NWTC students donate chemo ducks to hospital

April 24, 2013

From wbay.com: “Chemo Ducks teach young cancer patients about treatment” — Green Bay – Students from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College make a special delivery to St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay.

They’re called chemo ducks.

The stuffed animal is more than just a toy, though. These ducks may look like ordinary stuffed animals, but they’re dressed in hospital scrubs and have a tube connected to them.

They help children newly diagnosed with cancer understand their treatment.

“They have such a rough start to life anyway and then to have this put on them and they’re scared and frightened,” said Jennifer Ross, a supply chain management student.

It was part of the supply chain management students’ service learning project.

They sold the ducks for a month on campus for $25, then donated more than one hundred ducks to the hospital.

“We were really overjoyed because we don’t always have the funds to do it. So, when other people help out, it means we can continue to give it to other kids,” explained Colleen Ducke, the child life coordinator at St. Vincent Hospital.

The ducks are designed to make children feel more comfortable.

St. Vincent Hospital also hands out booklets which walk them through the steps of their treatment, like chemotherapy, and show them how the ports (which the ducks also have) will be put in their bodies to get that treatment.

“All the materials that the nurses will use on them, we have in their kit. So, they can do it beforehand and can practice it, so they’re actually very empowered,” added Ducke.

The students say they wanted to donate these ducks, because they all know someone who has fought cancer.

“When I was growing up, my best friend’s sister actually had leukemia and back then, they didn’t have anything like this,” explained Ross.

Young patients can even use the ducks to show siblings and friends how chemo works, so it’s less scary for everyone.

To learn more about the Chemo Ducks, you can call the Child Life Department at St. Vincent Hospital. The phone number is (920) 433-8915.

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