BETHESDA, Md. (WNEW) — Cancer. Chemo. Hospital.
It can get exhausting to think about those things every day, especially for kids.
That’s why The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health puts on an annual “Siblings Day,” to give the brothers and sisters of sick children who are getting treatment some time away from their worry.
Lori Wiener, head of the Pediatric Psychosocial Support and Research Program in the Pediatric Oncology Branch at NIH, created the program, which is in its seventh year.
On Tuesday, activities for the siblings of sick kids included a staff-led “VIP sibling Fantastic Voyage” through the clinical center, lunch, a group game and project and a “Super Sib” award ceremony and an ice cream social. Some wore red “Brave Kid” capes throughout the day.
“Other days they are thinking about their sister or their brothers, they’re worried about them,” Wiener says.
But on Siblings Day, she says, they feel OK having some attention for themselves.
“Recognition for their own needs, for their own worries, their own questions, their own concerns, their own hopes.”