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CHA Family Advocacy Week

Family Advocacy Week: Nemours Patients Share Their Stories

This past year and a half has been tough on all of us, especially our children and youth. For so many, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. But for Nemours patients Kate and Sebastian, the pandemic is just one of many life-changing events they’ve faced. And that’s why they are both sharing their medical journeys to members of Congress during the 2021 Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) “Speak Now for Kids’ Family Advocacy Week,” to increase awareness about the ongoing and essential care provided by children’s hospitals. Kate’s Story When she was just 2 years old, Kate McKinery was diagnosed with optic pathway glioma, a brain tumor that interferes with her optic nerve and impacts her sight. The tumor also causes hormone deficiencies, resulting in abnormal liver function, type 2 diabetes and a full height potential of around 4’2. Kate has undergone multiple procedures, tests and appointments […]

Celebrating Each Moment with Cancer in the Rearview

This blog post is written by Larry, the father of Maddie, a medulloblastoma patient who survived a brain tumor at the age of 2. Larry inspires us by sharing his daughter’s story. “Heroism is endurance for one moment more.”      George F. Kennan In the fall of 2008, at the age of two, our daughter Maddie was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a brain tumor that arises at the base of the brain and often spreads down through the spine via the spinal fluid. Over the course of the next ten months, Maddie underwent multiple brain and spine surgeries and intense chemotherapy protocols at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. After six cycles of chemo treatment, she had made amazing progress, knocking out 90% of her original disease. Because her scans were not completely cancer-free, she then went through an additional six weeks of radiation therapy. Conquering Cancer The effects of radiation on a 3-year-old can […]

Dynamic Dan!

This blog post is written by Amy, the mother of Dan, a mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) patient who passed away in 2016 at the age of 19. Amy is a Nemours nurse and her son’s story inspires us and others every day. When Dan was born in September 1996, we were told he was a healthy baby. He joined his sister, Haley, who was 2 years old and we thought our lives were perfect. We had this sweet little family with a precious little girl and strapping baby boy. We had just moved to a new house, both had good jobs, life was good. As Dan developed, he hit all his milestones except for one; he wasn’t talking by the age of 2. He had about 20 ear infections in his first 2 years of life and the pediatrician thought his lack of language was due to him not hearing well. We went to an ENT at […]

Help for Hungry Children - Summer Food Program and School Meals

Help for Hungry Children – Summer Food Program and School Meals

Summer and fun: two words that go hand-in-hand, especially when you’re talking about kids.  However, summer break looks very different for many children. For millions of children from low-income households across the U.S., summer months mean no access to school meals, which may sometimes be the only nutritious food available. And even more children will have less food on their table this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For summer 2021 and 2022, the USDA has launched a new summer food program that will help all low-income children of all ages have nutritious meals and snacks. School Meals Help Keep Kids Healthy During the school year, many schools provide students with access to meals through federal school meal programs like the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. These programs are run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state agencies, who reimburse schools that provide healthy meals […]

All About Animal Therapy

All About Animal Therapy

Besides stealing our hearts by being cute — and in many cases, fluffy — our four-legged friends who are trained as therapy animals have numerous health benefits to offer. Animal assisted therapy is proven to help with both mental and physical conditions. Even healthy people can benefit from animal therapy. Many hospitals offer various animal therapy programs to assist patients in healing. In fact, this is a practice that dates back to the ancient Greeks, who were said to use horses to cheer up patients.   Benefits of Animal Therapy  Animal therapy has physical benefits that include:  Lowering blood pressure  Releasing oxytocin, which has a calming effect   Lessening any physical pain patients have   On top of the physical benefits, animal therapy also has mental health benefits such as:  Decreasing feelings of loneliness and isolation  Lowering stress  Providing a sense of comfort  Nemours Children’s Health System offers animal therapy programs at their hospitals in Delaware and Florida as a part of their commitment to caring for the whole child. One program offered in Florida […]

