Seven-year old Zoe loves to show her original artwork to her friends and family. It’s an important part of her cancer therapy. She sculpts with clay and makes silk hoop paintings in bright colors. This brings joy and distracts her from her treatment’s negative aspects. "It helps her with stress," says Zoe’s mom Brigitte. "It’s not about her cancer — it’s about being a kid and having fun.”

The pandemic limited Zoe’s time at the hospital in the spring of 2020. Her mom says Zoe was devastated to lose her regular art therapy sessions. But our telehealth program enabled her to continue from home. “The gift of technology shined through and put that pep back in her step,” Brigitte says.

Zoe paints on a table with an iPad nearby during a video conference session with an art therapist. “They talk about how Zoe’s feeling and what she has accomplished,” Brigitte says. “Zoe says she feels like she’s sitting in the art room at the hospital.” The therapy sessions also give her mom a break.

“With cancer, every day is a guessing game about how Zoe is going to feel,” Brigitte says. “But if we have art therapy, I know it’s going to be a good day. It gives Zoe life.”

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.

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A young patient at Children's National Hospital.