Painting with Chemo Pals

One of our awesome employees, Chelsea Donaldson, participates as a mentor in the Chemo Pal Mentor Program and we recently spent an afternoon with the kids and helped them paint holiday ornaments.

This inspiring program within the Children’s Cancer Association provides a supportive relationship for children undergoing cancer treatment. Children range in age from 2-21 and are matched with a trusted mentor who helps provide support and guidance as they go through the emotionally isolating and physically difficult treatment.

Here are some of the beautiful ornaments the kids created.

[image_frame style=”framed_shadow” align=”center” alt=”CCA Holiday Ornaments” title=”CCA Holiday Ornaments” height=”441″ width=”588″][/image_frame]

[fancy_images width=”275″ height=”365″]
[image title=”Chelsea and Bella” alt=”Chemo pals Chelsea and Bella” caption=”Chemo pals Chelsea and Bella”][/image]
[image title=”Austin and Allison” alt=”Austin and Allison helping out.” caption=”Austin and Allison helping out.”][/image]

We asked Chelsea about her experience so far in the program:

How did you get involved with the organization?

I came back from France in summer of 2011 and knew I wanted to get involved volunteering somehow, I saw an opportunity while at PSU for the Chemo Pal Mentor Program and knew that that was the one!

My mother passed away in August 2010 from inflammatory breast cancer after being diagnosed with it in 2002. I remember people reaching out to my family through various programs, Meals on Wheels, etc., and thought this would be a good way to give back and somehow make cancer (as a general experience) a more positive thing.

How long have you been doing this?

I met Bella in the Spring of 2012 after I applying for Chemo Pals in the Fall of 2011. It took a bit of time to get approved because I had to make sure I had all the right immunizations.

How often do you meet with your pal?

Every two weeks, usually on Fridays. sometimes we have schedule conflicts but for the most part, twice a month.

What kinds of things do you do?

Play games, watch movies, chit-chat, do math homework or just lay back and work on a friendship bracelet.

Any thoughts on the experience you want to share with others?

I really would like to encourage others to join. Not all the kids have cancer, some just spend a lot, I mean A LOT, of time in the hospital from various diseases, so don’t worry about getting your heart broken. Also as much as it is for the kiddo, you’re there for the parents. If Bella’s mom can catch a quick 5 minute nap while I’m there then I’ve done my part.