The Problem
Pediatric oncology patients who have received a Bone Marrow Transplant are released from the hospital with an extraordinary amount of restrictions on top of the  incredible schedule of medications and follow up appointments. The road to recovery is incredibly long and these patients do not have the ability to be around other children or extended family. The walls of the hospital have changed to the walls of their homes, but they are still confined. These kids are isolated from the outside world. Isolation leads to depression which slows the healing process.

The Solution
The Anna's Pals Beach House would provide an escape for these kids. The Pal house would consist of individual cottages specifically designed to meet the needs of these fragile patients. They would be constructed with mold and mildew resistant materials, have air filtration systems and would be wheelchair accessible. The Anna's Pals Beach House would allow time for family bonding, as well as giving these kids the opportunity to mingle with others in a safe environment. A healthy mind leads to a healthy body.

The Facts

This chart represents the children diagnosed with the blood cancer AML, like Anna. We can confirm these statistics. Out of the 12 families we met in the hospital, only 3 have had a positive outcome.

​​You always see kids on the news who meet celebrities or travel thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Basically, only the children in the blue area will be able to make it to the Make-a-Wish vacation, if that’s what they choose. Kids like Anna don’t get to make that wish.

Here, in Boston, pediatric patients are hospitalized until their Absolute Neutrophil Count or, immune system, reaches 200. Once discharged, they must remain isolated from the outside world until their ANC reaches 500. Any child who receives an organ transplant or BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) is prescribed immunosuppressants. These medications keep the body from rejecting the new organs or bone marrow, and it keeps the patient’s ANC well below 500 for months, and sometimes years. This makes patients extremely susceptible to life threatening infections.  At this time, Anna’s Pals is the only organization working towards creating a safe environment for immunocompromised children. In the United States there isn’t an organization that provides the service we are looking to provide. No similar facility exists.

Anna couldn’t have friends in the house. If she had visitors, they had to be outside. After 6 months straight in the hospital, it would have been nice to have a place for her to gather with friends. As a teen, friends and socialization are SO important! These kids can’t use public bathrooms. That really limits the ability to stray too far from home. Anna was not an only child. Her illness had an impact on her siblings as well. They too had to be isolated, not allowed to have friends over. If they went with others, they had to be sure the friends were virus free. Emily and Will had to sanitize their hands every time they walked in the door. We didn’t have towels in the kitchen or the bathroom. All of our produce had to be American, limiting what foods were available. This type of illness and treatment affects the entire family.

These fragile patients need a safe environment, away from the clinics and hospitals to bond with family and friends. With your help we can construct a beach house made for these children, a place for these kids to be kids. Studies have shown that a healthy mind leads to a healthy body. Please help.
Responses to Pediatric Medical Trauma

  • Response is determined by OUR Interpretation of the Experience, and less by the medical event or its objective severity
  • May include symptoms of arousal, re-experiencing, and avoidance or all together: PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Reactions may vary in intensity and can be adaptive or may become disruptive to functioning
  • 50% of All mothers reported clinically-significant levels of intrusive thoughts and worries.
  • 20% experience severe distress reactions defined as an anxiety, depressive, or posttraumatic stress disorder.
  • Normalizing Traumatic Responses & Making Meaning of the Event
  • Accept the legitimacy and universality of your reactions to your child’s experience and ongoing concerns.
  • Identify Needs: Make sure your child and you have the help you may need: medical, psychological, academic, legal, community.
  • Create a “frame of meaning” around the traumatic experience.
  • Make linkages between past positive experiences and current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors:   Trauma Narrative.
  • Mindfulness-A psychological quality that involves bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience, on a moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental basis.
-Journal of Pediatric Psychology

The Anna’s Pals Beach House
will allow for the psychological healing for the entire family


​Please share your thoughts, ideas and ways you would like to help.