The Next Generation Needs Us
Imagine being a carefree child. Your life has barely started, then a villain called cancer appears. From there on out, it’s a battle for a future— an effort that creates a uniquely difficult experience for children and their families. It’s why our Mission stands at the forefront of how we care for our youngest patients. Young lives need holistic care to carry them through the mental, physical and spiritual challenges of treatment. With services like mental health counseling, nutrition and wellness programs and support programs like in-hospital tutoring, we stand with children in their brave struggle. Through advances in treatment, we can also help families navigate new options like proton therapy, a targeted treatment that spares young, developing tissues and organs, lowering the risk for health issues later in life.
Transformative Technology and Proton Therapy
No one benefits more from world-class technology than children. With proton therapy and a broad spectrum of highly-targeted treatments, we can add not just years, but quality years to the lives of our youngest patients.
Children are our most valuable natural resource in life — they are the future. As unique individuals, their cancer diagnosis can be unique, too. They may face risks from cancer treatments that adults necessarily do not, including developmental delays, bone growth impairments and hormone deficiencies. With proton therapy, we can treat pediatric cancers better than ever before. Through this highly effective and revolutionary form of radiation therapy, we will deliver curative doses directly to the tumor, eliminating unnecessary damage to surrounding healthy tissues and organs. By bringing proton therapy to the new OSF HealthCare Cancer Institute, not only will we be ushering in a type of cancer treatment that is found in fewer than 40 cancer centers nationwide, but — most importantly — we will give our children the chance to make the most of their precious lives.
In the spirit of our OSF Mission to serve all persons with the greatest care and love, every patient receives a care plan as unique as they are. For pediatric patients, we go beyond medical treatment to support families with a wide range of services.
We witness great courage every day in our pediatric patients. Children fight for more time and win more weeks, months and years in their future. It’s the ultimate battle, and through it, they’re living the most tremendous stories.
When Violet (age 5) was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer, her family wasted no time seeking treatment. With a targeted chemotherapy regimen close to home and a care team supporting various needs, Violet is now cancer-free and thriving.