Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels delivers innovations for kids undergoing chemotherapy
May 30, 2018
Lorraine Tallman’s daughter, Amanda, fought cancer for four years. In that time she found several ideas to help ease the lives of patients which ended up being known as Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels.
After battling leukemia for three years, Amanda was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 12 years old before losing her battle with a brain tumor in 2012. Lorraine says Amanda’s constant exposure to needles in the chemo room forged a new idea.
“After awhile she started having dreams about clothing with peekaboo compartments and places for her tubes and blood lines,” Lorraine says. “We would talk about creating this peekaboo apparel which eventually got its name as Comfy Cozies for Chemo. It was just brilliant.”
Comfy Cozies for Chemo is a shirt that has a space at the top that can be unzipped so nurses and doctors can access the patient’s port and not see the rest of their body. The patch has an inside pocket the patient can use for their tubing when they aren’t hooked up to the pole. There are also slits on the side for blood lines and IVs to go through. This is useful so hospital officials don’t have to wake up the patient to check their tubes.
‘When our children are going through it they’re going to experience a lot of pain,” Lorraine says. “In our care pack we have this thing called ‘the mindfulness kit.’ Different things inside of them can teach parents how to have breathing exercises and different activities they can do with they children. It helps them get through that moment when your child is screaming, ‘Get that needle away from me.'”
Lorraine says the organization focuses not only on the patient but the whole family as well. The parents are going through a difficult time fighting for their child’s life while often dealing with financial devastation. Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels also provides a service to help with medical bills and other financial challenges.
Siblings often become depressed watching their brother or sister go through this trauma, so Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels offers “major distractions.” Since it’s often unknown how much time the child and family will spend in hospitals, parents often need creative outlets to entertain their children.
“We’ll bring in crafts and spa days and teach them how to drive remote-controlled cars to chase nurses out of the room,” Lorraine says. “We bring in Disney characters and ice cream and we do teen taco nights. We do family meal nights just to bring them together.”
Lorraine and the organization recently receive the iATS Innovator Award for all of the achievements they’ve had with helping cancer patients. For more information visit amandahope.org.