I stumbled upon this gem of a programme whilst curating Patient Centricity news on Scoop it this morning.
Matt and I are heading up to Salford on the train, it’s pitch black, and dead depressing. This cheered me up somewhat and stirred a long gone memory.
I only just remember my sister being ill when I was about 6. A more distinct memory was her accompanying bear; Peri. Peri pretty much was present all the way to health. Every now and then Peri is discovered still with his hospital wristband on and much smaller than I remember. I now know that this little bear was named after a Heath Robinson looking yogurt pot, tube and bag gizmo that provided her with the peritoneal dialysis needed whilst her kidneys took a kicking,
This enterprising inspiring mum took her son’s similar requirement for a cancer companion to the next level. Just after his first birthday, Gabe’s mother, Lu Sipos, made the very first Chemo Duck for him. She thought he could use a companion to take to the hospital, one with whom he could share his journey back to health. Both Chemo Duck and Gabe finished treatment in November 2003 and have remained cancer free since.
Since then Lu along with a board of directors and a newly formed not for profit organisation have taken the chemo duck and made him fly. Chemo duck is now in production and the team are striving to give away 10,000 of these donated friends by Gabe’s 10 year birthday.
More than a companion chemo duck has become a vital part of ‘medical play’, a concept that allows children to communicate with parents and healthcare professionals, offering a window into their world midst the turmoil of cancer. Chemo duck is used time and time again as a powerful therapeutic and teaching tool used in medical facilities to familiarize children with cancer protocol and procedures.
Pretty cool eh?