Our smile maker programs are focused on bringing joy and happiness to pediatric cancer patients and their families while providing them with some much needed relief from the daily stress and hardship of cancer.
Decorate My Room
This program is introduced to families when their children are at their most challenging point of treatment. One Mission decorates patient’s rooms with the child’s favorite colors, characters, toys, books, and interests to make it feel more homelike. Since 2010, One Mission has decorated the rooms of over 278 patients.
Twice a month patients and families are polled to find out which family-friendly movies they would like to see. Then on Cinema Saturday, the film is shown, usually one just out on DVD along with drinks, popcorn and other snacks. This makes for a great escape from the boredom of hospitalization.
Birthday Parties & Celebrations
Many times throughout the year, we host special parties celebrating birthdays, holidays or sometimes just because! These occasions aim to help patients and their families get through an extended treatment. One Mission has held 689 events and parties for patients and their families.
B.E.A.D.S. (Beading Each A Different Story)
Oncology patients receive a specific bead to represent an important procedure or event in their treatment. The children string their beads together to give them a sense of achievement and help them to cope with the numerous procedures and treatments they must endure as they fight to get better. In addition, One Mission also funds a BEADS program for siblings to provide support to these family members who are also severely impacted by this disease. This programs gives siblings the ability to choose the events that have been meaningful to them and string together their own unique story. One Mission has supplied over 223,450 beads to patients and their siblings.
Hair Loss Cart
Hair loss is a common side effect of cancer treatment and a sensitive topic linked to self-esteem for many children and adolescents. Through the cart, One Mission offers activities such as tie-dying scarves, collaged self-portraits, and mirror decorating. One Mission also works with national organizations to provide kids with hats, scarves and options for finding wigs if desired. Nurses and psychological clinicians use the cart as a tool when having difficult conversations about losing hair.
Kids who spend weeks away from home, relatives and friends need a diversion and fun; and of course a special treat every now and then. One Mission purchases hundreds of toys each year to fill the treasure chests in our partnering hospitals.
Chemo Duck is a soft, cuddly companion that provides huggable hope and alleviates fear and anxiety. Developed with the help of child life specialists and medical professionals, the Chemo Duck Program helps introduce children and families to their new life and encourages healing through the power of play therapy. One Mission has given out 560 Chemo Ducks to patients.
Lunch & Dinner Socials
Food brings people together, so it’s no surprise that catered dinners and lunches hosted by One Mission are always a big hit for patients and their families. Events like pizza, pasta and taco nights and parent lunches are widely anticipated by patients and staff alike. There’s always music and a festive atmosphere for families to enjoy.
Family Fun Festival
The Jimmy Fund Clinic Family Fun Festival is an annual event for pediatric patients and family members and is open to anyone who has been treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer Center. The festival is a day of celebration and is about connecting families so they can see hope. A family who may have just received a tough diagnosis may be in line for a carnival ride alongside a child who had the same experience and is doing well years later. The festival includes a barbeque, carnival rides, games, rock climbing, police car ride, a petting zoo and much more.
Ice Cream Parties
One Mission hosts Sundaes on Saturday parties. A make-your-own sundae bar with ice cream and toppings are set-up for patients and families to enjoy. Pre-packaged sundaes are delivered to children who cannot leave their room.
A leave of absence from the hospital during a particularly extended stay is a rare gift. One Mission helps patients and families to make the most of these special day trips by providing transportation, meals, and passes to famous attractions.