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Vote to bring photography to cancer patients at Akron Children’s Hospital

CIP_RedBlue-04-600-400Between March 24 and April 11, you can vote to help bring Pablove Shutterbugs, a therapeutic photography program, to the Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Akron Children’s is one of 39 pediatric cancer centers nationally selected by the LIVESTRONG Foundation to participate in this year’s Community Impact Project.

The LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project provides funding for hospitals, cancer centers, universities and community-based organizations to implement new programs.

Of the 39 centers in the contest, 13 will receive funding for the Shutterbugs program. Pablove Shutterbugs teaches children living with cancer to develop their creative voice through the art of photography.

The $12,595 grant, if received, will allow for a trained professional photography teacher to come to the hospital for 5 weeks and guide patients through a series of lessons. The money will also provide a point-and-shoot camera for the patients involved, which they will get to keep once the program ends.

“The program will give patients a hands-on experience,” said Brenda Powell, a child life specialist. “It will allow them to see the hospital, and their treatment, in a different light. They will have the opportunity to look back and see what they’ve accomplished. The program will encourage creativity, self-esteem and will help them cope with treatment.”

At the end of the program, students will attend a “graduation” where they receive a diploma and a catalogue of their photos.

“We need the community’s help to rally around this cause for our patients,” said Powell.  “Treatment can be hard on the patients and their families. This program will help make the treatment, and the sometimes extended hospital stays, more of a positive experience for them.”

In 2010, Akron Children’s Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center received a LIVESTRONG Community Engagement Award, which allowed the center to have the services of an artist-in-residence.

To bring photography to Akron Children’s, visit vote.livestrong.org and vote for the hospital. The winners will be announced on April 15.

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