Hundreds of Guests Watch Pediatric Patients at Miller Children’s “Break Down the Walls of Cancer”

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Family, friends, donors and hospital staff watch as pediatric cancer patients break down the “walls of cancer” with boxing gloves to open their new playroom.

More than a year in the making, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach held a grand opening event for the new hematology/oncology unit. Pediatric cancer patients from the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center (JJCCC) donned boxing gloves to break down a “wall” of cancer. The temporary blockade had different forms of cancer and serious blood disorders printed on them, symbolizing the children triumphing over their illnesses.

The new unit has 24 private patient rooms, two nurse’s stations, a large playroom and several offices for nurses, support services, research staff and physicians. The vision for the new unit was to create a healing environment where children with cancer, sickle cell, hemophilia and other serious blood disorders could receive advanced treatment options, have access to state-of-the-art equipment and leading clinical research trials. JJCCC treats nearly 1,000 babies, kids and teens each year and is the 2nd in the nation for enrollment in COG clinical trials to advance research and offer the latest and most effective treatments to young patients.

Among the hundreds of attendees at the event were major donors of the new unit, community members, former California Governor George Deukmejian, Diana Hendel, CEO, Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s and Community Hospital Long Beach and several staff, physicians, and patients of the hospital.

The estimated cost to build the unit was $14.8 million, which was funded through the Prop 3 Children’s Hospital Bond Act, with a philanthropic goal of $5 million. JJCCC through the Memorial Medical Center Foundation has so far raised more than $3.7 million for an endowment fund for this new unit. The endowment fund will help sustain new research and patient programs.

“The new hematology/oncology unit is a huge step in our fight against pediatric cancer and serious blood disorders and our ability to provide the highest quality of health care to our patients,” says Amanda Termuhlan, M.D., Medical Director, Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach. “We are so thankful for everyone who was involved in making the vision for a new pediatric cancer unit a reality.”

JJCCC provides comprehensive, family centered care to children with cancer, sickle cell disease and other serious blood disorders in a culturally sensitive environment. The Center is known for its comprehensive psychosocial programs and multidisciplinary approach to patient care. JJCCC improves outcomes, prevents complications and enhances the quality of life for children with cancer and serious blood disorders by integrating new clinical research efforts into treatment plans.

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