Tracy’s Kids helps young cancer patients cope with the emotional stress imposed by cancer and its treatment. Since its beginnings at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in 1991, the program has expanded to eight hospitals and medical centers (five in the DC region), including a new program for the children of military service members at Walter Reed. Masters-trained art therapists work with patients and their siblings, free of charge. During chemotherapy or prolonged waits, at their bedsides or in groups with other patients and families, children decide what kinds of projects to work on – a gift at a time when so many decisions are made by others. Significantly, these artistic creations provide the professional therapists with insights into their patients’ emotional health, which can be shared with the medical team. Your contribution brings art - and healing - to children who need it most.
Tracy’s Kids has continued to provide services to patients in six of its eight programs, working with art therapists to develop and share online content hosted on YouTube. It encouraged donations of new, clean art supplies and mailed them to the therapists for distribution, or directly to patients when appropriate. To support participation in remote art therapy sessions, Tracy’s Kids has also created and distributed individual packets of art supplies for children to pick up during their clinic visits – a welcome surprise, and encouragement to engage with therapists in a happy and productive way.