02 Dec The Journey of CH Play
It’s that time of year when we open our hearts and wallets to give. At Social Spice Media, we focus our effort year-round in support of a local child and her club that raises funds for the Playrooms at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Each year in the U.S. there are an estimated 15,780 children between birth and 19 years old who are diagnosed with cancer. Approximately 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday.
When faced with such a large obstacle like cancer, people tend to forget that the patients are just children. The treatment of the developmental, social, and emotional needs of patients and their families can be just as important as the medical treatments.
A founder of the CH Play club, Jessica, was one of these children. She celebrated her 8th birthday at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, battling Ewing’s Sarcoma. The fourth floor of CHLA is where children diagnosed with cancer are treated and must remain until they are healthy enough to leave. Imagine being an eager child confined to a single room, where the only interaction is with hospital staff and occasional visitors. For Jessica and many others, the 4th floor playroom was a heaven, especially from treatments that can be anywhere from 3-10 days.
Unfortunately, the playroom, like many support programs, is funded by donations and is only open for limited hours a few days of the week.
What Happens in the Playroom Stays in the Playroom
While the doctors and nurses attend to the “body”, the playrooms attend to the “spirit.” The playrooms at CHLA are safe, supportive spaces dedicated to fun and socializing. This is an “ouch-free zone” where no medical procedures take place, filled with age-appropriate activities, such as arts, crafts, and games. If a child was too ill to attend the playroom, Child Life Specialists would go to their rooms, so they did not miss out on the mental engagement.
Watch and share this video that shows how Child Life impacts patients throughout the hospital: https://youtu.be/iBQ2oIQTZzA
One of Jessica’s favorite moments took place when “The Karate Kid”, created by Will Smith, was in theaters. Child Life arranged a showing of the movie within the playroom. Small things like seeing a movie that is still in theatres creates a normalization for the children and their families.
During Jessica’s time in CHLA, the playroom was open for about four hours a few days a week. In order for the playroom to stay open, the hospital needs $46,000 worth of donations each year. These proceeds are used for staffing, craft supplies, and special experiences for the children.
CH Play Wants to Make a Change
Thanks to CHLA, Jessica is now a healthy young woman. She credits her recovery to the doctors and nurses, her family, and the playroom. When it comes down to it, your body needs a positive mind set to heal.
She has made it her mission to raise money so the children on the fourth floor can experience the magic of the playroom for themselves. With her passion and support, Jessica and her sister Samantha created CH Play.
CH Play collaborates year-round in raising funds to keep the playrooms open while also working to spread awareness about the importance of the Child Life Program at CHLA. The members include high-school students enrolled at Adolfo Camarillo High School.
With so many donation options available, CH Play had to get creative. If people were not going to donate cash, what about their trash? CH Play members and their supportive parents collect recycling from friends and family to turn into money for Child Life. To date, CH Play has raised over $5,000 that was all donated to the Child Life Program.
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