An important service for patients and their families is the School Re-Entry Program, offered to all school districts on Long Island free of charge. It has received both regional and national recognition for its excellence in helping children transition back to school. For more information, call (631) 444-7521.
Play Fit, Stay Fit!, a comprehensive wellness program for pediatric cancer survivors and their families, meets twice a week for 12 weeks, and one session is offered each fall and spring. The program is open to child survivors of cancer and children with blood disorders between the ages of 4 and 18 and is free for the entire family. Participants engage in fun, group activities designed to improve endurance, strength, coordination, and overall confidence. For more information, call (631) 444-6169.
The Living in Love Palliative Care and Bereavement Program was established to meet the needs of children diagnosed with life limiting cancer and their families. The focus is to promote comfort care while maximizing quality of life. Support is extended to the families during palliative care and continues throughout bereavement. Living in Love's mission is to relieve or minimize the physical, emotional, psychological pain and suffering of children diagnosed with life threatening illnesses and their families through palliative, end of life and bereavement care. The program's interdisciplinary team members provide comprehensive, compassionate quality care, sensitive to the cultural and spiritual diversity of the families.
In collaboration with Stony Brook University Athletics and school districts in the community, the pediatric hematology/oncology team provides a social program, Play It Forward, for pediatric patients while they are receiving treatment at the Cancer Center. Student–athletes interact, read, play, and give the children their undivided attention on days when they are receiving treatment. These encounters help ease the burden of treatment for the children and their parents and provide the student-athletes with a strong sense of giving back.
The “Rising Stars” Talent Show and Art Exhibit is held annually to celebrate the lives of our pediatric patients. This forum provides an opportunity to promote a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and self-confidence among these children. Siblings, who are also effected by the child’s illness, are recognized for their involvement. “Rising Stars” allows children to express themselves through theater and art.
• Our Little Heroes, a parent support network, and which is open to all Suffolk County families, regardless of where they receive treatment.
• All graduates of the Pediatric Oncology Program at Stony Brook Medicine who are pursuing post High School education or training are eligible to receive the Daniel Brooks Memorial Educational Award for Students with Cancer. This Award was established in memory of Dan Brooks, who completed treatment for leukemia at Stony Brook, then went on to obtain his degree in Special Education. Sadly, Dan’s life was cut tragically short in a motor vehicle accident. His spirit, dedication to education, and children with cancer, prevail through this program.
Because comfort and quality of life are so important to patients with cancer, particularly children, the department continually seeks ways to improve both. “Splashes of Hope,” colorful sea-themed murals, recently were installed in clinical exam rooms, chemotherapy infusion areas, and in the waiting area to help the children to relax. This was funded by a grant from the Laurence W. Levine Foundation, which selected Stony Brook for the project, along with an additional grant secured by New York State Senator John Flanagan (R-East Northport).
In addition, Sunrise Day Camp, a day camp dedicated to children with cancer, started “Sunrise on Wheels” in which hospital volunteers bring a piece of the day camp experience to children in the Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology outpatient clinic while awaiting treatment.
Camp Adventure, a sleep-over camp, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is for children with cancer and their siblings. Typically, 30 to 40 percent of all children who attend this camp annually come from Stony Brook. Several of the camp counselors are "graduates" of the Stony Brook program. Staff members are regular volunteers at the camp, including both RNs and NPs who serve as medical support to ensure that all children continue to receive their medications during camp week. Dr. Robert Parker is the consulting oncologist for the camp and a regular on-site volunteer.
In addition, Stony Brook Medicine is the facility identified for patient transport in the case of a serious illness or the need for more intensive diagnostic tests.