September is Childhood Cancer Awareness
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and at ExercisAbilities we are using this month to expand our services to this community group in our SE MN area. At EA, we serve all ages and a variety of disabilities or diagnoses and we most recently had the opportunity to serve a local family and offer our wide range of services with a teen who is battling cancer and has noticed a decline in abilities from her treatment side effects. As a young teen wanting to interact with her peers at the same level and knowing how it can impact a young person socially & emotionally to go through these hardships so early in life, finding us at EA has been a blessing for her family.
To share a little background on why this population means so much to me is to share a little about why I became an occupational therapist. My cousin, Abby, was diagnosed with cancer in her teens and spent 4 years battling an aggressive brain tumor. I saw how it impacted her life and her families’ life in such a large way throughout those years of treatment. My aunt described my cousin’s therapists as impactful throughout her rehabilitative journey and this is how I first heard about occupational therapy. Unfortunately, my cousin lost her battle on December 5, 2018, at the age of 17. But to this day, I know how her connection to PT/OT services during her battle helped her get the most out of the life and years she had on Earth. Watching her go through this also made me realize the impact childhood cancer has on the entire family. It is why we are happy to partner with Brighter Tomorrows, an organization founded and established by families who have faced childhood cancer themselves and strongly believe in providing comfort, support, education, and distractions from the daily struggle. Brighter Tomorrows offers group activities, meals, sibling support, and connection to other families on the same road. At the end of this month, our rehab staff will be presenting to the Brighter Tomorrow’s families about our rehabilitation and health promotion services so we can continue to serve our Rochester community.
If you or a loved one are interested in learning about how to connect and learn more about our PT/OT/health promotion services, please call us at 507-259-7570.
Maria Serbus, OTR/L
OT Clinical Lead