Ten years is a long time to spread joy, but that’s exactly what the Children’s Hospital Radiothon – in partnership with Entercom’s Greenville radio stations and their listeners – have been doing for the past decade.
During the Aug. 3-4 Radiothon, the main lobby at Greenville Memorial Hospital will transform into what feels like a carnival as we all celebrate the miracles that are made possible by Radiothon support. It is so exciting and energizing to be surrounded by the radio station staff who are very passionate about doing the Radiothon and our hospital staff who so appreciate the support to care for children and families.
The Radiothon, which runs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. over those two days, is a fun event for staff, families, patients and the Entercom staff. Entercom has raised more than $2.6 million in the past 9 years – which is amazing. As the supervisor of Child Life Services, I can tell you that the Radiothon’s impact is felt daily, 365 days a year.
But what does that mean for the children in Children’s Hospital? Let me give you an example.
About five years ago, we needed a teaching doll able to show children newly diagnosed with cancer how they were going to get their medicine through a port surgically implanted in their chest. That is a lot to comprehend as an adult. As a child, that makes no sense until you can see it. The teaching doll we needed cost $2,000. Insurance wouldn’t pay for something like that, but I knew being able to truly understand the procedure would make all the difference for a child coping with cancer.
We showed the doll to the Entercom staff. They saw the need, and they were able to share that need with their listeners. Entercom raised enough for us to purchase two dolls that year. One went to our pediatric oncology unit, and the other one went to our pediatric radiology department.
In radiology, they use the teaching doll to show children the steps involved with certain invasive procedures, including one that requires a catheter be placed into the child’s bladder. I was able to use the doll when I was working with a 3 year old. She was very nervous about the test and clung to her mother when I first introduced myself. We talked through the steps, and I showed her on the teaching doll exactly what was going to happen. The more I explained using the doll, the more curious she became and she was finally able to ask her questions and picked out some toys to play with during the test. The test was difficult, and this little girl became tearful at parts. Her mom and I provided a lot of reassurance, and she played with the toys she had selected. Once the test was all done, she stood up on the x-ray table, threw her hands in the air and exclaimed “I did it!”
That $2,000 doll proved to be priceless in helping a young child get through a not-so-fun procedure and feel really proud of her hard work.
Those are the kind of miracles that Entercom makes possible at Children’s Hospital. The money they raise goes to items that help children understand their medical experience, allows them to express their feelings about their diagnosis or treatment – or just be kids even while they are in the hospital.
It is so amazing to feel the support from the Entercom staff and all of their listeners. Together, we become a community who are caring for these young patients by making sure they have the medical care they need – but also that something “extra” that supports their emotional well-being.
Tune into 93.3 Planet Rocks, B93.7, Magic 98.9, Classic Rock 101.1, ESPN Upstate 105.9, 96.3 The Block and 106.3 WORD (or stop by the GMH lobby) to hear how Children’s Hospital has made miracles happen for local kids and families.
For more information, visit ghs.org/radiothon.
Emily Durham is supervisor of Child Life Services at GHS Children’s Hospital. To find out more about Child Life, visit http://www.ghschildrens.org/child-life-program.php.