Healthy Living

Community Rallies Around Student Fighting Lymphoma

Community Rallies Around Student Fighting Lymphoma

Community Rallies Around Student Fighting Lymphoma

In the United States, as of this year, there are expected to be more than 83,180 new cases of lymphoma diagnosed (74,680 cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 8,500 cases of Hodgkin lymphoma). Although there is currently no cure for the blood cancer, increased awareness and funding have allowed for breakthroughs in research to be made - making a once fatal diagnosis curable through several different treatment options.

Each month, ribbons in assorted colors symbolize different types of cancer and other diseases to help raise awareness for the ailment in question. A lime green ribbon marks September as lymphoma awareness month. The more awareness and support that is brought to lymphoma, the better prepared every individual will be to fight against the disease.

One particular community did just that – with the help of flashlights.

“Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams”

The Beaumont Children’s Pediatric Family Advisory Council was established in 2013. It consists of parents of children who have received care or services at Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. The council supports a relationship between patient and family-centered care, all the while enhancing communication between healthcare providers, staff members, patients and families. They focus on improving the patient experience by getting directly involved and implementing different programs and practices at Beaumont. “We take on different initiatives and come together with staff to make things better in the pediatric center,” said Nancy Sovran, a member of the Pediatric Family Advisory Council.

Seeing as how children who are hospitalized can feel isolated from the world around them, leading them to experience difficulties getting a good night’s sleep (especially around the holidays), the council was inspired to create a new program called “Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams.” “We adopted the idea from the Iowa football game event and the Hasbro Hospital idea and thought it would be great for our children here to take part in during the holiday season. So, we put our own spin on it,” said Kathleen Grobbel, Child Life Supervisor at Beaumont Children’s Hospital.

Every evening in December, at approximately 8:00PM, patients from the pediatric unit will shine their flashlights from hospital windows and look for their family, friends, and community members standing outside the hospital to shine their flashlights back. “They miss their friends and school. They miss home. They’re scared. They’re isolated in the hospital, often unable to leave their rooms, as the rest of the world continues without them. Through Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams, Beaumont’s Pediatric Family Advisory Council has found a way to let them know they’re not forgotten,” said Grobbel.

In 2017, throughout the month of December, over 10,000 community members shared a sweet good night with over 700 children hospitalized at Beaumont. “With the help of the community, we can make sure they go to bed with smiles on their faces,” said Grobbel. Caroline Mayne, a 16-year-old girl who had been readmitted to the hospital on account Hodgkin lymphoma recurrence, was among the patients. 

Read on to learn more about this program and how it affected Caroline.

Photo: C and G News