(Washington, DC) — The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation today donated $25,000 to Georgetown University Hospital to help fund an additional child life specialist position to aid children and families coping with childhood cancer. The child life specialist will assist families on days when their child is receiving cancer treatment at the Hospital.
“This is another way Mattie Miracle is helping kids and their families in the fight against pediatric cancer,” said Peter Brown, co-founder of the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation, which was established in memory of his son Matthew, who died in 2009 from Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. “We are grateful to our supporters and to Georgetown for the chance to help children and their families in this meaningful way.”
Because pediatric cancer is a family disease, every single person in the family system is affected by the various stages of cancer progression, from the diagnosis to its treatment and prognosis.
“Child life specialists play an essential role in a child’s psychosocial experience while at the hospital” said Dr. Victoria Sardi-Brown, co-founder and president of the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation. “By having an additional child life specialist on staff for scan and procedure days, Mattie Miracle will be supporting the psychological and emotional needs of children and their families during these difficult but necessary parts of the treatment process.”
Having witnessed firsthand the daunting and overwhelming reality of a child diagnosed with cancer, Vicki also thanked Linda Kim, child life specialist at Georgetown, as well as Aziza Shad, MD, chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: “We appreciate the excellent work that Linda and Dr. Shad do in addressing the psychological and emotional support needs of their patients and their families. I know Mattie would be proud of the fact that we’re helping Linda with her program. This type of support is vital to the overall health and wellness of the family unit, the child’s outlook about treatment, and the family’s perspective on the future.”
After Mattie’s death, Peter and Vicki created the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation to help build awareness and educate others about pediatric cancer as well as support the children and families who suffer from these diseases. Cancer affects about 14 of every 100,000 children in the United States each year.
The Foundation raised funds for the new position through the contributions of its supporters and during its annual Pediatric Cancer Walk that was held in May 2011 in Alexandria, Virginia.
“We are so pleased to be celebrating our first Mattie Miracle, and we hope to have many more Mattie Miracles in the future,” Vicki said.
Media Contact: Meggie Davis
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