This is such an important message for parents and inspiration for children affected with Melanoma! Well worth the 8 minutes to view this video from MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital.
"Childhood melanoma affects kids of all ages and all races. The impact that this disease can have on the lives of these children and their families is profound. Today, we hear from some of the children who have been diagnosed with melanoma. They describe their experiences and methods used for prevention and detection."
~ MD Anderson Cancer Center
We are honored to have received this wonderful review on Great Non Profits from Wendy Grant. Her daughter, Sarah is a survivor of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. With heartfelt appreciation we wanted to share her words with you ...
Sarah was diagnosed at 14 months old with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She spent 26 months in treatment only to relapse 11 days later with a rare leukemic infiltrate in the iris of her eye. Sarah would go through another rigorous 28 months of chemo and radiation therapy. With painful treatments and days on end spent in the hospital, Sarah looked forward to Wednesdays knowing that Discovery Arts would be there welcoming her with a costume an fun things to do.
When Sarah was at her lowest Discovery Arts would nurture her spirit and encourage the artist within her. She would sing and dance enjoying each moment with the incredible loving members of Discovery Arts.
Sarah had less than a 40% chance of survival and we believe that the positive energy and healing properties of the arts helped Sarah to win her battle with cancer. The joy they brought her and us is priceless. They were integral in Sarah's recovery and because of their love and encouragement 9 years later Sarah is cancer free and continues to perform as both a ballerina with Southland Ballet Academy / Festival Ballet Theater and as a singer.
Thank you Marilyn and friends for loving us and caring enough to help children like Sarah, your legacy lives on through these incredible children.
Wendy, Howard, & Sarah Grant
To share your story with us please visit Great Non Profits you'd love to hear from you!
We have known these beautiful ladies, Mary Borkett and Marilyn Clements, for the past 5 years. My granddaughter has leukemia and has been a patient at Long Beach Memorial’s Miller’s Children’s Hospital, with stays of up to 21 days.
Costumes, tap shoes, hats, MUSIC, DANCE, CRAFTS! You have no idea how much JOY this brings to children in the hospital fighting cancer! The entire floor lights up with laughter and loud music! The parents, the nurses, the KIDS are dancing in their beds if they can’t actually get out of bed to join the fun!
Mary and Marilyn have a kind and gentle way of bringing a carefree happiness to each child on the floor! The kids can choose a costume and KEEP IT! They can put on all sorts of dress up stuff and just let themselves be free of the sadness and fear for a couple of hours.
Discovery Arts is fantastic idea that, in my opinion, every single hospital should have on their Child Life Roster! The mental welfare of your young cancer patients absolutely deserves to experience Mary and Marilyn’s loving personalities and gifts of joy. You’re doing your hospital a disservice if you don’t have Discovery Arts making these beautiful children happy, even if it’s only once a week!
We know this from experience. My granddaughter is currently a patient at UCLA for a bone marrow transplant and when we found out that our beloved Mary and Marilyn were coming by, none of us could contain our happiness! It made the day for my granddaughter!
You owe YOURSELF the experience! It’s pure heaven to let loose and sing and dance shamelessly surrounded with children dragging their “poles” and smiling from ear to ear!
With love and affection for Mary and Marilyn,
Gloria COOKIE Warren
May 26, 2006
Cookie, we love you!! We have so many wonderful memories with Cookie and Grandma Cookie. It warms our hearts that she has survived and thrived, after all that she went through.
What a blessing it is for us to be able to be there for such a beauty young girl ... We are so proud of her and love her so much!
Executive Director, Discovery Arts
Here is a beautiful story that Alyssa's mom wrote for us. What a special girl she is. Alyssa, is now 8 years old.
Alyssa was just three when she was diagnosed with leukemia. A year into her treatment she developed a virus in her brain. She became very sick and was in a drug induced coma for 5 days. When she finally woke up nobody knew what to expect. Alyssa could not speak, she could not walk and days later it was confirmed that she had permanently lost her sight. Alyssa had to relearn how to talk and walk but her right side remained weak and she has very limited use of her right hand. About three month's after Alyssa was released from the hospital she started to have seizures. On a good day she would have three or four seizure, on a bad day she could have up to thirty in an hour. About a year and a half after Alyssa lost her sight she finished her chemo treatment and was declared in remission. Normally this would be a big celebration but due to her uncontrollable seizures we wondered how long her little body could take it. This is when we sought out a surgical cure to Alyssa's seizures. Doctors at UCLA recommended removing Alyssa's left hemisphere of her brain. While we never had heard of such a thing we knew we had to take a chance to find a cure for her. In November of 2010 Alyssa underwent massive brain surgery, her doctors ended up removing two thirds of her left hemisphere in hopes of keeping her communication skills intact.
