Explaining Brain Death and Organ Donation to Children

As a child life specialist, I am always learning new things and developing creative and appropriate ways to educate about procedures, diagnoses, medical equipment, medical terminology- the list goes on and on. I know what it means to jump from patient to patient and to learn as I teach, and I’ve developed an ability to appropriately adapt my intervention to best meet the needs at hand. That being said, I will never forget the day I was first asked to explain brain death and organ donation to school-aged children.

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Memory Scarves: Find Comfort Wrapped in their Love

When I think Back to my childhood, a flood of special memories come to mind that involve Alicia Miklavicic-Franz and her mom, Janie Esposito. Alicia was new to my school in 4th grade, moving to West Allis (West-Milwaukee) from a much smaller town called Adams Friendship in Wisconsin. We became instant friends. I traveled with Janie, Alicia, and younger brother Michael to craft shows, helping set up the booth and selling Janie’s children’s clothes. I can remember being with them after a day of selling, sitting in a restaurant and watching Janie’s shock of hearing the news of Princess Diana’s tragic death.

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Remembering Spider-man's biggest fan

He was thee biggest Spider-Man fan you would ever meet. It never got old for him and I'm sure as he grew up in the hospital, battling one or multiple illnesses after another, it allowed him to preserve his innocence. To live in fantasy. To feel like other kids back in school. Or because getting a new toy provided that instant joy and distraction his body and mind needed to fight. To find his happy. Everyone deserves to feel happy.

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