ZLC Financials’ support of Music Heals is underscoring the pathway to healing for patients at BC Children’s Hospital’s Oncology Department!
By Music Heals May 8, 2019
A generous $15,000 donation from ZLC Financial to Music Heals Charitable Foundation has helped provide 1 day of music therapy a week for 12 months in the Oncology department at BC Children’s Hospital. As a result, more children were introduced to the healing power of music therapy!
When asked why they chose to support Music Heals, John Lutrin, President of ZLC Financial shared that supporting the community is a major pillar within his organization “At ZLC we see it not only as our responsibility and obligation to give back to our community, but also our honour and privilege. Music therapy has a direct and profound impact on patients where the benefit of music is obvious and abundant”
Music Therapy and Oncology
The Music Therapy Program within the Oncology department at BC Children’s Hospital provides the opportunity to listen to or play music to help distract patients during procedures and can ease anxiety, fear and pain.
Music and relaxation techniques used by music therapists are an effective way to provide comfort, relaxation and distraction during painful procedures or to help manage the side effects of chemotherapy. Song writing, recording and discussions with a music therapist allows youth to express and explore their feelings around the changes in their body, isolation from friends, hair loss, and fears associated with having a life-threatening disease.
The day started out like any other for 16-year-old Ruby Davidson. She woke up, got ready for school and caught the bus. On the bus, she grabbed a seat to swing herself around like she’d done hundreds of times before. But this time, that simple motion broke her arm.
Ruby’s mom Terri immediately took her to local emergency department in Victoria. At first, everyone was perplexed. “We walked into the room and the doctor looked at us and asked, ‘okay really, what happened?”’ Ruby explained it again; that a small bit of pressure broke her arm. ‘That’s when the doctor said something is definitely wrong.”
She was sent to BC Children’s Hospital where a diagnosis was made. It was osteosarcoma-a form of cancer that originates in the bones and after the initial shock, reality set in and a treatment plan was made. Ruby would undergo multiple rounds of chemotherapy and surgery at BC Children’s Hospital. Through her journey, Ruby experienced some tough side effects. She had blackouts from the chemotherapy drug and her feet became blistered and excruciatingly painful. She spent her 17th birthday in hospital, something she couldn’t have imagined just months before. But despite it all, Terri says Ruby almost always had a smile on her face and was determined to get better.
While in hospital Ruby met Erin, a music therapist. They struck up a friendship, and Erin taught Ruby to play the ukulele. “Before that there was a lot of waiting. Throughout the day I was mostly just watching TV,” Ruby said. “But when I started to learn the ukulele it definitely helped.”
‘The relationship Erin and Ruby have is amazing,” Terri said. “If Erin didn’t walk through and meet Ruby, this would have been so much worse.”
Today, Ruby has completed her surgery successfully and has had what everyone hopes will be her last round of chemo. The last day of treatment was emotional. ‘The doctor came in to check my blood levels and just looked at me. I started crying. My mom didn’t quite get it at first. But then she started crying too. I’m still getting used to the fact that I don’t have to do chemo anymore.”
Playing, exploring or learning a musical instrument and singing songs provides comfort, relaxation and distraction for kids like Ruby, meaningful interactions for families and a much needed physical and emotional outlet.
“ZLC is so proud to support Music Heals and we are committed to supporting many more situations like Ruby’s. ZLC has a proud history of giving back, it also has a bright future of continuing to provide support and helping the community we serve and live in” chimes Lutrin.
The music therapy program in the Oncology department makes a positive and lasting impact on kids and families. That is possible thanks to the generosity of donors like ZLC Financial. Thank you.
How You Can Help
If you believe in the healing power of music and wish to explore adopting a music therapy program in your community please contact Taryn@MusicHeals.ca
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