Despite amazing advances in childhood cancer treatment, too many children will still lose their battle. Our patients often worry about their parents, siblings and caregivers, wishing they could help them feel better. We decided to help make that wish come true.
Children with incurable or progressive illness will often express concern for how their parents and siblings will be able to cope when they are gone. Adolescents and young adults at the end of life identify hopefulness in terms of comfort for their survivors, particularly family and their health care providers. Through the bereavement program, we help our patients meet these needs by caring for and helping their loved ones during this stressful life experience ... and through the lifelong grieving process.
Cook Children's Oncology Bereavement Program's goal is to provide and maintain a therapeutic relationship for patients and families during every phase of their disease and helping them cope throughout the end of life, death and grieving period. This program is supported and driven by our entire medical team, including physicians, nurses, child life, pastoral services, social workers and support staff.
Here at Cook Children's we believe that legacy is as much about life as it is loss, maybe more so. It's capturing the special times, building a lifetime of memories and sharing precious moments. Some of the ways our families do this include:
- Making photo albums and scrapbooks
- Creating a documentary, either through filmmaking or through writing
- Choosing a charity together and donating as a family ... even just a few dollars, it's not about the amount, it's about establishing something that will live on through helping others
- Spending quality time, taking a vacation, a staycation, visiting a theme park, or ball game
- Visiting our Child Life Zone (CLZ) and discovering music, songwriting, broadcasting, cooking, or just enjoying a movie or a fun game
We provide legacy building, resources, ongoing contact, and support programs for family, siblings, and the community. There is no standardization of care for hospital based pediatric bereavement programs and very few oncology centers have organized support programs in place. Ours is unique and will lead the field in ongoing bereavement care. Our care for our patients and their families does not end when a child loses his battle.
We are here to help.
For information or questions, please feel free to contact Felice Mayes, Hematology and Oncology Bereavement Coordinator, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 682-885-1739.