Tracy's Kids helps young cancer patients and their families cope with the emotional stress and trauma of cancer and its treatment. Federal ID: 26-3835257
Lombardi Cancer Center of the Georgetown University Children's Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. PSV/Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders of Northern Virginia Methodist Children's Hospital, San Antonio Texas New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, N.Y. Sinai Hospital, Baltimore
Tracy's Kids uses art therapy to engage with young patients, their siblings and parents so that they can express feelings and reflect on their treatment experiences.
Mission: Tracy's Kids helps young cancer patients and their families cope with the emotional stress and trauma of cancer and its treatment. Our mission is to ensure that the children and families we serve are emotionally equipped to fight cancer as actively as possible—and prepared for the time when they are cancer free. Tracy's Kids uses art therapy to engage with young patients, their siblings and parents so that they can express feelings and reflect on their treatment experiences. The program—which began at the Lombardi Cancer Center in 1991 and is based on the model developed there—employs Master's trained, Board Certified art therapists to address the multi-faceted needs of children with cancer through art and play therapy. The Art Therapists work directly with physicians, nurses and other medical personnel and are integrated as members of each child's treatment team. Today, well over 70% of children diagnosed with cancer will beat the disease and live the overwhelming majority of their lives cancer free. Tracy's Kids is dedicated to helping to ensure that the children we serve are ready to live full, happy and healthy lives. The program—which is offered at no charge to the patient and his or her siblings—works in hospitals, freestanding clinics and other appropriate settings. Our goal is to provide a child-centered, open studio approach for inpatients and outpatients and to interact with the children while they are receiving infusions and other treatments. We welcome the chance to work with siblings and parents because we know that the entire family is affected when a child has cancer.
We’ve gotten into stenciling lately at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. We started making prayer flags earlier in the summer, and and we’ve really enjoyed designing simple, open shapes that we can fill with color. You can make them at home by sketching a shape or symbol on poster paper and cutting it out. Then you just dab paint through the cutout with a sponge or stiff brush and voila! We’ve been laminating our stencils so they last through lots of uses, but the paper works fine.
Our friend Penny has been working all week to create paper bag puppets of her family. She’s got everybody down, and is excited to present her bag puppets to their subjects when the family gathers later this year. In a separate post, I will put up our paper bag puppet tutorial!
Our friends at Hemphill Fine Arts have gotten together some really amazing professional artist to create a coloring book. You can download a copy and color away! Feel free to post the pictures after you color them. Thanks, Hemphill!
hemphillfinearts.com This coloring book was created during the shelter-in-place period of 2020. Thanks to the artists for their participation and inspiration. Art endures and so will we. Be well and thank you for continued support.
Kaylee came for a clinic visit this week at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai in Baltimore. She and Peyton worked together on Zoom to make this really cool painting from one of our special art kits. We are grateful for technology that helps us bridge the gap when we can’t be at the hospital in person, and for the curiosity and creativity our kids bring to the process!
Great story from Methodist Children's Hospital
Meet Beads of Courage member Jared! This courageous 10-year-old is battling a rare form of cancer known as acute promyelocytic leukemia.
Jared says, "I’m so happy my art therapist encouraged me to do Beads of Courage because it’s so cool being able to look back on my journey and see everything I’ve been through in this unique form.
"Each bead tells a story such as transfusions, chemo, overnight stays at the hospital, fevers, IV infusions, therapy, tests/scans etc. and they’re all glass and handmade.
The circle of beads that has more blue tones is my clinic bead log. The one with more color variations is my hospital log.
"Even though I am done with any hospital stays, I still have about two years of my treatment left called the maintenance phase, so my clinic beads will keep growing. As of now I have about 1,000 beads, so I’m excited to see how it’ll turn out two years from now."
Your support today helps brave warriors like Jared record, tell, and OWN their stories of courage. Thank you for being part of their journey:
DONATE --► www.bit.ly/BOCsummerfund
For a little fun this weekend, check out this classic Paper Bag Puppet activity with a tutorial from Peyton!
Tracy’s Kids alumna and talented artists, Katie, made this incredible video tutorial on how to make a mermaid out of pipe cleaners! It’s so detailed, it’s actually in two parts. If you’re looking for a summer-themed challenge, check it out!
