photo of the magic castle statueFor very young cancer patients, the process of daily visits to the hospital for radiation therapy can be an overwhelming experience. Thanks to The Children's Cancer Foundation, the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) has a whimsical and fun way to help ease children's fears and encourage them through the radiation therapy process.

At the start of treatment, each child is invited to write three wishes on a slip of paper and place it inside a Magic Castle located in the patient waiting area. The child is then told that the Magic Castle princess will come after everyone has left and grant one of the wishes. On the final day of treatment, the child receives their gift and celebrates with family members and staff.

Funding for the project comes from The Children's Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for research and treatment of childhood cancer and to improving the quality of life of pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Dr. William Regine, chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology, was aware of a similar project at another hospital, and championed the concept of a Magic Castle at UMGCCC. He felt that having a way to ease kids' stress about the treatment process was not only important, but essential: "There is such a high level of anxiety in kids, and creating this concept has made our youngest patients feel even better when they are finished their treatment."

The Magic Castle program is made possible through charitable contributions. Donate today to the Department of Radiation Oncology and help make a child's wish come true.

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High Performing Hospitals | US News & World Report | 2021-22 | Cancer