Magic Castle Grants Wishes for Young Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy
For very young cancer patients, the process of daily visits to the hospital
for radiation therapy can be an overwhelming experience. Now, thanks to The
Children's Cancer Foundation, the staff of the Department of Radiation Oncology
at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC)
has a whimsical and fun way to help ease children's fears and encourage them
through the radiation therapy process.
At the start of treatment, each child is invited to write three wishes on a
slip of paper and place it inside a Magic Castle located in the patient waiting area.
The child is then told that the Magic Castle princess will come after everyone has left and grant one of the wishes. On the final day of treatment, the child receives their gift and celebrates with family members and staff.
Funding for the project comes from The Children's Cancer Foundation, a non-profit
organization dedicated to raising funds for research and treatment of childhood
cancer and to improving the quality of life of pediatric cancer patients and
Dr. William Regine,
chief of Radiation Oncology, was aware of a similar project at another hospital,
and championed the concept of a Magic Castle at UMGCCC. He felt
that having a way to ease kids' stress about the treatment process was not only
important, but essential: “There is such a high level of anxiety in kids,
and creating this concept has made our youngest patients feel even better when
they are finished their treatment.”
Radiation Oncology marketing manager Jill Rosenberg was instrumental in launching
the Magic Castle project. “We are extremely grateful for the support of
The Children’s Cancer Foundation for turning patients’ wishes into
gifts they previously only dreamed of owning. The castle provides a light at
the end of the tunnel that gives the patients something to look forward to at
the end of their treatment,” says Rosenberg. So far, pediatric patients
have received gifts ranging from Ipods and Gameboys to TV/DVD players.
She notes that an added benefit has been bringing the staff, and even other
patients, closer together in celebrating each child’s accomplishment in
Dr. Regine and the Radiation Oncology staff hope that the Magic Castle will
continue to make dealing with radiation therapy just a little bit easier for
their pediatric cancer patients. As Dr. Regine says, “It makes a difference.
Some of these patients may not have gotten through their treatment otherwise,
due to the high anxiety level associated with this type of treatment.”
The Magic Castle program is made possible through charitable contributions. Donate today and help make a child's wish come true.