79 Krinitzi st.
Kids School- “The Disease and I live together: Educational workshops for children with CF”
Cystic Fibrosis accompanies CF patients every day of their lives and they regard the disease as one of the main components of their daily life. Children suffering from CF quickly come to the conclusion that they are different from their peers but do not necessarily understand how and why. This lack of understanding of “What is happening to my body and can I cope with it?”, coupled with intensive daily medical treatments, creates resistance to treatment among children with Cystic Fibrosis. Such a reaction is potentially life threatening. Without strict maintenance of daily treatment routines, the health of these children can quickly deteriorate as their bodily systems begin to fail.
Children are curious by nature and do not blindly accept answers. Therefore, it is necessary to explain to them how CF affects their body and life while placing an emphasis on its various demands. Research has shown that children who receive detailed explanations regarding the nature of their disease and the advantages of daily treatments demonstrate increased cooperation and more readily accept medical treatments.
The overall purpose of this project is to increase adherence to treatment among children suffering from CF and, indirectly, improve their self-image.
Children with chronic illness spend long durations of time at hospitals in order to receive medical treatment and attend check up sessions with their physicians. During such visits, much time is spent on waiting in line to receive treatment. This program aims to make use of this “lost time” in order to engage sick children with organized study groups in which they will better understand what CF means to them and how it affects their lives. Such study groups will take place in the hospital’s play area and will include numerous children at similar ages thereby creating support networks of peers which have been show to facilitate higher life expectancy, increased quality of life and increased compliance with medical treatment.
We regard this program as an innovative one as it not only identifies the needs of children suffering from CF but also proposes a creative way of meeting these needs.
The study groups will take place once a month during the school year in the CFFI’s six multi-disciplinary CF clinics located at hospitals throughout Israel. The participating children shall be divided into two age groups: 5-8 year olds and 9-12 year olds with 8 children in each group for a total of 100 children. We expect that each study group session will last three hours.
The program shall address the following topics:
- CF – What is it?
- Respiratory System- how it functions in a healthy body, and how it functions in CF patients
- Digestive System- how it functions in a healthy body and how it functionss in CF patients
- Me and society- from exclusion to inclusion
- Responsibility for treatment – session to include dialogue with parents
The program shall be administered by the interdisciplinary staff at our clinics according to the professional context. Each session shall include theoretical explanations as well as activities and games that will strengthen and internalize the information presented. Such playful activities have been planned especially for this program and include a germ fishing competition, a virtual trip to the alimentary canal and a visit to the CF museum.
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