The WTOP Charity of the Month is Tracy’s Kids
For 21 years, Tracy’s Kids has used art therapy to help young cancer patients in the DC metropolitan area cope with the emotional toll imposed by the disease and its treatment.
Tracy’s Kids is staffed by Masters-trained Art Therapists and offered free-of-charge to patients, their siblings and parents at Children’s National Medical Center, Inova Children’s Hospital and Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. This year, Tracy’s Kids also launched a program at Walter Reed, supporting America’s service members by caring for their children who have been diagnosed with cancer.
The charity provides individual art therapy sessions with inpatients who may be confined to their rooms, as well as “open studio” sessions where outpatients sit side-by-side as they work on art projects. The children are encouraged to make their own artistic choices — which is empowering at a time in their lives when so many decisions are outside their control.
We truly transform the patient experience with families congregating around the art table as some receive their chemotherapy while others await test results or appointments. Working with clay, paint, glue and more, they share what’s on their minds. In turn, our professional therapists help them develop strategies for coping with scary procedures, express their fears, communicate with the medical team and feel less alone during a time when illness has disrupted the routines in their lives.