St. Jude Uses Art Make Sick Kids Feel Better

St. Jude child life specialist, Ashley Andrest

Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital is the first institution established for the sole purpose of treating childhood diseases. But it's not just science. Jim De La Vega shows us other ways sick children and their families are helped at Saint Jude.Ashley Andrest is a child life specialist at St. Jude. Her job is to help children cope with being in a strange place and dealing with scary medical procedures. "Some of it might be just providing them with the opportunities to play and be normal children while they're here." "The biggest part of it is to help them cope while they're here. We tried to do fun things. A hospital is not a fun place to be, and so a big part of child-life is to promote coping and normalizing this environment, and a big part of that is art," said Ashley.Ashley says art is something children make in school and they love having their work hung on the walls at St. Jude.An example of the art work is the ABC's all done by the children. F is for family. When you have cancer your family hurts for you. When you're sad you can cry with them.And then we go down the wall to H. H is for hurting and heartache months before I knew I had cancer; heartache that Mommy and Daddy felt.And then there's J. In the middle of all they're dealing with, they come up with J. J is for joy. Joy is everywhere. It's easy to give and easy to receive."Remember Cash Shank the 5-year-old from Visalia?{} His father Robert says there is one piece of art in particular that caught his eye and his heart. "There's one that has an anchor on it and it says 'I refuse to sink'. And that one, I mean, I just got chills," said Robert.Robert now plans to get an anchor tattoo to remind him of the wisdom of children.