Art therapy helps children battling cancer cope

Published: Mar. 25, 2019 at 5:40 PM EDT
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For children battling cancer, trips to the hospital become part of their routine. However, a new program at Beacon Children's Hospital is allowing those kids to find a bright spot, thanks to a little creativity.

"For a lot of these kids, frequent hospitalizations, appointments, IVs, shots and all of that becomes the norm," said Sarah Tyler, an art therapist with the hospital. "Within those visits, they don't get a lot of choices or control. But art and art therapy give them control, and they can make their own choices entirely."

The art therapy program is for children diagnosed with cancer or who have gone through cancer treatment, and the program allows them to have a chance not to have to think about treatment or medication. In other words, just to be a kid.

Beacon decided to hold an art show to showcase the many creations by the patients.

"I love how every single piece turns out unique, the way every person is unique," Tyler said.

One of the pieces shows the outline of someone's head and has dozens of words written inside.

"This particular patient stated how she spent 77 days in a row in the hospital, in addition to many other visits, and discussed how cancer has a way of interrupting your life and making it difficult to still feel like who you are," Tyler explained.

Art therapy is proven to help children both emotionally and physically. The program is entirely funded through generous donors and offers different mediums for patients to be creative.

For these remarkable patients and warriors, something as small as an afternoon of finger-painting can make a big difference.