During this holiday season, employees in the Bethesda, Maryland home office spent some time visiting the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC to bring presents for the kids and to learn more about the benefits of the program from the doctors, nurses and teachers who work there. AdvisorShares has been a long time supporter of JUST TRYAN IT, which raises funds to help families with cancer served by the Center, by paying for non-medical related expenses.
We visited the outpatient and inpatient care areas. Both areas were enthusiastically designed with artwork. One of the worst feelings about being at a children's hospital is feeling like you are at a hospital. Lombardi pediatrics has infused the atmosphere with fun helping patients and their families cope with treatment. The department takes an "all hands on deck" approach, lining up social workers, doctors, teachers, nurses, and physical therapists so that the kids receive the best customized care available. Parents of the patients are also given what they need, be it a shower down the hall or a washer/dryer to clean clothes because of a long hospital stay or a fold out chair that converts into a bed.
It is very hard to create a normal life for these kids when they are struggling through something that tears them away from their real job of just being a kid. But from what we witnessed, the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology does an amazing job of providing emotional and developmental support to patients and families which brings a sense of normalcy to their lives.