The Duke Pediatric
Blood and Marrow Transplant Family Support Program
part of Family Support Services
What We're About
What We Are About...
Undergoing bone marrow transplant is quite possibly one of the most terrifying and lonely
experiences a family may ever endure. The life and death struggle
affects not only the patient, but the entire family. The necessity to embrace
families, coming from within the community as well as from without is
vital to their social, emotional and financial survival.
The Family Support Program (FSP) is a volunteer-based program that
provides specific programs, resources and services to patients and
families during their time at Duke. It was founded in May of 1997 as a partnership, born through the
efforts of families who experienced transplant at Duke and the PBMT staff.
The program seeks to embrace families and fully address their needs
during the arduous transplant process.
Click here for FSP Staff
names and contact information.
Activity Passport - An incentive program designed to encourage
patient participation in daily group activities. Passports are
distributed upon admission. Stamps are earned by attending an
activity, which may then be redeemed for prizes.
Adopt-A-Family is a need-based program designed to assist PBMT patients
and families during their time at Duke. Team of volunteers from area
churches provide childcare, meals, transportation, computer support and
room decorations. Each team consists of 8-10 volunteers (respite
volunteers, meal volunteers, social volunteers and computer volunteers),
headed by a leader who coordinates the team's service. all team members
participate in training sessions led by various staff members and local
ArtMates - A program for patients and siblings to have fun
and socialize in a relaxed and creative atmosphere. Through creating new
projects every-other week, children are able to express thoughts and
feelings that they may otherwise be unable to express in words.
Beads Program - Through the use of colorful beads as
meaningful symbols of the different "steps" along the
transplant path, patients build a necklace that provides a visual and
tangible expression of their individual journey.
Best Buddies Volunteer Program -
Best Buddies volunteer at least 4 hours of their time each week to help
decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation that a family on the PBMT
unit may feel. Best Buddies participate in a mandatory 12 hours of
training prior to being matched with a family. Following their training,
Best Buddies provide respite care, friendly visits, occasional
home-cooked meals, and many other supportive services.
CellMates Support Group - CellMates
is a weekly support group for patients and their siblings.
Co-facilitators help to prepare an activity, run the group and clean the
Family Lounge before and after an activity.
Community Meals - Teams of volunteers
coordinate a home-cooked meal for the families on the PBMT unit. Meals
are prepared at the volunteer's homes and delivered and served to
families in the Family Lounge. Click here for a
list of those organizations which contribute to Community Meals.
Crisis Team Support Program - Staff members
respond to a death on the unit or in the PICU by informing, supporting
and counseling families and other patients, individually and/or in a
The Community Counts Newsletter - An inspiring newsletter for patients, families and
staff. The newsletter serves as a source of information, encouragement and humor.
Racing Heroes Charity Auction Fund -
Because families are here for six months or longer, finances
can become a concern. The Racing Heroes Fund seeks to alleviate
this. The 2002 Racing Heroes Auction raised over $42,000 to help
families in need by auctioning NASCAR memorabilia among other donated
gifts. One hundred percent of all money goes to families in need as
administered by the unit social workers and Family Support Program
director. Duke does not keep any money for administering the program and
all work and expenses are volunteered.
Rainbow of Heroes Walk - The Rainbow of Heroes Walk is an annual fundraiser for the Duke
Pediatric Bone Marrow transplant Family Support Program. Past and
current patients, their families, staff and friends of the PBMT program
gather for a day of fun activities, visiting, and walking in honor of
all of those involved in the program. Volunteers help in every aspect of
this event, including set up, running activities, selling t-shirts, and
Rainbow Volunteers - On the
PBMT unit, volunteers work in three hour shifts to support families and
patients by providing respite, playing with kids, and serving as a
general unit resource.
Steps to Recovery Program -
Patients are encouraged to walk laps in the hallways of 5200 and receive
"footprints" that hang on their IV pole as a way to track their
Pagers - When a child is on the PBMT unit, emotions and stress
are at a high level. Families are offered pagers while their children
are inpatient. These pagers provide a sense of security for family
members when they have to leave the unit. The caregivers know that they
can instantly be contacted by a nurse, family member, or the child.
Welcome Bags - Upon admission to the unit, the Family Support
Program team will distribute a welcome bag to families. This bag
includes a pager, phone cards (donated by the Katie Swaney Foundation),
a brightly colored pillowcase, a colorful laundry bag, a quilt, a
disposable camera and several other
small items. This is the Family Support Program's way of saying welcome.
Discharge Bags - Upon discharge from the unit, the Family
Support Program (courtesy of the Me Fine Foundation) distributes a
discharge bag to families. This bag includes paper towels,
disinfectant wipes, a cooler to transport medicine to the clinic, a set of
plastic drawers to store supplies, a tray to help sort and organize
medicine, and a garbage can.
Parking Passes - Upon discharge if a family needs to drive to the
clinic, a 10 ticket set of parking passes will be distributed on a one
Best Buddies Volunteer Program