Young cancer patients must face extra-ordinary challenges. Not only must they endure surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, they must also give up many things most kids take for granted. Many will be absent from school for months at a time, forced to trade a classroom full of peers for extra homework and a tutor at home. Simple routines like riding the bus, meeting friends on the playground–just being part of a community of friends and family–are replaced by trips to the hospital and outpatient clinic.
The open art studio gives kids the chance to participate in many of the activities all kids do. At the art table, they work with peers-not only age peers, but kids in similar situations-helping them feel less isolated by their illness. In the clinic, they experience themselves as normal kids, making friends, working together, learning and laughing, doing the things all kids do.