Teenagers who are being treated for cancer have emotional and social needs that are different than their younger counterparts. They're facing a frightening diagnosis and treatment during what is already a time of great physical, social and emotional change. For these patients, CHOP offers unique resources that are tailored to meet the needs of adolescents and young adults.
The AYA Patient Steering Committee is made up of adolescent and young adult cancer patients and survivors, and psychosocial and child life specialists from CHOP. The group addresses the unique concerns of AYAs and provides a community for children in this age group who have been treated for cancer. Their goals are to:
Establish connections with other AYAs treated for cancer through various means.
Promote awareness of adolescent and young adult cancer in the community.
Increase awareness of and promotion of resources available for AYAs.
Provide mentorship to newly diagnosed patients and younger AYAs
Change the hospital environment to make it more AYA-friendly.
Assess the wants and needs of the broader AYA cancer community.
Fundraise to increase AYA resources and programming and help other causes.
A number of CHOP programs cater to teens and young adults with cancer. Some were developed for the Cancer Center by the AYA committee and others are available hospital-wide.
The AYA Committee created a private Facebook group for adolescent and young adult cancer patients treated at CHOP. It's a place to discuss all things cancer: the experience of diagnosis, the challenges of treatment, life before and after cancer and much more. Regularly scheduled online discussions and casual communication through wall posts connect AYAs with other teens who are going through similar cancer-related challenges. For an invitation to join this private Facebook group, email Lamia Barakat.
Teens who are at the Wood Center for treatment can now spend their down time in one of our new teen-friendly lounges (outpatient on 4 South, inpatient on 3 East). These spaces are away from the main waiting area, and set up for older patients to gather on the couch and watch TV, play PlayStation, read and talk.
Art and music therapists with expertise in AYA lead individual and group therapy sessions in the Wood Center. And our Artist-in-Residence is on the unit once a week to make art with patients of all ages.
Seacrest Studios is an interactive broadcast multi-media center housed in the Colket Atrium that offers many opportunities for AYA involvement: be the DJ, interview celebrities, attend live broadcasts, request songs and compete in the annual Battle of the Bands.
Senator Pat Toomey spoke at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Friday, Jan. 18 to kick off Teen Cancer Awareness Week. The Senator cosponsored a bipartisan resolution for the awareness week, with the goal of bringing greater attention to ways that teens experience cancer differently than their younger counterparts. During his visit, Senator Toomey was interviewed in Seacrest Studios by some of the teens and young adults who have been treated at the Cancer Center at CHOP.
Existing patients or family members, please call
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