Alyssa had another long recovery ahead of her. She had to learn to talk and walk again but this red head was determined to survive. Her last seizure was in May of 2011. The surgery has worked. We are now reducing her seizure meds and everyday I see pieces of the little girl that was taken away from me return. Alyssa can walk and talk, she can do simple math and is learning Braille. Alyssa also knows has a service dog named Flint, he helps her with mobility and various other things that he was trained for. Alyssa has an amazingly funny personality and even though her sight is gone forever she see's more clearly than anyone I know.
During Alyssa's many stays at the hospital her only entertainment was the playroom. She especially looked forward to Thursday's as that was Discovery Arts day. She couldn't wait to go down to pick out a costume or to do a special craft. The days when she was too sick leave her room she would always ask "do I still get my costume?" but the women would already know that she was sick and they would have picked one out for her. We have dozen's of pictures of Alyssa dressed up in different costumes and her smile was never bigger than on the days she was a princess or a fairy. Hospital life is hard on everyone, especially the patient, but Discovery Arts offer a little escape from reality!
~ Alyssa's Mom
Honor every healthy child you know to help a sick child who is in the hospital.
November is a great time to count your blessings for all the things you are thankful for. What better way to put your gratitude in to action. For all of the healthy children in your life honor them by donating a "Grateful Dollar" for children who are struggling with a parents worse nightmare ... a child who is very very ill.
Join us in our pledge to give a GRATEFUL DOLLAR FOR EVERY HEALTHY CHILD IN YOUR LIFE, your kids, grand children, nieces and nephews, your children's friends.
Click the donate button below to send in your Grateful Dollar!
Your donation is Tax Deductible!
We are Discovery Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings music, art, dance and drama to children with cancer and life threatening illnesses while they are in the hospital receiving treatment. We currently have ongoing programs at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), Miller Children’s Hospital, Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Millers, CHOC at Mission, Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center, CA and Mercy Children's Hospital, Springfield, MO.
We are seeking donations of boys and girls costumes and dress up accessories. At every “Arts Adventure” children select a costume to keep, so we are in constant need of replenishment. Princesses, Super-hero's, and Character costumes are always popular, yet anything we can use to create a “Dress-Up” moment is appreciated! Our children range from infants to eighteen years of age, all sizes and styles are needed.
For our children “Dressing-Up” gives them the opportunity to transcend the horrible circumstance of critical illness and for the moment just be a child. For these children, normalcy is their greatest wish. During our time together they have the freedom to be a ballerina, a muscle man, or super star! They are no longer sick, and no longer feel like they are in the hospital.
To donate new costumes; buy one and send it to us, send us a gift card or make a donation and we will make sure they have them!!
Thank you for helping our sick kids be kids.
With Heartfelt Thanks,
All of our programs and services are offered free of charge to the hospitals, patients and their families. We rely completely on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to fund our programs and allow us to reach more children.
"Spending time with these precious children will change your life. You find that you really don't have any problems... they will fade into the background as you witness what real problems are... and to your surprise, you will be blessed by these children when you thought you were there to try to bless them... We are grateful to you and thank you dear friends, for making Discovery Arts possible!"
Marilyn Clements, Executive Director Discovery Arts
1 Day to go! We are wrapping up our 30-30 Challenge but there is still time to contribute to these precious children.
Find details here: http://www.discoveryarts.org/currently-playing.html
Photo © Maggie Rife Ponce
It's simple why I love Discovery Arts! I became intrigued and fascinated with this special organization all from a sweet, yet magical voice in the dark! Sitting in a blackened theatre in downtown Chicago, just prior to the start of Peter Pan, the voice of the talented Cathy Rigby McCoy instructed and informed excited children of all ages of the standard rules and regulations of the performance.
