A Place Where Kids Can Be Alright

On Nov. 4, The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey and Led Zeppelin ’s lead singer Robert Plant visited UCLA Medical Center to launch a special hospital unit dedicated to housing teenagers and young adults battling cancer.

Roger Daltrey (back center) with cancer patients at UCLA. Photo courtesy UCLA.

Part of a program called the UCLA Daltrey/Townshend Teen & Young Adult Program, the unit is the first of its kind in the United States and is modeled after the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT), which has helped fund 19 cancer units in the United Kingdom. Mr. Daltrey and his bandmate, guitarist Pete Townshend, are longtime supporters of the TCT.

“At a time when your body is changing, your social life is everything, and you’re still trying to figure out who you are, getting cancer can seem like an impossible blow to take,” Mr. Daltrey said in a prepared statement.

The unit at UCLA will have adjoining patient rooms located near a common lounge where teens can hang out, play video games, and provide support for each other. In a video interview, Dr. David Feinberg, CEO of the UCLA Health System and associate vice chancellor for health sciences, described the unit as a “state of mind…putting together teenagers and young adults who are battling with cancer in a physical space and in an emotional space where they can get better because of one another.”

Mr. Daltrey said that teenagers “have a much better chance in their fight against cancer if they are treated by experts specializing in their care in a compassionate environment tailored to their needs.”

A video of the Nov. 4 event can be viewed here.

— Doug Brunk (on Twitter@dougbrunk)

Image courtesy UCLA Newsroom

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Filed under IMNG, Oncology, Pediatrics, Practice Trends

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