Healing injuries and spirits with Life Cycle

Healing injuries and spirits with Life Cycle

This month-long cycling challenge supports vital Child Life programs like Art and Music Therapy, which lift the spirits of kids like Madison at the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation and the Alberta Children's Hospital.

Long hospital stays can weigh heavy on young patients, so specialists at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and Stollery Children’s Hospital work with kids to find a release valve for the pressures that can build.

Madison Robinson of Chestermere, AB found hers in Art and Music Therapy, programs made available to families through the Child Life program, which you support when you register and fundraise through Life Cycle.

A creative and active girl at heart, an e-bike mishap in 2021 turned her life upside down. The family was referred to the Alberta Children’s Hospital where specialists laid out a plan that would see young Madison undergo several surgeries to repair the damage. It would mean almost a month in hospital – which is a lot for anyone, especially an 11-year-old girl.

Madison was able to keep herself busy with toys, books and crafts, and weekly Art Therapy sessions, which allowed her to interact with other kids throughout the hospital via Zoom. “They would come to my room with supplies before the sessions, and then we would all get together and build crafts,” says Madison. “I really looked forward to these sessions, being able to see people outside my room and talk to someone other than my parents,” she says. She made watercolour paintings for her sisters, parents and grandfather, and a dreamcatcher that still hangs in her bedroom.

Art Therapy is designed to support physical, mental and emotional healing while providing a fun distraction and social interaction during a hospital stay. It’s just one of the many therapeutic arts offered at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, which you support when you register and fundraise through Life Cycle.

Musically inclined from a young age, Madison was overjoyed to learn she could also play her instruments – even learn new ones – in between surgeries. Music Therapist Colleen Kehler would visit Madison in her room and they would rock out in music-making sessions together. Colleen even brought a keyboard that Madison could play in her hospital bed.

For Colleen, she was only too happy to provide Madison another outlet during her stay, going so far as to provide her some learning resources so she could take her music further between their sessions.

Madison is back at home and back in school, living her best life. Her mom, Sarah, is thankful, not only for her world-class surgical team, but all specialists and staff members who lifted Madison’s spirits during her stay.

“Art therapy and music therapy allowed Madison the opportunities to express her creativity and interact with other kids during her stay at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, and as parents, we couldn’t be more grateful,” says mom, Sarah.

Learn more about Life Cycle and how it supports vital Child Life programs at both the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary and the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

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