Jenny Brandt, MS, CCLS, a child life specialist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, recently sat down with Kids Rock Cancer music therapist Jaime Wilhite to talk about what KRC’s music therapy program means to her and the patients she serves.
Brandt has spent the past eight years working with young patients in St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s hematology and oncology outpatient clinic, and with bone marrow transplant patients. She was first introduced to Kids Rock Cancer nearly a decade ago, and said she knew it would be a great way to provide a therapeutic services to children in the outpatient clinic, who sometimes miss out on special services.
Brandt said Kids Rock Cancer has also been helpful in reaching adolescent and young adult patients, who are often more reserved in what they want to share.
“I have seen so many kids and teenagers really come alive in the songs that they write,” Brandt says, recalling a 17-year-old patient who was reluctant to open up. “I referred her to Kids Rock Cancer, thinking music might be something that could hep her. She didn’t write a song, but instead wrote a beautiful poem that the therapists help her put to music.
“For the first time, we actually understood everything she’d gone through in her life, and how she was dealing with her chronic illness. She was so excited to share her poem with our staff, and you could tell she felt so accomplished and proud about what she had created through the Kids Rock Cancer process.”