This spring, students Sarah Doktor of Northeastern University and Moira Callahan, Cammie Foley, and Caroline Foley of Ipswich High School worked with families and patients on the cardiology unit at Childrens Hospital Boston. This is a newer relationship for Bright Happy Power, and allowed us to learn more about the needs of a different patient population. Since so many of the patients in this unit are often infants, or cannot leave their rooms, we worked with their older siblings and their parents/guardians, and spent rare time with a few patients. Although we brought many crafts and activities, face painting and manicures were the favorite activities of the day!
At the end of their spring semester, students from Waring School (below) and their faculty advisors spent time at Childrens Hospital Boston, working with patients and families on the oncology unit. They also toured other parts of the hospital. This experience was one of several adventures they are having in the school’s experiential learning initiative, in a unit called “Medical End Term.” This was our first volunteer event in the newly-constructed portion of the oncology and hematology unit at the hospital. It is a bright and spacious addition, and although the hospital did not gain more beds to accomodate more patients, each patient has a private room, which makes the entire experience of new diagnosis or long-term treatment of cancer and related diseases more manageable, and their capacity to offer services to more transplant patients was also increased.
A handful of Bright Happy Power’s youth volunteers have gone on to study in the field of medical caregiving or research, with the goal to work as childlife specialists, doctors, nurses, researchers or other forms of medical specialization. We are proud that one of the outcomes of working with families on the North Shore and hospitals in Boston is to introduce student volunteers to the possibilities of vocational opportunities and to open paths of passion and possibility, often because they have been inspired when they work with the resilient children and families who live with cancer and other challenging illnesses.