The Kiwanis Club of Wallingford delivers kits, which are packed with items selected to comfort and care for chemotherapy patients.
Long hospital stays for pediatric patients receiving chemotherapy can be filled with anxiety and a steady battle of fighting side effects from the treatment. Members of the Wallingford, Connecticut, Kiwanis family found a way to help.
“Chemo Care Kits for Kids help with managing side effects from chemotherapy and provide needed distractions for kids and their families during this stressful time,” says Diane DeLibero, secretary of the Wallingford Kiwanis Club.
DeLibero and Kaitlyn Flynn of the Kiwanis club led the chemo-kit project, calling on K-Kids from Parker Farms, Yalesville, Rock Hill, and Moses Y. Beach elementary schools and the Lyman Hall Key Club. Together, the Wallingford Kiwanis family collected enough items to assemble more than 200 kits.
“We set aside the month of May for donations,” DeLibero says. “Each school made posters and placed them around their schools to promote the project. We asked for comfort and activity items, as well as items that help with the side effects of chemotherapy.”
Each gift bag included a comfort item such as a stuffed animal, cozy socks; toys and activity items such as hand-held games, coloring books, puzzles and stickers; hard candy and lozenges to soothe nausea; tissues, hand sanitizers, lip balm and other items. The kits were donated to the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Inpatient Hematology/Oncology Unit-Life Center in New Haven, Connecticut.
Child Life Specialist Cara Graneto says the kits were well received by the patients and their families.
“We passed them out to our inpatients and outpatients as well,” Graneto says. “They were great for our patients, especially for our patients who are admitted for lengthy admissions. The kits provided comforts away from home. Many of our patients experience nausea, and the lozenges in the kits helped with that. All the games and items were age-appropriate for our patients to enjoy, and they provided a much-needed distraction from their treatments.”
“The kits were wonderful because they helped normalize the hospital experience for those patients,” Graneto says. “We definitely welcome collaboration with the Kiwanis club in the future.”