Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall for the Arts brings fun to MGHfC patients

Blooms of hope: Parents and grandparents planted amaryllis bulbs in honor of their child or grandchild.

Not only do pediatric cancer patients at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) receive care and attention for their medical needs, but recently they and their siblings and parents received special whole-family care and attention at the annual "Fall for the Arts" event on Sept. 26 in the mezzanine of the Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care. More than 125 guests, including patients and their families, enjoyed a full day of arts and crafts, salsa dancing and even a bit of gardening. Now in its sixth year, the event is hosted by the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit.

"This was a wonderful community-building festival where families could gather and celebrate the artistic expression of their children -- those undergoing cancer treatment and their brothers and sisters, too," says Elyse Levin-Russman, LICSW, MSW, clinical social worker. "This year we added a special opportunity for parents and grandparents, who were invited to plant amaryllis bulbs in honor of their child or grandchild and write their name or a message to the child and place it next to the bloom."

The display of planted bulbs, which were donated by Winston Flowers, is called "Blooms of Hope" and is located outside the Yawkey 8 Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Clinic. They are expected to be in full bloom by late November.

The families also had an opportunity to see the newest installation of Kaleidoscope, a program that displays the artwork of pediatric patients and their siblings in the clinic. In addition, there were vocal and instrumental performances by the MGH Starz, which included some well-rehearsed and some impromptu appearances by the patients and their siblings. The guests also had the opportunity to hear a performance by Tufts University's acapella group, "The Beelzebubs."

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