Friday, May 20, 2016

#MyGivingStory - Giving Tuesday Plans to Help Sick Kids.

#MyGivingStory starts with a diagnosis. In July 2012, at the age of 8, I was diagnosed at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) with severe Crohn's Disease, a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Over the next 3 years, I would have many ER visits, hospitalizations, medical appointments and have been wheeled into the Operating Rooms 13 times. One of those visits was to lose my colon which I donated to science to help find a cure for this disease so that others wouldn't have to go through these struggles.

Last winter, I was receiving Remicade IV treatments again. Remicade is one of the medications that is often used once a patient has failed to respond to other medications. Patients at Sick Kids will be started on Remicade infusions as an out-patient, and receive their first 3 sets of infusions in the group treatment rooms. Here's what the treatment rooms look like:

As you can see from the pictures, the rooms are very plain, and do little to offer distractions from the medical treatments or a source of entertainment for the kids. There are two televisions suspended from the ceiling but they are out of the control of the kids since the remote is attached to the bottom of them. And there's always a problem on agreeing what to watch since the person sitting next to you might not like what you want to watch. I've spent 8 hour days in rooms like this while getting my IV treatments.

If there's one thing I learned through my journey, it's that distractions help in the healing process. They can take away the anxiety that you feel when getting treatments, the worries about whether it's going to work, distract from the pokes and the pain. Having a positive outlook helps greatly in the healing process. When you are feeling "down", the pain and other symptoms can make you feel even worse. Feeling encouraged, supported and hopeful are extremely important in the healing process since the disease effects us emotionally as well as physically. So I came up with a plan to help make this happen.

I asked my mom if for Christmas I could ask for the ability to transform this place into a child-friendly place of healing and hope and the plan for Jacob's Healing Rooms was created.

For #MyGivingTuesday I'm asking for $1 donations to Jacob's Healing Rooms. Your money is going to help me to install tablets at each treatment chair so that patients will have a source of entertainment, be able to connect with other patients in the hospital and across Canada using UPopulis, check their e-mail and of course, play games. In each room, I'm going to purchase a colorful bubble-tube machine as a source of distraction and brightening up the room. I'm hoping to get a fresh coat of paint in a relaxing color (I find the yellowness of the room hard to look at), and put cloud panels covering the lights.

This past June I had a medical crisis that reminded me that life was short. I have been having some problems with the electrical activity in my heart. This has only renewed my determination to make a difference in this world and in the lives of other sick children. Jacob's Healing Rooms has become my #BeforeIDie wish.

Your $1 could help me make this wish come true. It could bring a smile to a sick child's face, give hope for a brighter future, and inspire others to make a difference in this world. Your $1 could make these rooms amazing child-friendly places of healing. Your $1 could take the stress off of parents who are also worried about their child and struggling to distract them during the long treatment day.

This #GivingTuesday please think of Jacob's Healing Rooms and make a $1 donation to help make my wish to help other sick kids come true. And please share my story with as many others as possible. Together we can make a difference.

Here is the link to #MyGivingTuesday webpage: Jacob's Healing Rooms Giving Tuesday
You can follow my story on Facebook: Jacob's Healing Rooms Facebook Page
And I'm on Twitter: @KidWithCrohns
And on Instagram: @JacobsHealingRooms

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