Standish Spotlight: Collaborating with Kythe Foundation

When thinking of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the notion of resilience comes to mind. The resilience of the patients and families that come to the hospital for clinic visits, infusions, or scans. The resilience within the stories shared between patients and healthcare professionals. During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we want to recognize the immeasurable work of the child life team at Kythe Foundation, and all they do for oncology and hematology patients and families in the Philippines. 

By providing psychosocial services, the team at Kythe Foundation fosters resilience in the pediatric oncology patients and families they work with. Since 1992, Kythe Foundation has provided psychosocial services and support to hospitalized children with cancer – one of whom was even inspired to work for Kythe as a full time child life coordinator (stay tuned for our next blog to hear more of this story!).  

Fatima, one of the Child Life Coordinators, shares an experience she had with a pediatric oncology patient. Fatima explains, “A child under my care became fearful of chemotherapy, sprinting to the hospital playroom. When asked why he chose to hide there, he responded that “This playroom is safe, no pain happens here.” The child knew that this space was where he was free to be a child, not poked or given medicine, not where he was an oncology statistic, going through the mundane, painful and often scary treatment.” It’s memories and moments like this that encapsulate what psychosocial services for children with cancer and blood disorders are all about.

SF4C has partnered with Kythe over the years to enhance patient experiences through resources, fellowships, and mentoring. In a recent fellowship session with Kythe Child Life Coordinators, our team discussed therapeutic activities that can make learning about cancer more accessible for patients and families. One such activity that was discussed, that is often used by Child Life Specialists in hospitals in the United States, is aptly titled “Blood Soup.” Blood Soup is an interactive, therapeutic teaching activity that helps children understand the different roles of our bodies’ blood cells and how cancer can affect those blood cells. 

Here at the Standish Foundation for Children (SF4C), we believe in the work the Kythe Foundation provides and are honored to collaborate with and support them in their work to provide high quality services to patients and families. During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we at SF4C, celebrate and honor patients and families who are impacted by this diagnosis.We hope that this month and every month, pediatric oncology patients and families can feel supported by the psychosocial services available within their community.