Children battling cancer now have a new kid-friendly room for their treatments at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
Donors, doctors, staff and supporters gathered Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of the pediatric oncology room at the McMurtry-Baerg Cancer Centre at VJH.
After a year of work to make the facility a reality, and the community donating $94,000 during the radio station Sun FM’s Have a Heart Radiothon last year, VHJ says it can now better assist kids during their chemotherapy treatment.
“I’ve watched many family members and friends go through cancer treatments, so when VJH Foundation brought this idea to us, it really touched my heart,” said Betty Selin, Sun FM Sunrise Show and Radiothon co-host.
“We’re all so grateful our listeners also felt a connection to this project and everyone was so generous. We’re thrilled to be here for the opening of the facility that will perhaps ease the experience for these brave children battling cancer.”
The treatment room is designed to be relaxing and entertaining for the children during difficult times. There is a TV with video game systems, stuffed animals, colouring activities and a comfortable lounge area for parents.
“It’s a little bit bigger than the room we were using before and it’s a little more kid-friendly and now we are going to be working with oncology nurses from the cancer treatment centre instead of working with the children’s nurses,” said pediatric physician Dr. Michael Cooke.
He added a big thanks to the children’s nurses for doing what he called an amazing job with the kids over the years.
“This is a huge day for us,” said VJH Foundation president Kevin Arbuckle. “The radiothon has been in existence since 2004 and I am happy to report we have raised more than $830,000 in that time period.”
The VJH Foundation is a charitable society that supports health care in the North Okanagan by raising funds for long-term care facilities, community health services and Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
In the past years, the foundation has supported VJH cancer, maternity and maternal child care.