Supporting Hospitalized Families and Health Care Providers One Sip at a Time. Child Life Coffee: Spotlight and Giveaway

We all know how coffee can be the lifeline to getting through stress. Sitting at the bedside with your child or working long hours in the hospital, caffeine can bring a little pick me up with a sense of normalcy. I was thrilled to learn about one amazing family who has walked alongside their son on his medical journey and found a way to give back to others. Read about the Emo family and how they are making a positive impact on families and medical providers through Child Life Coffee.

Guest Blogger, Todd and Morgan Emo, Founders of Child Life Coffee

Child Life Coffee offers high-quality coffee at competitive prices, but the real benefit of sipping on our coffee is knowing that every purchase provides support to children and families in hospital settings. One cup at a time, CLC supports Child Life Programs that have a direct impact on children’s physical and emotional health and well-being. We also strive to ensure that families and healthcare workers have the energy they need by regularly sending our coffee to local hospitals.

We partnered with several of the finest roasters in the country to create our premium coffee line full of traditional and exotic varieties. Our coffee beans are sourced directly from hard-working, reputable producers around the world, and roasted only after your order is received. Then, it’s shipped directly from our roasters to you in two to three days, ensuring the freshest cup of coffee every time.

By drinking our coffee, you are helping us change lives. You can feel less guilty about your coffee addiction, knowing it is directly restoring hope to children and families who experience a hospitalization. We think you’ll also love receiving fresh, delicious, and affordable coffee right to your doorstep.

Inspiration Behind Child Life Coffee

Our son was diagnosed with an exceedingly rare liver condition called Biliary Atresia. This disease affects about 1 in every 15,000 infants, and most require a liver transplant within their first year of life to survive. James received his life-saving liver transplant when he was just eight months old after a very generous extended family member, who we lovingly refer to as Auntie Elise, stepped forward to donate 30% of her liver. Her courage and selflessness saved James’ life, and for that, we are forever grateful. Even now, there is not a day that goes by where we do not think of her life-altering gift. She may not know it, but she truly is our hero.

During the eight months leading up to his liver transplant, and many months after, our family lived at the hospital. We never left James alone in his hospital crib, and it was a constant battle for his life. Between learning about his condition, navigating being first-time parents, and preparing for his transplant, we felt like we were running an endless marathon.

Along the way, we met many families who were also experiencing hardship, many of whom could not be at their child’s bedside 24/7 like we were for James. We also became acquainted with the healthcare team and got to know every nurse, technician, and staff member on every shift. Around this time, we learned about Child Life Specialists.

The whole medical team did an excellent job treating our baby, but it was the Child Life Specialists who had the most significant impact. They are so passionate about what they do, and they demonstrated it every single day. They always reminded us we were not in this alone and provided us the support and resources we desperately needed at the time. We didn’t know it at the time, but their support helped keep us out of dark places.

Where to Purchase

You can purchase a variety of roasts, flavors, and tease from Childlifecoffee.com. Be sure to follow on Facebook and Instagram

Win a $25.00 gift card to purchase your choice of coffee or tea.  Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and Child Life Coffee, tag two friends.
  3. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @ChildLifeCoffee, tag two friends.
  4. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy.

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 6/11/21. Open to U.S. residents.

 

#NoMoreHospitalGowns, Cancer Surviver Pays it Forward through Nonprofit, Luke’s FastBreaks

Luke's FastBreaks.jpg

Luke’s FastBreaks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that makes colorful medical shirts for toddlers, children and teens in the hospital for long periods of time with serious chronic and terminal illnesses including childhood cancer, bone marrow transplant, autoimmune diseases, and organ transplants. The majority of children Luke’s FastBreaks serves have an extensive amount of IVs, lines, ports and feeding tubes.

The medical shirts enable pediatric patients to feel comfortable during their stay and boost their self-esteem by allowing for self-expression with various color options and designs. The Luke’s FastBreaks medical shirts meet hospital standards, allowing them to replace the traditional hospital gown in an effort to help with the mental fight these children face. The medical shirts also restore their privacy—something that’s often lacking in the traditional hospital gown. Most importantly, we believe these medical shirts give children back their dignity.

Luke's FastBreaks Collage .jpg

Luke’s Story

The idea for the medical shirts was started by 9 year old cancer survivor, Luke Lange, from Dallas, Texas. During his hospital stay, Luke was forced to trade in his gym shorts and t-shirts for a new uniform—the hospital gown. Most pediatric patients will tell you the hospital gown leaves little room for privacy and strips them of their identity making the psychological challenges for a child fighting a serious illness like cancer even more severe.

Luke said the hospital gown made him “feel more sick”—he just wanted to feel like a normal 3rd grader.

How to get a Luke’s FastBreaks shirt

It is simple and easy to request a medical shirt for a child, just click here. The sizes range from toddler to youth all the way up to adult XXL, allowing every child and teen in hospitals to find a shirt that fits properly. You can also sponsor a shirt for a child in the hospital fighting cancer by donating $25.

