Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program is pleased to announce the release of the official Chemo Duck App, the first app ever created for kids with cancer. The Chemo Duck App, available on iTunes for use on all Apple phones and devices, is filled with enjoyable games to help children of all ages living with cancer adjust to hospital life and treatments. The free app helps to keep kids entertained, educated and at ease while waiting for clinic visits or during overnight stays.
“Walk into most any pediatric healthcare setting and one thing is universal – patients are usually glued to some kind of electronic device,” says Chemo Duck founder Lu Sipos. Her son, 12 year-old Gabe Sipos, is no different. Except now, 10 years after spending countless hours in clinics and the hospital during his treatment of rhabdosarcoma, he had an idea.
“It was such a fun experience coming up with all the different ideas and aspects for the games,” said Gabe. “I sort of knew what types of games I thought kids would like and how I wanted the whole thing to look.”
Talk Like a Duck, Exercise Wheel, Touch and Learn, Call from Chemo Duck, Hospital Bingo and Mix and Match are all interactive activities geared toward keeping kids engaged while providing teaching opportunities.
“I really like the idea that in order to move ahead in the games, you have to earn a coin to unlock the next level,” said Gabe. “It makes you want to keep playing. I do think kids will like it. I know I would’ve liked to have had something like that when I was in treatment.”
Phil Earnest, the app designer, was impressed with Gabe’s vision for the apps. “One of the coolest things about this project was hearing from Gabe what he wanted and working with him on the different elements. It was neat knowing that his dream was becoming a reality, that what he envisioned was coming to life. It was a great feeling to be a part of that.”
The app, Chemo Duck’s first, is an additional way for the non-profit to impact the lives of pediatric cancer patients. And as Lu quickly discovered while doing research for the app, the market was ripe for such a product.
“I searched for an app to both entertain and educate kids living with cancer but couldn’t find one,” says Lu. “When I mentioned this to Gabe, his face lit up. He was thrilled to develop one. He has really found his place within the foundation. He has a way to give back. Helping others is a simple way to bring us fulfillment. But seeing Gabe’s passion about this, it’s the start of a next chapter for Chemo Duck.”
To download the app go to apple.com/itunes and search for “chemo duck.”
ABOUT GABE’S CHEMO DUCK PROGRAM
Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program is a program of the Nashville-based nonprofit organization, Gabe’s My Heart, which was established in 2004 to provide education and comfort to children living with cancer through medical play using therapeutic tools. The goal of the program is to enable hospital staff and parents to prepare children for chemotherapy treatment and eliminate the fear of the unknown. Chemo Duck is a stuffed yellow duck dressed in blue hospital scrubs with a bandana around its head, a chemotherapy port on its chest and an immobilizer on his arm. In a gentle, age-appropriate manner, children learn what to expect during cancer treatment and have a friend to share the experience. In turn, children can use Chemo Duck to help friends, siblings and classmates to understand and empathize with their experience. For more information, visit www.chemoduck.org.