Tracy’s Kids is an organization created to help young cancer patients and their families cope with the emotional stress and trauma of cancer and its treatment through art and play therapy.
On February 27, 2018, Tracy’s Kids
hosted its annual “And the Winner is…” red carpet fundraising event featuring Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and more. This organization not only ensures children and families are emotionally equipped to fight cancer, but also preparation for a cancer-free future.
Vazquez: It is one of the most highly anticipated events in Washington, D.C., where congressional leaders show their support for Tracy´s Kids, an art-therapy program that benefits kids with cancer.
Pence: I don´t like to miss this event because it´s so inspiring.
Gerson: This marks the 20th year that we have been raising money to help children with cancer cope with the emotional aspects of being sick.
Vazquez: Hello, I´m Yolanda Vazquez, and welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers". This year, we have some unique pieces of artwork from prominent senators who know all too well the importance of the art-therapy program in young people´s lives.
Patterson: My daughter, when she was nine years old, was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. And that is where I met the miracle worker, Tracy of Tracy´s Kids. Tracy made going to the hospital a joy. I´m getting goose bumps right now talking about it. Can you imagine a child enjoying going to the hospital?
Cohen: What a difference it made, not only to that child, but also to her mother and to the entire family. And that´s the priceless value of the art therapy that we´re supporting through Tracy´s Kids.
Woman: So, I was diagnosed with Ewing´s sarcoma when I was 12 years old. I had five different types of chemo. I don´t think I would have been able to get through my cancer treatment if I didn´t have art therapy available to me. It changed my life.
Councill: It touches my heart every time somebody says that, because, you know, what we do every day just feels normal. It´s just exciting to see that people engage with art therapy and they can really experience and feel the healing power of working in art in the treatment setting with support. And it really changes their lives. It changes the whole treatment experience. And it lets them, you know, move forward in a much more whole and healthy way.
Pence: These kids tell me themselves. They say, "This -- This makes it so worthwhile." But Tracy´s Kids doesn´t just work with the clients, the children who are the patients. They work with the families. They work with the siblings. Because when you get a cancer diagnosis, the whole family gets that diagnosis, and it affects everybody. And to see how Tracy and these art therapists work with the siblings, it´s absolutely stunning.
Marino: It´s amazing that, at a very young age -- you know, four, five, six years old -- they´re a lot smart than we think, and they may not be able to clearly explain what they´re thinking, but they can certainly put it on paper, on art, with, you know, drawing it, painting it, sketching it, about what is going on inside of them, what they feel about what they´re going through, and what they hope for.
Leahy: Our children are our future, and an illness like cancer or any serious illness -- They need to get better and come out not only healthy of body, but healthy of mind, and this is what Tracy´s Kids does. It makes the kids 100% better. It´s miraculous.
Pence: Art therapists are mental-health professionals. They use art to help these children deal with some of the stress and struggles that they´re going through.
Gerson: Art therapy allows them to talk about their feelings, talk about what they´re thinking, and not really realize that they´re revealing something about their fears or their concerns.
Hirono: I´m undergoing cancer treatment. I often think about how do kids contend with all of this. So, they´re the brave ones, in my view. There are millions of people in this country who are facing these kinds of challenges every single day, and so I am standing in solidarity with them.
Leahy: Because of her strength, dignity, and perseverance she exhibits every day, it is my very great honor to present Senator Mazie Hirono with the 2018 Tracy´s Kids Courage Award. [ Applause ]
Pence: It is my honor to present the 2018 Courage Award to Representative Steve Scalise. [ Applause ] Steve inspired a nation with how quickly he returned to his duties in Congress as the House Majority Whip.
Scalise: I will tell you, you know, we all go through struggles, and to receive the Courage Award -- So many of us have experienced various things in our life that, you know, we just have the courage because we have a passion for the things we love and we have great friends and a support system that help us get through the tough times.
Cohen: There´s just nothing you can feel better about than supporting the Tracy´s Kids programs and realize the impact you´re having on kids who are in the toughest circumstance of their lives and making that circumstance a little bit more pleasant.