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January 03, 2003 - Image 91

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-01-03

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gram director of KKC. "Our long-term
goal is to open programs in 25 major
pediatric oncology centers in the U.S.
within the next five years."
Among the other new developments
at KKC since AppleTree first wrote
about the organization last February:
• KKC has opened additional pro-
grams at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in
Pontiac, St. John Hospital in Grosse
Pointe, and Harper/Karmanos in
Detroit. This brings to five the total
number of hospital-affiliated pro-
• A recent donation of 15-passenger
vans from the Sinai Guild and the
Variety Club has enabled KKC to
expand transportation services for
these programs.
• KKC soon will have offices in
Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, in
addition to the New York opening.
• KKC's Rabbi Goldberg was
appointed a clinical assistant profes-
sor in the Department of Pediatrics at
Wayne State Medical School. He aids
in teaching medical students, physi-
cians, nurses, child-life specialists,
social workers, and other medical
staff about the techniques developed
at KKC.
"We have also begun to offer semi-
nars for both parents and hospital
staff to train them in these tech-
niques," Dr. Gardin added.
• KKC has increased both the num-
ber and type of participants in its
"In addition to our pediatric oncol-
ogy patients and their siblings, we
now service a sizable population of
children with other blood-related dis-
eases, including an increasingly large
group of sickle-cell anemia patients,"
Dr. Gardin said. "We are actively
working with the Sickle Cell Disease
Association of America to develop a
new division of KKC: Kids Kicking
Sickle Cell.
"Our programs also are beginning
to include a number of childhood
cancer survivors who, having survived
cancer as young children, are now
experiencing delayed post-traumatic
stress symptoms during adolescence."
• KKC's martial arts staff can be
found every day in local clinics and
hospitals, where they help children
during spinal taps, bone-marrow aspi-
rations and other difficult medical
"The presence of our staff not only
substantially reduces the children's
pain and anxiety, but usually reduces
the number of medical staff required
to perform the procedure," Dr.
Gardin said.

The Big Story

• As part of the expansion, the
organization has increased its staff.
"KKC now includes a full-time
graphic artist/office manager, one
full-time martial artist, four part-time
martial artists and one class assis-
tant," Dr. Gardin said.
• KKC recently added to its agenda
a "non-hospice" hospice program. Dr.
Gardin explained that, in most cases,
parents can only receive reimburse-
ment for hospice services for their
children if they forego reimbursement
for curative treatments.
"This means a parent must relin-
quish all hope of recovery," Dr.
Gardin said. "In keeping with our
theme of the strength of each child's
`inner light' (his or her spirit/soul)
and the eternity of this aspect of each
human being, we offer pain palliation
and psychosocial assistance to our
families during the difficult transition
period when children are no longer
responding to curative medical treat-
"We do not require parents to give
up all hope to receive these services."
At the same time, she added, when
a child has reached the end of his/her
life and can no longer fight the dis-
ease, yet remains spiritually and emo-
tionally strong, KKC has an in-hos-
pice or in-home ceremony for award-
ing boys and girls a black belt.
"In our eyes, this child is truly a
hero who has learned to face adversity
with the strength of his own inner
spirit," Dr. Gardin said.
• KKC has become active in the
political arena, advocating funding
and reimbursement for pediatric pain
management. Recently, U.S. Rep.
Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio, invited
members of the organization to a
Congressional briefing on pediatric
pain and palliative care. Further, Dr.
Gardin said that U.S. Rep. Joe
Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills,
"has taken a special interest in our
program and has served as a strong
advocate on the Hill for getting the
word out about the success of KKC
in Michigan."
KKC holds classes at local hospi-
tals, and classes and individual ses-
sions at its Birmingham office.

For more information or to make
a tax-deductible donation, con-
tact Kids Kicking Cancer, 390
Park Street, Suite 101,
Birmingham, MI. 48009. Phone:
(248) 203-9991. Internet:
www. kidskickingcancer. net

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