The Art Therapists at Children's Hospital at Sinai, Baltimore often host an Adolescent and Young Adult Social Support Group (AYA) over a lunch or dinner. During COVID, they met online every Thursday via the hospital's secure Zoom application. The six sessions have provided a safe spot where the young adults can find mutual support and express feelings generated by these confounding, tumultuous times. One patient raised the fatigue he felt and questioned whether anything could really be done. Another expressed fear with regard to their futures and that of the families they would create. Others questioned whether they should be created. The group has begun incorporating art making into their group. In this photo participants are showing 'mandalas' made last week in which they described their current state of mind. The purpose was to feel more grounded and connected with the group."
It is a complicated, trying time for everyone. Especially children. This week the father of an eleven year-old boy with sickle cell disease asked an Art Therapist for advice on how to talk with his sons who were upset about the violent images they were seeing on TV. The boys were also aware of a racially charged incident that put their neighbors at risk. That led to the creation of “prayer flags.” The patient made some stencils and then several flags, including one as a gift for his older brother. The interactions are a compelling insight into how the families we serve find safety and comfort in our Art Therapists.
Congratulations to Children’s National Hospital -- home to our biggest program. U.S. News & World Report 2020-21 ranked their Cancer Program No. 6 in the nation.
While the survey does not capture the total picture of a treatment regimen, it measures excellence in clinical outcomes, research, clinical infrastructure, psychosocial and supportive care, education, and reputation.
The Chief of Oncology highlighted the words, "psychosocial and supportive care" and wrote, "we could not have achieved this without your generous contributions. We are truly honored that you and Tracy’s Kids have been our partner for so many years."
Here is our friend Abby working on a taped abstract painting. Her art therapists put together art kits for patients of all ages to work on while they are still social distancing and having to stay in their rooms. Abby loved that she had the choice of so many great materials. While she got her chemo, she watched the video of her art therapist explaining the project every step of the way. She can't wait to come back to make her next kit masterpiece! @Herman and Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai.
Aamani is looking forward to the end of her treatment. It’s a ways off yet, but she’s already working on galaxy-themed art and poetry to display in the clinic for her end of treatment celebration.
It seems her isolation during treatment has made Aamani feel more connected to the universe. She writes “the galaxy you look at will look at you eye to eye, and make you happy inside. . .” What a wonderful inspiration for those of us struggling to stay safe in the time of Covid-19 isolation. Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai
Sometimes it’s relaxing just to sit, reflect and color a beautiful picture. Here are a few original coloring pages from Tracy Councill that you’re welcome to print out and color.
This tv special coming up on Saturday might be helpful to families trying to process what we’re seeing on the news.
cnn.com As anger and heartbreak have swept across America over the killing of yet another black man at the hands of police, CNN and Sesame Street are refocusing their second town hall to address racism.
Tele-Art Therapy in the Age of Corona -- since kids still have to go for their treatments. At Children’s National Hospital, our Art Therapist asked a patient and his siblings to identify one word to describe themselves. Our patient picked STRONG. His brothers, PLAYFUL and CREATIVE. Riley returned home with canvases prepped with those words and all connected via Zoom. They filled old syringes with paint and then squirted away. Later the boys added images that celebrated their strengths.
Post session picture of the family room -- not shown.
Here's a rainy day tutorial from Danielle. Egg carton caterpillars!
10. ❤️ Why we love sports!!
axios.com The NHL unveiled its return-to-play plan on Tuesday, formally announcing that 24 of its 31 teams will return for a playoff tournament in two hub cities, if and when medically cleared.
Tracy’s kids alumna Katie is using her stay at home time to create sculptures with pipe cleaners. This is “Wheatley” from “Portal 2.” Stay tuned for a YouTube video where Katie will show you how to create your own pipe cleaner creation...
Congrats to Jared and his family for ringing the bell at @MethodistChildrensHospital . The 10 year-old said, “I am thankful for being able to rely on Art Therapy. While everyone isolates themselves in their homes with their families, I and other patients have to continue cancer treatments isolated in our hospital rooms. It’s nothing compared to being isolated at home. The good thing about having art therapy is we are still able to do arts and crafts in our room like paint the windows. Of course I painted a dinosaur. It’s pretty cool that we get to paint the windows and not get in trouble for it.”
We are delighted for @jaredstrong13 who never lost his smile or laughter. #jaredstrong13
Here’s another great slime recipe from Peyton! Wishing you a fun, slimy holiday weekend.
Hey Ron Klain, check this out. The Tracy's Kids team at Inova Fairfax Children's Hospital made a Covid-19 piñata for stressed out medical teams. A smashing time (sorry) was had by all!!!!