Luke’s FastBreaks Impacts In Other Ways 

Luke’s FastBreaks make hospital visits. A special part of each visit is showing children and parents the Luke’s Story card, which is tagged onto each shirt (and cookie if the hospital allows). The card represents hope to many of these families and patients, as Luke shares his battle with cancer, how he BEAT cancer and his idea for the medical shirt.

16300303_10154294724895382_7769623778280650743_o (1).jpg

Every month, Luke’s FastBreaks recognizes a Child Life Specialist that has been nominated by a patient. We want to make sure to thank the hospital staff for serving patients so well during their fight.

Child Life Specialist of the Month.jpg

Luke’s FastBreaks also grants “wishes” for terminally ill children, like Emily from Shreveport, Louisiana. Luke’s FastBreaks partnered with JCPenney to grant her wish of becoming a “Fashion Model.” Emily was able to pick 3 friends to have their hair and makeup done while they model Luke’s FastBreaks newest designs.

Luke's FastBreaks girls with logo.jpg

To learn more about Luke’s FastBreaks check out their website at LukesFastBreaks.org.

Luke’s FastBreaks Giveaway

Luke's FastBreaks Goodies.pngEnter to win some goodies from Luke’s Fastbreaks, including a t-shirt, hat, water bottle and bracelets.

Choose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave comment below.

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag a friend.

3. Facebook: Follow Luke’s FastBreaks and leave a comment about the giveaway.

4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @LukesFastBreaks

5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @LukesFastBreaks, and tag a friend in the post.

Good Luck! Winner will be chosen 9/8/17

Giving Back: Spotlight on Sara’s Smiles Foundation

Last spring I had the opportunity to meet Jen Burke, the founder of Sara’s Smiles Foundation at the CLC Conference. She was full of positive energy and compassion to help children fighting and surviving cancer.

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 7.18.46 AM
Sara’s Smiles Foundation, a designated 501(c)(3) organization, was created by the family of 5 year-old Sara Burke to carry on her memory, spirit, and legacy of hope, determination, and cheer. Sara was a vibrant, energetic, little girl who loved arts and crafts, mac and cheese, music, her Big Wheel, and her big brother and big sister.

Upon being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, Sara and her mother lived at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for seven months. During that time, Sara underwent multiple surgeries, chemotherapy treatments, stem cell transplants, and therapies of all sorts. Despite her difficult, adverse circumstances Sara battled her disease with fierce determination and an unwavering positive attitude, living every moment to the fullest. Although physically isolated, she was able to harness the power of love from her family, friends, and community. This energy filled her heart, brightened her outlook, and strengthened her resolve to fight.

Tragically, on May 12, 2008, Sara lost her courageous battle with cancer. The many, many happy memories that Sara experienced in the hospital are the primary inspiration behind Sara’s Smiles. Our mission is to extend a loving hand in helping to create a warmer, more personal, more empowered experience for children who are struggling with cancer by providing a variety of resources to entertain, comfort, and educate. The three major facets of Sara’s Smiles are our website, Inspiration Kits, and Inspiration Stations. All three are designed to encourage a more positive experience for children and their families.

Our Website:

Our website, www.saras-smiles.org, is designed for both the child diagnosed with cancer as well as his/her family and friends. The website provides information about our Inspiration Kits, Inspiration Stations, and many valuable resources. A comprehensive, user-friendly list of organizations that support and advocate for kids with cancer as well as websites and apps for games, arts and crafts, stress management, and pain relief are also featured on our site.

Our Inspiration Kits:
SarasSmiles

Sara’s Smiles Inspiration Kits help cultivate a more positive environment and frame of mind for children who are fighting and surviving cancer. Each Inspiration Kit is designed to be durable, portable, practical, and fun. Our kits contain a sampling of the resources found on our website- items that can help families stay organized, connect with others, and explore creative ways to encourage smiles. Whether in the hospital or at home, we believe that engaging children not only brightens their spirits, but empowers them as well. Sara’s Smiles donates Inspiration Kits to pediatric cancer patients in the many hospitals with whom we are partnered and also upon request free of charge. Kits can be ordered by phone or our website.

Our Inspiration Stations:

SaraSmilesInspirationStations

Sara’s Smiles Inspiration Stations are where clouds are lifted and joy is inspired via the creation of bright, beautiful, Inspiration Cards. Inspiration Stations are easy to set up and can be hosted by anyone, anywhere such as at schools, parties, shopping centers, etc. Volunteers hosting Inspiration Stations encourage people to share colorful, uplifting, and positive words, phrases, quotes, and pictures on cloud-shaped Inspiration Cards. The cards, crammed with positive “graffiti,” offer an extra measure of love and support to the patients and families who receive them. The Inspiration Cards can also be used to add a spot of color to the walls of a child’s room. They act as a constant reminder of the strength that lies within each child and the unbroken, loving connection to a community that cares about them. Inspiration Cards are included in our kits. They can also be delivered as a surprise package of love and cheer to a child diagnosed with cancer by family and/or friends. More information on how to host an Inspiration Station or to request the delivery of Inspiration Cards can be found on our website, www.saras-smiles.org.

Click here to learn more about Sara’s Smiles Foundation and how you can get involved or make a donation. Be sure to follow their page on Facebook too.