SWFL family thanks for free counseling services at Golisano Children’s Hospital
Imagine hearing the words “Your child has cancer”. It turns your world upside down. For this reason, Golisano Children’s Hospital has a full-time psychologist who helps each and every family member.
From the child in treatment to their parents and siblings who cope with the absence of a parent and focus on the sick child.
WINK News spoke to a family who said it made a huge difference.
When you see 14-year-old Cali Trepkowski with her mother Carrie, it’s hard to believe you’re seeing the same child.
Carrie said, “She was diagnosed a week before school started for her third year.”
The doctors said two big scary words to the family. “Medulla blastoma, a type of brain tumor.”
It meant surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and a big change in family dynamics.
âIt definitely has an emotional impact on every single member. She has a younger brother who obviously was the baby in the family and who switched roles. You know, you had an older sister who had to start helping dad prepare lunch for school, âCarrie said.
This is where child psychologist Doctor Kim Shimoda comes in. She works with every single family member.
Cali said, âShe played games with me to express my feelings. What are your fears, for example? Or things like that. “
She also works with her patients to look for any learning gaps.
“Our goal in doing neuropsychological testing is to make sure children have the accommodations they need in school,” said Shimoda.
Patients and families see Dr. Shimoda continued on even after recovering.
It was actually the hardest time for Carrie. âMy fear went through the roof. Because you know, during the treatment we did something to keep it away. “
Dr. Shimoda’s advice; Focus on successes and how far a child has come, be flexible with schedules, and stick to a routine as best you can.
Cali exceeded all expectations and is officially cured.
Cali is enrolled in Fort Myers High School honor classes.
She no longer receives regular counseling because she doesn’t need it, but it is available free of charge to all children who are being treated for cancer and blood diseases, as well as their families, because it is covered by donations.