Child Life Specialist Wendy Jensen and cancer patient Izzy Tyrell.
The mission of Cure Kids Cancer is to help children’s cancer centers, like the one at Sanford Children’s Hospital, find life-saving treatments and eventually cures for children’s cancer by raising funds and awareness.
Cure Kids Cancer works with television and radio stations and corporate partners to raise funds and public awareness for local pediatric cancer centers in order to help keep kids with cancer as close to home as possible.
Locally, Sanford Children’s Hospital is the region’s only Cure Kids Cancer hospital.
Childhood cancer is a devastating disease that can dramatically change the lives of families. It is a leading cause of death in children under age 15, second only to accidents. But, advancements have been made, making the disease not nearly as grim as it once was years ago.
“Today, 80 percent of children with cancer can be cured. Pediatric oncology is the bright shining star in the field of cancer therapy,” Pediatric Hemotologist/Oncologist Charles Peters, MD, FAAP said.
Experience, Compassion and Hope
Sanford Children’s offers the region’s only interdisciplinary pediatric hematology/oncology team.
Three board certified pediatric hematologist/oncologists, Charles Peters, MD, FAAP, Michael Sprehe, MD, MPH and KayeLyn Wagner, MD, are experts in diagnosing and treating different types of cancer such as leukemia, lymphomas, brain tumors, solid tumors and pre-cancerous conditions, as well as bleeding and blood disorders like hemophilia, anemias or problems with white blood cells and platelets.
Dr. Peters added, “It is a ‘win-win’ situation for all concerned—patients, families, the healthcare team and the three physicians on our team. Having three pediatric hematologists/oncologists ensures that all aspects of subspecialty care are well-represented.”
Children are not merely little adults and the team at Sanford Children’s understands that. Everyone from the physicians and nurses, dieticians and social workers to the phlebotomists and therapists are passionate about children and familiar with their special needs.
Having certified pediatric oncology nurses on staff shows a commitment to the specific needs of children. Sanford Children’s also recognizes that a child or teen’s emotional needs are just as important as their medical needs. Child Life Specialists help patients cope with their feelings, fears and anxieties.
Children’s Oncology Group
The pediatric cancer program at Sanford Children’s Specialty Clinic is South Dakota’s only member program in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). COG’s mission is to cure and prevent childhood and adolescent cancer through scientific discovery and compassionate care.
“COG is truly the foundation for the therapy that we provide to patients with cancer diagnoses,” said Dr. Peters. “It is because of clinical trial protocols that so much progress has been made in the field of pediatric oncology over the past 30 to 40 years.” Dr. Peters adds that Sanford Children’s membership in COG “is yet another way that we can assure patients and their families of excellence in cancer care.”
Comfortable, Private Treatment
Patients treated at Sanford Children’s for blood disorders and diseases or cancer are seen at the Schoeneman Infusion Center. Located on the ground floor of Sanford Children’s Hospital, the infusion center offers the comfort of five private infusion bays.
“We are proud to serve this area and most importantly its children in this very important medical field,” added Dr. Peters.