Seriously ill children, teens, and their families remain isolated in quarantine, cut off from the support of extended family, friends, and the world around them. CCA is committed to continuing service delivery for this vulnerable population, who are deeply impacted by this pandemic.
With physical distancing strategies in place, our team continues to innovate new methods to deliver JoyRx remotely. Here are some of the ways our team is ensuring that kids and families have access to the healing power of music, friendship, and nature:
CCA’s MyMusicRx musicians continue to provide kid-prescribed, genre-specific music medicine for kids and families isolated in quarantine through enhanced digital and social engagement, including live performances from home.
NEW Virtual Initiatives
While our talented team of MyMusicRx musicians are unable to offer in-person music medicine to hospitalized kids and teens, with the help of technology, music has once again filled the halls and rooms of several of our MyMusicRx partner hospitals.
St. David’s Children’s Hospital & Dell Children’s Comprehensive Care Clinic (CCC) in Austin, TX
With the help of Child Life Specialists at St. David’s Children’s Hospital and CCC, our trained MyMusicRx musicians are sharing the healing power of music with pediatric patients on a weekly basis. Since May 11, the infants, kids, and teenagers at St. David’s have sang, danced, and snoozed during virtual bedside music sessions with our musicians, who remotely visit patient rooms via a CCA-provided iPad. At CCC, where pediatric patients are isolating at home, our trained music team connects with patients and their siblings via video chat to deliver personalized, kid-prescribed music medicine.
KidZone TV with Mt. Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital in New York City
Our music team is hosting ongoing live and virtual music performances through KidZone TV—Mt. Sinai’s closed-caption TV network accessible in every patient room. Our Portland-based music medicine specialists call in via Zoom, and their performance is broadcast live on KidZone TV, where kids can make song requests while they watch. In our very first session in June, we took 15 song requests, and look forward to weekly broadcasts on KidZone TV through the end of July.
New Additions to MyMusicRx.org
Our team is constantly adding new content to MyMusicRx.org to ensure kids have 24/7 access to the music medicine of their choice. Here are a few recent highlights:
Our recent collaboration with world-renowned guitar brand, Gibson, generated a number of new guitar lesson videos created just for MyMusicRx-served kids. Youth artists from the Gibson Generation Group—a collective of talented young guitarists from all over the world—recorded song lessons to help seriously ill kids have fun and feel better through music. Access them for free here.
CCA’s talented musicians have created an entire playlist of soothing lullabies. From gentle instrumentals to softly sung tunes, little ones and their caregivers can choose from a variety of songs to lull them to sleep.
Ongoing Virtual Music Experiences
Families have a variety of ways to access the healing power of music safely from home or hospital. From scheduling one-on-one virtual music sessions with trained MyMusicRx musicians, to requesting a special song to be recorded by one of our music medicine specialists, to tuning in to our weekly concerts on Facebook Live. The CCA team has been working closely with hospitals and families to experiment and identify the music services that work best for their specific needs, schedules, and circumstances.
Chemo Pal® Mentor Program
Our trained, volunteer Chemo Pal mentors continue to provide critical emotional support to their pals in treatment through video chats, pen pal letters, online gaming, and more. Our Chemo Pal Program Specialists are:
Turning Chemo Pals into Pen Pals
To help provide mentees with a much-needed social outlet away from screens, our Chemo Pal team put together pen pal packets to introduce them to good, old-fashioned snail mail. Many mentees had never had a pen pal before, and they jumped at the chance to send care packages, sticker collages, and handwritten notes to their mentors.
Organizing Virtual Get-Togethers
Our Chemo Pal Program Specialists have been hard at work arranging monthly social activities to bring our Chemo Pal families together virtually. To date, we’ve hosted 12 virtual events since April, with nearly 300 kids and family members participating. Some of our favorite activities included putting our movie knowledge to the test during a Disney and Marvel trivia night, snuggling up for a virtual movie screening, and expanding our Spanish vocabulary while learning to play Lotería, a.k.a. Mexican Bingo.
Celebrating Milestones & Staying in Touch
Because so many kids are stuck at home with little social interaction outside their families, it’s more important than ever for our Chemo Pal mentors and mentees to stay in touch. Here are just a few ways they’ve been able to maintain their connection from a safe social distance:
To celebrate five-year-old Damian’s last day of chemo, his Chemo Pal mentor, Courtney, worked with Damian’s mom to organize a parade in his hometown of Independence, Oregon! Friends, family, and neighbors lined the streets with balloons and homemade signs, and the local police and fire station even drove by in salute. It was a five-year-old’s dream, and a wonderful way to recognize Damian’s hard-fought milestone from a safe distance.
From sending handwritten letters to playing video games together online, Macky and his Chemo Pal mentor, Van, have found a ton of ways to stay connected. To help Macky maintain a sense of normalcy, Van continues to visit during hospital appointments — but now, he does it via FaceTime. Says Macky’s mom, “Macky and Van have found good ways of keeping in touch. Van is still able to be at visits via FaceTime, which makes Macky so happy. He is actually counting down the days ‘till his next hospital visit to FaceTime Van.”
Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin
Renovations are complete, and we are thrilled to once again welcome families to our Caring Cabin coastal retreat. Four families have enjoyed the seaside getaway since the cabin’s reopening on May 29, and we are booked through the end of August. The CCA team has been hard at work to ensure we are doing everything recommended by the CDC, state, and local government to keep our families and staff safe, and we’re currently working to reschedule all families who had to cancel their visit due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Out & About
Our Out & About program for teens and young adults is still on hold due to ongoing health concerns and restrictions. To encourage our teens and families to find ways to safely explore the great outdoors, we’ve provided them with a list of free, virtual, nature-based activities and resources.
Our team is working tirelessly to ensure that JoyRx does not stop. Please visit our social media channels to read stories of the ways your support allows us to continue to create Joy for kids and families. Thank you!