The Importance of Joy on International Childhood Cancer Day

International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors, and their families.

Globally, every three minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer, and it remains the number one cause of death by disease of children in the United States.

When a child is undergoing treatment for cancer, Joy can often lay dormant. That’s why we champion the importance of Joy in a child’s life while experiencing extended treatments and hospitalizations.

At JoyRx, the mission delivery of Children’s Cancer Association, we know it takes more than medicine to heal: Joy can prove transformational and that’s why we’re committed to our mission of bringing Joy to every child facing serious illness.

That’s why our three programs, JoyRx Music, JoyRx Mentorship, and JoyRx Nature are designed with children in mind:

JoyRx Music draws on the universal power of music to energize and lift spirits. Our trained musicians help children find Joy during the stressful and painful experiences related to extended hospitalizations and treatments for life-threatening illness.

JoyRx Mentorship fosters trusted companionship to inspire laughter and distraction. The only program of its kind in the nation, our trained, adult volunteer JoyRx Mentors provide emotional support to children in treatment and critical support to parents who endure the hardships of long hospital stays with their child.

JoyRx Nature provides an essential connection to the natural world. Nestled in 24 acres of surrounding woods with plentiful wildlife and a serene lake, JoyRx Nature’s Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin at the Oregon Coast provides children in treatment and their extended families with a place of peace in a calming environment.

We envision a world where children facing serious illness are enveloped in Joy when they need it most. We hope to empower children and teens through this kid-prescribed approach, helping to positively shift their mood, relieve stress and sadness, and cultivate their emotional and mental well-being.

In the end, ICCD has one unified message and one ultimate goal: better access to care for children and adolescents with cancer everywhere. In that vein, we hope to see a world where JoyRx programming lives within the pediatric standard of care so every child has access to the healing power to Joy.

Since our founding in 1995, we’ve provided over one million program service interactions to children nationwide, empowering hundreds of thousands of kids to find transformational moments of Joy through our programming with the support of our 32 and counting healthcare partner facilities across the United States.

In 2022, we brought 166,279 Joyful interactions to 21,312 kids and teens and 22,248 family members. Of these interactions, 78,851 exchanges were through JoyRx Music; 57,810 through JoyRx Mentorship; and 29,160 through JoyRx Nature.

This year, we’re committed to reaching more kids and providing them more moments of Joy. Learn more about the impact of JoyRx: