Stony Brook Children’s Celebrates Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Kite festival, appearances by Stony Brook University mascot Wolfie mark the occasion
STONY BROOK, N.Y., September 14, 2012 – Fun, frolic and festivities were the focus of a series of events hosted by the Sunrise Fund on Sept. 7-8 in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day at Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital.
Events ranged from the “Soar for a Cure” kids’ kite flying festival to a ceremonial reading of proclamations in honor of the nursing staff who care for children fighting cancer year-round through Stony Brook’s inpatient and outpatient programs.
The celebration kicked off on Friday, Sept. 7, when the Stony Brook University mascot, Wolfie, made a special guest appearance to visit hospitalized pediatric cancer patients at Stony Brook Children’s and at Stony Brook University Cancer Center.
Jeanne Greenfield, RN, MSN, CPNP, CPON, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Department, recognized the pediatric oncology nursing staff for their dedication to their patients. Dr. Devina Prakash, pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Stony Brook Children’s, read a proclamation from New York State Sen. John Flanagan, R-Smithtown, in recognition of National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day, which thanked the nursing staff for providing “the highest standard of physical and emotional care to their patients and families.” Nurses received bags of candy at the event.
Later that day, Robert Parker, MD, FAAP, Professor and Vice Chair of Pediatrics for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, for Stony Brook Children’s, shared another proclamation from Sen. Flanagan with the nursing staff at the outpatient pediatric oncology unit at the Cancer Center. The proclamation recognized the pediatric hematology/oncology program for treating more than 2,000 inpatients and more than 3,600 outpatients annually.
Wolfie stole the show again the following day with a surprise appearance at the kite festival at West Meadow Beach in Stony Brook. Children who attended the event received free kites to fly in the blustery conditions, as well as the opportunity to express their artistic side by painting and decorating rocks in colorful hues. The rocks were later distributed to the oncology patients and nurses on the unit. Singer Matt Taylor of Bellport provided the entertainment, with a Justin Bieber-inspired performance. The event was organized by the Sunrise Fund at Stony Brook, which was established to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to raise funds for projects benefiting children with cancer.
The Pediatric Oncology Program at Stony Brook Children’s was established in 1991 to expand clinical services available to children in Suffolk County, and to expand upon cancer research activities at Stony Brook. Since inception, the program has treated more than 500 children with malignant tumors.
“We believe that no child should have to leave Suffolk County in order to receive the very best in cancer care, said Dr. Parker. “We strive to provide the best individualized care available to children with cancer and their families, in a setting that is supportive and understanding.”
About Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital:
Established in June 2010, Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital is Suffolk County’s only children’s hospital. More than 7,000 children and adolescents are admitted each year. Stony Brook Children’s operates 100 pediatric beds and has more than 140 full-time pediatric physicians and surgeons and over 200 voluntary pediatric faculty members in 30 different specialties. The hospital is the Level 4 Regional Perinatal Center for our area and has a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is home to the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center and also offers a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program, Pediatric Cardiology Program, Pediatric HIV and AIDS Center, Cystic Fibrosis Center and the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. To learn more, visit www.stonybrookchildrens.org.