The Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program at Children's Hospital Central California regularly receives more referrals than it can accommodate. As of today, 54 new patients are waiting to be seen. This substantial figure does not represent all qualifying childhood cancer survivors in our region. It simply represents the number of patients officially referred to our program either by their primary care physicians or internally upon completing treatment at Children's and meeting the criteria to enroll.
Oncology nurses at Children’s recently demonstrated their support for the children they serve by shaving their heads to raise money for cancer research.
Initial projections identified as many as 1,000 childhood cancer survivors will qualify over the next several years for services offered by our program. “If fully staffed, we could double our capacity to treat patients dealing with the late effects of their cancer treatments,” said Jocelyn Alsdorf, registered nurse and program coordinator. “And with partial funding to add another nurse, we could increase patient volumes by approximately 40 percent.”
The Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program at Children's Hospital partners with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and the Cancer Legal Resource Center (CRLC) to develop and provide educational programs for patients and caregivers that address issues important to survivors, including:
- learning disorders after cancer
- patient legal rights
- navigating insurance and the affordable care act changes
- disability rights for education services
“We gave a presentation on school issues after cancer at a dinner last April with LLS,” said Alsdorf. “We would like to continue offering educational seminars for survivors and their families in the future.” Plans include presenting an insurance program lecture in August open to survivors and those currently undergoing chemotherapy.
Continued and increased funding will allow Children's Hospital to provide essential services to a greater number of childhood cancer survivors in the years to come. “The importance of this program is so high and the effort to run the program is great, but the funding to support programs like this is short of the need,” said Dr. John Gates, pediatric hematologist/oncologist and program director. “Each and every contribution is funding the quality and potential success of our children’s futures.”
Donations to the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Endowment directly support the specialized, high-quality care that enables survivors to live healthier, happier lives.
For more information on supporting the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Endowment, please contact the Foundation at 559-353-7100 or Foundation@ChildrensCentralCal.org