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A St. Jude patient and his father

All of Me Week at St. Jude helps patients celebrate qualities that make them unique

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital helped patients celebrate their uniqueness and strength as part of the hospital’s annual All of Me Week events. The activities are designed to promote self-esteem by offering the hospital’s young patients and their siblings opportunities for self-expression while battling life-threatening diseases.

“All of Me Week is a great way to allow our patients different outlets for expressing themselves and building self-esteem,” said Katherine Cejda, a Child Life specialist at St. Jude. “For us, the goal is to help strengthen self-image views among children and teens in a safe environment while promoting socialization.”

Featuring interactive activities centered around a “my favorites” theme, patients focused on both physical and emotional aspects with projects that included face painting for “my favorite face,” an art session for “my favorite place” and story-telling for “my favorite memory.” The week’s events culminated in the “All of Me” art reception as faculty, staff, patients and their families perused a decorative gallery of the week’s creations.

“Battling a serious illness can affect the normal development of a child or teenager. Child Life exists to help lessen the anxiety and fear associated with treatment and hospitalization,” said Shawna Grissom, Child Life Program director. “All of Me Week is an extension of our work toward normalization of their environment and helping our patients share who they are and how they feel.”

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