Here’s a tutorial on making Tracy’s favorite slime! Much of the time art is about creating something that expresses an important idea or feeling—we plan it out and work hard to do our best. But art can also be about the process—just the fun of making it. The kids at Clinic taught me that slime is a fun way to make yourself a homemade toy!
Six-year old Nathan has been busy using his art skills to complete school assignments at home. Check out his work with found objects and "junk."
Here's a paint pouring tutorial from Peyton!
Pour Painting demonstration
A couple of weeks ago I put up a post about the history of the game Candyland. I was inspired to create a game of my own, which I based on pretty much any Saturday or summer day of my childhood. As I was coloring the game board, I made a little coloring video for you to enjoy!
This Giving Tuesday, we're celebrating the resourcefulness of Tracy's Kids and our families' willingness to explore new approaches to therapy. Thank you Wendy Rieger for this segment showing how the Art Therapists at Children’s National Hospital are using videoconferencing to provide Telebehavioral Health to kids who, despite Corona, have to go for treatment. Children's is our biggest program, and these days we can only use new, sanitary art supplies. Please contribute to keep the supply closet full.
nbcwashington.com Children’s National Hospital has been offering virtual art therapy sessions since March to help its young cancer patients and their families cope with the emotional stress of the disease.
Our friends Joe and James have been busy combining math and science with art. Check out their decimal mosaic (you can work out the percentage of each color!) and these tiles and an iPad case decorated using a technique called hydro-dipping that combines water and spray paint. Really cool, guys!
The Knights of Columbus Edward Douglass White Council 2473 had planned to hold a Derby Day fundraiser for us today. Instead we are grateful to be safe and healthy, and looking forward to next year!
What a gorgeous day it would have been to celebrate our 3rd Annual Derby Day benefiting Tracy's Kids. We are sad to be missing this year’s Derby, but anxiously await the next time we will celebrate and raise money for this great cause! We are all so grateful to those on the front line working tirelessly to keep us safe and provide us the items we need. To the littlest hero’s that Tracy’s Kids serve, we will be back! Fingers crossed for September’s new Derby date!
Our Art Therapist at Inova Children's Hospital observed that, "the hard times for our patients and families are compounded because they are now denied many of the supports we'd usually tell them to turn to. I am grateful that I can still be at the clinic in person to help draw a giant roadmap to a brighter place, or witness the creation of a picture about what brings joy in these hard times. Hope thrives through connection and creativity."
In addition to Corona, and social isolation, cancer treatments and the anxieties associated with them carry on. Where possible, we're fulfilling our mission through Teleheath. This note from 12 year-old Tatiana's Mom to an Art Therapist suggests it's working well.
"I wanted to thank you for the art session with Tatiana. She told me that today was a good day because she was able to express herself through art with someone who understands her. I feel blessed by the outlet you provide, aware that she can express herself in a different way with you. There are no words to express my appreciation. How often can Tatiana meet with you?"
BTW, Tatiana is a military dependent -- and this is the Month of the Military Child. Thank you for enabling us to help military families.
Here’s a video tutorial on how to make a puzzle jar! I used a glass jar, but if you have tiny kids who will be using it, you might want to find a plastic container. You can also tape the lid on if you’re worried someone might take it apart!! I also think a little more rice would make it work better—mine had too much room.
Tutorial on how to make a puzzle jar
Tracy's Kids is the beneficiary of a partnership between Leonardo DRS and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. It's the Month of the Military Child, so please follow this link to Leonard's virtual conference, and then click "Operation Purple Up", and then click the red arrow. We'll receive up to $10,000 toward our Art Therapy program for the children of military families undergoing cancer treatment.
The Covid-19 outbreak required us to end our art therapy graduate students' onsite internships early. One of our interns created this beautiful drawing as a way to say goodbye to the patients and staff at Georgetown, even though she could not do so in person. Here are her thoughts about the piece:
Coral is an essential life force for a healthy underwater ecosystem to thrive. There are a number of different coral and they all have unique and important responsibilities in the system. Though coral may seem fragile, it is an incredibly resilient plant. Like the coral, each patient and staff member that walks into the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology unit at Georgetown is resilient, brave, and uniquely contributes to the positive energy that thrives in the clinic. It is the expertise of staff working alongside the abundant smiles, laughter, joy, and creativity of the patients that brings holistic healing to the beautiful ecosystem that is Georgetown.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Here's another tutorial from Danielle on how to make a tissue paper "stained glass" jar!
Learn how to take a glass jar and tissue paper and turn it into a beautiful piece of art!
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