron lost his battle with cancer in 2010.
See more examples here. Some are funny (“F” is for the funny faces she makes, one 10-year-old girl wrote), while others are more difficult. “Q” is for “quivering” or “quit,” as in “Don’t Quit, Don’t Quit No Matter What, Hold on, Be Strong and Don’t Ever Give Up!!!”
Families and patients at St. Jude learn to appreciate the little details, like the compassion child life specialists show in breaking down the conversation to age-appropriate levels. The research and treatment is world-class, but without the compassion, St. Jude would just be another hospital.
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