The child-like voice in the dark included specifics of how to exit the theatre safely and the restrictions of photography, phone etiquette, etc. However, what was captivating was the announcement that Peter Pan would be available after the performance to sign autographs and posters to directly benefit Discovery Arts! If Peter Pan loved and supported Discovery Arts, we knew the organization was special and we had to be a part of it.
And so it began…
One of our favorite quotes by Marcel Proust states ...
While the core business of The Huestudio + Company is to create experiences + events that are memorable, innovative and magically joyful, many clients and friends of The Huestudio + Company encounter and face difficult situations that are devastating, traumatic and life-altering. Some have children that are in varied situations, similar to the ill children that Discovery Arts serves. We listen to their voices and their stories intently, and in appreciation and in honor of our clients and friends, we searched for distinctive USA-made products that would align to and directly support organizations that make a difference in our world while giving back.
Our seven (7) offerings spotlighting Discovery Arts are just the beginning and we look forward to presenting more as we expand our offerings through The Shops at The Huestudio + Company. In alignment with Discovery Art's wish, our greatest wish is to present items and offerings to lift the spirit and make people's journey's a little easier and a lot brighter.
One of our favorite quotes by Marcel Proust states, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." View the possibilities of supporting Discovery Arts, just like we did at The Huestudio + Company, and see the benefits through the lens of children; children who are inspired, have fun through Arts Adventures, dream their dreams, and heal their souls from an experience by Discovery Arts!
Give today at www.discoveryarts.org and shop today at www.thehuestudio.com/shop. You'll be glad you did! xoxo
Founding Partner, Chief Creative Officer & Principal Designer
The Huestudio + Company
Mount Prospect, Illinois
... as a child dances into hearts at the Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center
Discovery Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, serving 6 hospitals in California for 20 years. Mercy Children’s Hospital, in Springfield, MO, is the first hospital in the Midwest to be given the opportunity to experience Discovery Arts. The program has been at Mercy for nearly three years and just recently, I became the coordinator. “Our mission is to bring art, music, dance and drama to children with cancer, serious blood disorders and life threatening illness while they are receiving treatment.” For many, their greatest wish is normalcy.
Today was a day to remember. I would reach beyond the comfort I had found bringing Discovery Arts to the children hospitalized on the Pediatrics floor, by introducing myself and the program to the Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center, a St. Jude Affiliate Clinic, at Mercy Children’s Hospital - Springfield. The walk down the hall was long in anticipation of all the new children. Emotions were evoked as images came to mind. I took a deep breath and opened the door to the new facility, pleasantly allured by colorful paintings and photographs, displayed with museum style and lighting.
I met a child, who instantly captured my heart. Today was her fifth birthday. She had a purple and white cake to celebrate. She wanted to see what gifts I brought for her and was ready to participate. I put on a CD of song birds to lead into the nature theme. She curiously looked around the room for birds. My artistic task was face painting. At first, it seemed to be too tickly, but she pointed to her foot. I painted a butterfly. She pointed to her other foot. I painted a heart. As I brought out costumes, she pointed to and put on the green fairy skirt and the matching headband with pink flowers. I handed her a silver, sparkly wand.
First she touched mommy with the wand. It was heartwarming. She quickly learned that the wand was magical and we were all under her spell, as she touched Child Life Specialists, Suzanne Cook, followed by Kristi Donovan and made them twirl. Of course I had a turn, as did the medical staff, whose watchful eyes peeked in because there was a party going on! She had to be disconnected from her IV, as she got up from her pillows and climbed down to twirl on the floor. She had just seen the movie Happy Feet, which explained her barefoot dance to the music she seemed to hear in her mind, though the room was silent.
I stood in the middle of a cancer center, with chills of an awakening perspective. I was in the presence of a precious, whimsical child, dressed up like a fairy princess with a smile that lit up the room, dancing freely across the floor in complete and total bliss. For a moment, she was able to forget about the lengthy treatments she was receiving. It was her birthday! She had a cake, a costume and was surrounded by love. For a moment, that was all that mattered. Yes, today was a day to remember.
Be a part of the promise that hospitalized children will be provided with all the creative and normalization opportunities as their “well” peers. Give generously to increase the quality of life for these children. How you can help!
~ Janel Alicia
Bringing the healing power of the arts to children who are in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer or life-threatening illness.