Foundation ThinkAgain provides rehabilitation therapies to children severely affected by cancer, brain tumors, and the treatments used to cure them.
Because of significant advances in therapy, about 80% of children diagnosed with cancer under the age of 15 will survive their disease. We owe this remarkable success to treatment options that include surgical resection, systemic chemotherapy, central nervous system chemotherapy, radiation (local, cranial-spinal, or whole body) as well as bone marrow and stem cell transplants. This success rate however, comes with a substantial cost to the cognitive and academic functioning of many of our survivors. First, in addition to complications of treatment that may include infection, neutropenia, and endocrine disorders, the majority of these children miss anywhere from 1 to 2 years of school. Further, a large percentage of these children develop late-effects from their treatment, including neurological changes. These changes represent injuries to the brain, with subsequent disorders in the areas of memory, visual and perceptual motor skills, processing speed, receptive and expressive language and attention, to name a few. Schools can sometimes accommodate our children, but are unable to address or remediate these types of disorders, and insurance coverage is usually severely limited, if available at all.
While it should be a time of celebration, getting back into life following treatment for cancer and brain tumors is especially difficult when accompanied by cognitive difficulties. With proper and expedient intervention through rehabilitation therapies funded by Foundation ThinkAgain, these children can return to school better prepared for learning, truly celebrate their survival, and give them hope for a more successful and productive adulthood.
- National Cancer Institute Report: Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer - 2011
- Neurocognitive Status in Long-Term Survivors of Childhood CNS Malignancies: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study - 2009
- Neurocognitive Functioning in Adult Survivors of Childhood Non-Central Nervous System Cancers - 2010
- Neurocognitive Interventions for Children and Adolescents Surviving Cancer, 2004