Have No Fear, Summer Is Almost Here -And a Little Caution Will Do

Have No Fear, Summer Is Almost Here – And a Little Caution Will Do

Your family may have canceled or shuffled summer plans during the height of the pandemic in 2020, hoping for a more exciting summer this year. So, as vaccination efforts ramp up and more of the U.S. population becomes fully vaccinated, you might be wondering what this summer has in store for your children. Will the family be able to travel? Will unvaccinated children be able to visit their grandparents? What about summer camp? It’s not entirely clear what direction the pandemic will take over the next few months. Experts are recommending we keep our guard up until more is known about how the vaccine efforts stand up against the coronavirus and its new variants. But kids can plan for a great summer, as long as families keep these points in mind: Weigh benefits versus risks.  As a family, try to assess your plans objectively. Flying with unvaccinated kids to a crowded […]

The bridge to a brighter future

The bridge to a brighter future

When Erin Pitts faced spinal surgery as a teen, she never imagined it would impact her life in other ways. Diagnosed with scoliosis at a young age, initially the care plan for the Jacksonville, Fla., resident was to pursue a non-surgical approach to correct the curves in her spine using a back brace. When her complex scoliosis proved resistant to treatment, however, surgery became the best option for long-term results. The experience ended up changing not only her health, but also her career trajectory. Pitts first learned of her condition in the sixth grade, when she began experiencing intense lower back pain. As her condition gradually began limiting her daily activities, her mom made an appointment with her pediatrician. He referred her to Nemours for an orthopedic assessment, where she became a patient of Eric Loveless, MD, department chair of orthopedics at Nemours and a board-certified pediatric surgeon who performs […]

Covid-19: 5 Reasons Not to Let Your Guard Down Now

Covid-19: 5 Reasons Not to Let Your Guard Down Now

We have been living with COVID-19 for over a year. While there is a light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, we haven’t reached it yet. More than 30 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus, and the number of people getting infected each day is rising again. Experts are concerned about a new surge. With vaccines finally becoming widely available, it is tempting to leave the pandemic behind and get back to “normal” life. But public health and medical professionals say “not yet.” We need to keep our guard up just a little longer until it is clearer that we are winning the battle against coronavirus. Here are a few reasons why we still need to be cautious: Not enough people have been vaccinated yet. The vaccines available in the United States are safe and very good at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. But only […]

How to Lend an Empathetic Ear

How to Lend an Empathetic Ear

It clearly goes without saying that we are living in challenging times. Everyone is doing the best they can, finding ways to cope and adjust to this so-called “new normal.” But it’s important to remember this:  it’s okay to not be okay. Things are hard, they are different, and everyone processes those hardships and changes in unique ways. One way to cope with a difficult or stressful situation is to speak with someone, to be heard and seen. A listening and non-judgmental ear is often comforting and can be a resource of support without focusing on “fixing” the problem. At Nemours Children’s Health System, we offer the Peer Support Program, which provides confidential, free support to all our associates. By being paired with a peer supporter, the person seeking support can speak with a fellow associate, who understands their work-life, and may relate to what they are going through or […]

A sticker on the floor reminding people to stay 6 feet apart

We’ll Get Through This Together: Wear Your Mask and Stay Apart

The pandemic has affected our lives for almost a year and many of us have become used to wearing a mask and social distancing. We must keep doing everything we can, and that means staying six — not four — feet apart and wearing a mask properly at all times. We should also encourage others to do the same so we can eventually have a life without the fear of COVID-19. The only way we can get through this is together, but six feet apart, of course!

Positive Conversations about Violence in the News

With the current social unrest over election results and violence at the Capitol Building, your children may ask questions about what they see on the news. Here are some tips on how to respond.

The Pandemic Can Disrupt a Good Night’s Sleep Too

The Pandemic Can Disrupt a Good Night’s Sleep Too

Sleep quality is central to our physical and emotional well-being. Not getting enough sleep negatively influences physical health and performance, learning, development, and emotional regulation.  During quarantine, many kids – especially those with developmental concerns – have been thrown off their routines, and sleep has been impacted. If children are not sleeping well, they don’t think as well, learn as well, or behave as well. Further, poor sleep quality makes children more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.  And anxiety is a major cause of sleeplessness. So it can become a vicious cycle. The bottom line is that the body needs to rest, rejuvenate and restore its physical and chemical properties in order to function well. Prioritizing sleep quality is essential to health. It’s just as important as diet and exercise. Give your family the opportunity to sleep by providing an environment and a bedtime routine that is sleep-promoting. Keep the […]

Page 2 of 15

Page 2 of 15

Page 2 of 15