San Antonio's START Center for Cancer Care is a world renowned cancer treatment and research facility. But now START is focing on boosting another local practice, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Oncologist Dr. Amita Patnaik says START has donated the entire proceeds from the sale of its unique Fiesta medal, more than $3600, to Wonders and Worries, a local non profit which helps children deal with the stress and uncertainty caused by having a parent who is undergoing treatment for a potentially deadly disease.
Dr. Patnaik says she and other cancer doctors noticed when they were treating their patients the stress that the situation caused for the entire family.
"Understand the struggles that the children were facing as a result of the illness that was taking place in the parent."
She says Wonders and Worries doesn't just provide activities to 'take the kids' minds off' of the stress of cancer therapy. She says the program uses proven therapies to deal with the natural fears kids have over the uncertainty, and work with them to help get them through school and childhood despite these pressures.
And she says START oncologists have found that what helps the kids, also helps the parents who are undergoing life saving treatment.
"While the parents are undergoing treatment and therapeutic intervention, I think their minds are at rest, knowing that their kids are also being cared for and counseled in a very professional environment," she said.
Wonders & Worries provides free and age-specific counseling to the children of parents who are undergoing medical care.
This is the second year START has supported the program, and Dr. Patnaik says their cooperation is vital to her work as an oncologist.
PHOTO; Dr. Patnaik and other START physicians and patients present the check to Wonders and Worries Photo courtesy START Center