A cancer diagnosis is tough for any family to face, but when the diagnosis is given to a child, it is especially heartbreaking. In honor of National Childhood Cancer and Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month, EdVenture is unveiling a special place inside the museum, called Celebration Circle. Celebration Circle is an area that is dedicated to honoring Prisma Health Children’s Hospital patients who face chronic health conditions and healthcare workers. It celebrates these patients, their families, and the healthcare professionals who dedicate their lives to improving the quality of life for these children.
Celebration Circle’s purpose is two-fold. The first is to honor the bravery of these patients. Inside Celebration Circle, EdVenture has created a special bell that patients and their families can ring to celebrate their journey. The bell-ringing ceremony is not just for children who have completed treatment; it is open to all patients who face chronic health conditions, regardless of where they are in the journey or in treatment.
“It is incredibly hard to watch a family witness other kids ringing the bell to signify the end of treatment, knowing that their child might never have that opportunity,” explains Stuart Cramer, D.O., Medical Director of the Gamecocks Curing Kids Cancer Clinic for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital. “That is why we were so thrilled for this opportunity to partner with EdVenture to create a space that is inclusive and welcoming for all children who face this journey—no matter where they are in treatment.”
In addition to ringing the bell, patients and their families are invited to sign a memory wall that commemorates their celebration of the journey.
“A topic like childhood cancer or having sickle cell disease is surrounded by grief and sadness,” says Andy Marquart, EdVenture’s CEO. “And while that is often the case, there are other aspects of the journey that deserve celebration. Each day, small treatment milestones, and medical research discoveries are all cause for celebration for these kids and their families. And that is why we created Celebration Circle.”
Those healthcare workers featured in the Celebration Circle are the second purpose of the area. In an effort to tie in with EdVenture’s mission of workforce exploration, EdVenture highlights careers in pediatric healthcare.
Additionally, EdVenture hopes the exposure, awareness, and understanding of childhood cancer and sickle cell disease destigmatizes childhood illnesses and promotes kindness, inclusion, and acceptance of others regardless of what types of challenges they may face in life.
Here, Grainne Owen, the Co-founder & President of Curing Kid’s Cancer, rings the bell.