The Impact of a Cancer Diagnosis
Children with cancer typically feel a tremendous loss of autonomy, control, and personal identity. They are required to endure treatments that cause them to feel sick in order to heal. They are confronted with multiple fears, including mortality, hair loss, falling behind academically and socially, as well as many other issues that affect how they view their bodies, their lives and their destinies. Rather than allowing children to view themselves as victims of disease, KKC trains pediatric cancer patients to see themselves as capable and important participants in their own healing. The impact of this change in perception on the psychological and emotional outlook of the children is dramatic.
By focusing the program around the healing themes of martial arts training, Kids Kicking Cancer not only strengthens children physically, but also teaches them to tap into the inner light of their spiritual self – a focus that generates incredible power, energy, and internal strength. The inner spirit of each child is viewed as the defining element of the child, rather than the body, or the tumor that has invaded the child’s body. Instead of emphasizing all the things that pediatric cancer patients are unable to do, Kids Kicking Cancer focuses on all the things they can do. The goal of Kids Kicking Cancer is to help children with a very serious disease to heal, while empowering them physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell disease affects 72,000 persons in the United States, including one in every 600 African-American births and 1 in 1,000-1,400 Hispanic births. Multiply these figures by the number of family members who are also impacted and the numbers are overwhelming. While medical centers are rapidly improving their ability to address the medical aspects of pediatric disease, the provision of psychological and other support services, including pain management, is significantly lacking, and there are few resources that children and families can turn to for support and hope. Furthermore, a young child’s pain is frequently disregarded, as he or she is unable to effectively communicate the intensity of his or her pain to the medical staff. Kids Kicking Cancer helps to bridge this tremendous gap. Many children with Sickle Cell Anemia are treated in cancer centers. We developed Kids Kicking Sickle Cell as a direct response to the intense pain issues of this population. Our successful methodology with pediatric oncology is applied equally well for these children.