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
September is "National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month". In an effort to spread the word about Childhood Cancer and to support children who are suffering ...
Step up and take the 30-30 Challenge!!
For as little as $1.00 a day, you can make a difference!!
Donate $30.00 to Discovery Arts during the 30 days of September .
Become a * Team Leader!! Collect donations from your family, friends, clients, associates, or place of business and you will be eligible to win 4 Days and 3 Nights at Lagonita Lodge in Big Bear, California!
Visit our Event Page on Facebook and invite friends to join you in your effort to help children with cancer.
You can donate online right here in a secure environment.
... 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
"The Will To Survive" is one story that speaks for thousands of cancer fighting children and families throughout the world.
Everyone's fight is different, but they all have one thing in common... "the fight for life".
Join Megan McNeil and all of the fighters that have jumped on board to raise awareness for both the need for research into childhood cancers and the support for families dealing with having a child diagnosed with cancer.
Megan has chosen to send proceeds from her song downloads to The James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research and BCCCPA, a childhood cancer parents' association.
Purchase Will To Survive by Megan McNeil
Since you are here on our blog you may all ready know that Discovery Arts is a very special organization that brings Music, Art, Dance and Drama to children who are in the hospital receiving treatment for cancer and blood borne diseases. These very sick children all share one wish.... "to be normal". Anything we can do to make their journey a little easier or a little brighter is our greatest wish. We are honored to serve these wonderful children and their families each and every week and all year long.
I would like to share my experience, strength and hope to bring light to why this is so important to children and their families. It was under very blessed circumstances that I met Discovery Arts’ kind and loving Executive Director Marilyn Clements. It took some time for me to gather the strength to come forward to actively participate with Discovery Arts. I remained very much in the background for many years offering to help here and there when I could. You see … I had to gather up some healing before I felt strong enough to be able to give back, or strong enough to share my story. God in his mysterious way has led me full circle.
The impact of watching your child live their life in hospital rooms – takes some time to heal from, if you can call it healing. I am now convinced that there will never be total healing … just a different way of coping.
Many years ago, my first child a sweet baby girl, Ilona Rene was born in Wiesbaden Germany on January 1, 1981. It was also my first wedding Anniversary. Just days later the Iranian Hostages were released. They were brought to Wiesbaden AF Hospital to debrief before heading home to the US. You might remember on January 20, 1981 President Carter ended his Presidency and Ronald Regan was inaugurated. Within 24 hours former President Carter traveled to Wiesbaden Germany to personally greet the Hostages on their release on January 21, 1981, after 444 days in captivity in Iran.
I was told on January 1st, when Ilona was 8 hours old, that there was a problem with her heart and she was immediately transferred to a children’s specialty hospital in Wiesbaden. I was still a patient myself so I had to watch them take her away in an incubator. This was my first heart break and I was only 19 years old myself. That visual is burned in my memory bank.
When I could get to Ilona the next day she was in a shared room with a very young child who was connected to an Iron Lung. He was probably 5 years old. I will never forget walking into this hospital room – one tiny baby all connected up with her hands tied down and this 5 year old clamped down with a respirator. This young boy was fully conscious and alert. He could see my pain every time I walked in the room – yet he was the one with tears streaming down his face – and unable to speak to me. He didn’t know English and I didn’t speak his language, but we communicated a lot during those days and nights. All I could do was stroke his arm and hair and let him know that I cared deeply for him. He had long soft curly brown hair and big round brown eyes. In the days I shared with him not once did he have a visitor; no Mom, no Dad, no Grandma or Grandpa, no brothers or sisters. No One! One of the biggest regrets in life my … why didn’t I get his name? I still have a need to know.
Ilona was transferred to Wiesbaden Air Force Hospital when she was 14 days old. On approximately January 24th we were medevaced by helicopter to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a US Army Hospital in Germany. That’s when we were so graciously celebrated by the Iranian Hostages. They had been watching us board the helicopter; me, a nurse and Ilona in an incubator. This was all very surreal, I was buckled in sideways as we took off, looking out of the side window of the helicopter. I will never forget the view of the snow drifts around the helicopter as we were lifted up to eye level to see the hostages who were on the 3rd floor balcony of the hospital waving at us, wishing us God Speed.
Once at Landstuhl it got much more intense – long … long hallways to get to ICU. Rougher treatments, with lots of poking and prodding. Ilona had her first Cardiac catheterization (of 5 total), which is a tube inserted in her hip artery to her heart, for diagnostic evaluation. The Air Force put us up in housing, a lot like Ronald McDonald house, which was walking distance to the hospital. It’s there at Landstuhl that we met Christopher C. and his parents Lux and Craig. Christopher was a heart baby about 6 months old, in ICU in a bed next to Ilona. His Dad was stationed in Italy, and they were brought to Landstuhl to get help for Christopher. We had the same doctors and since we shared this common bond we became close friends with Craig and Lux. Christopher seemed to be doing ok. He also had big brown eyes and a generous smile to every one. His mom Lux was from Laredo, TX so you could see the fire in his heritage. He was a fighter, and he was strong. We spent lots of time with Craig and Lux supporting each other and getting to know each other well. We all decided to take a break one evening and played card games late into the night. We actually got a moment of relief and laughed a lot that night. The next morning as I walked into ICU – I found Lux who had told us Christopher passed away a couple hours before. We were devastated by their loss. They were quickly shipped out. As God would have it – they were there for us later in all places, Texas.
Ilona spent much of her life in and out of the hospital. At about 2 months old she was able to come home to Schierstein where we lived, in a suburb of Wiesbaden. Every morning rain or shine, (or snow), we would go to see her Doctor at Wiesbaden Hospital. She was teeny, only 5 pounds at birth and only 9 pounds at 10 months old when we were asked to travel to San Antonio, Texas to converge with a group of doctors who had been meeting with doctors from around the world in Dallas who were studying this type of heart defect. Ilona had Endocardial Cushion Defect; an abnormal heart condition in which the walls separating all four chambers of the heart are poorly formed. We also learned later she had Ventricular Septal Defect and a deformed left septum and her aortic valve was deformed to the point of being almost non existent and the tissue separating the chambers of her heart were actually valve tissue. All this made it taxing on her heart, which created cardiac pulmonary edema and also affected her breathing, to top it off as she grew her enlarged heart was pressing on all her other vital organs.
Ahhh, it's spring now, romance is in the air (or is that the fragrance of the wonderful Votivo candles we have available in our online store?), the flowers are in bloom and it's time to venture out for some fresh air with the family. So fill your picnic basket with some goodies and head out to the park for some fun. What? You don't have a picnic basket? Well, you're in luck because we happen to have a great assortment of picnic baskets whether for a romatic getaway for two or something bigger for the family. Don't forget to grab some of our delicious cookies or other bakery items.
As always, a significant donation will be made to Discovery Arts with every purchase you make in our store. So please visit us at http://discoveryarts.philsshops.com/ and watch for new items that we're always adding.
Thanks in advance for your support and happy picnicking!
Cathy Rigby, Star of Peter Pan sprinkles fairy dust on children battling cancer as Spokesperson for Discovery Arts, a nonprofit organization that brings the healing power of the arts to children with cancer and life threatening illness.
Orange, CA – September 26, 2011 – Tony Award nominee Cathy Rigby takes flight in an all new production of Peter Pan! Discover the magic all over again of this two time Emmy award winning and two time Tony award nominated production. The New York Times says “Rigby still carries off the flights, fights and acrobatics that make Peter Pan audiences mesmerized.”
Peter Pan is filled with timeless magical moments and a captivating hook. The legend you thought you knew, is now the adventure you never dreamed possible… Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan! Emmy Award Winning and Tony Nominated actress Cathy Rigby reprises the title character role of Peter Pan, spreading pixie dust in select cities across the nation through 2012. This timeless musical masterpiece complete with evil Captain Hook, a crafty crocodile, and the enchantment of Never Never Land will touch, inspire, dazzle and charm every generation.
As Spokesperson and Board Member for Discovery Arts, Ms. Rigby continues to reach out to audiences with her inspiration and smile. Discovery Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings the healing power of the arts to children with cancer, serious blood disorders and life threatening illness while they are in the hospital receiving treatment. "Seeing these children and their families first hand really makes you grateful for your own healthy children. I am excited to be the Spokesperson for Discovery Arts and to be a part of something that gives children who are undergoing cancer treatment a creative fun filled way to express themselves, while in an environment that is far from normal.... for these kids, normalcy is their greatest wish. Discovery Arts proves that anything is possible.”, said Cathy Rigby.
In her recurring musical theatrical role as Peter Pan, Rigby has witnessed firsthand the positive impact of imagination and creative play for seriously ill young audience members. She said, “Many children with special needs come to visit after the shows. Some express their desire to fly like Peter despite their illness, some have asked me to ‘fly’ to their home and take them to Neverland, and some just want ‘Peter’ to sprinkle them with a little fairy dust. Each child has incredible creativity, imagination and such courage! Through Discovery Arts, I want to bring the wonderful healing powers of theater arts right to their bedside!”
The National Peter Pan tour launched on August 24, 2011 in Hershey, PA and is scheduled through 2012, wrapping up this year with dates at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, December 14th to December 30, 2011. A complete listing of tour dates can be found online at: http://cathyrigbyispeterpan.com/
HOW YOU CAN HELP THE CHILDREN OF DISCOVERY ARTS…
Make a donation by going to this link: http://www.discoveryarts.org/make-a-donation.html
Purchase Cathy Rigby Is Peter Pan Theater Tickets at Givenik.com
Purchase your theater tickets at Givenik.com, select Discovery Arts as ‘My Charity’ and a portion of your purchase will go directly to the non-profit organization.
ABOUT DISCOVERY ARTS
Discovery Arts was created in 1993 by a dedicated group of entertainment industry professionals who began volunteering their time and talents to bring music, dance, art and drama to children with cancer, serious blood disorders and life threatening illness while they are in the hospital receiving treatment.
Discovery Arts serves over 3,500 children and their families each year. With programs at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, Children's Hospital of Orange County, Miller Children's Hospital, Jonathan Jaques Children's Cancer Center at Millers, CHOC at Mission, Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center, St. John’s Children’s Hospital Springfield, Missouri, and coming soon to Dallas, Texas. In recognition of the powerful impact of the arts on these children, Discovery Arts was formally incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency in 1998 with a mission to expand the delivery of “Arts Adventures” to many more children in many more hospitals.
All of Discovery Arts programs and services are free of charge to the hospitals, patients and their families. We rely on the generosity of individuals, corporations, fundraisers and foundations to survive and grow.
Contact Discovery Arts: (714) 637-1774 / firstname.lastname@example.org
BROADCAST QUALITY PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS CAN BE DOWNLOADED AT: http://www.discoveryarts.org/public-service-announcements.html
You can even get your tickets to "Peter Pan" starring our wonderful friend, Board Member and Spokesperson Cathy Rigby!!!
Great Theatre and a Great way to support Discovery Arts all at the same time.
When you go to Givenik.com to purchase your tickets to any show be sure to select Discovery Arts as 'My Charity'
Bringing the healing power of the arts to children who are in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer or life-threatening illness.