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Treatment Snapshot
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Excerpt from "Only 10 Seconds to Care"
December 23, 2009 – Wendy Harpham, MD
Cancer as a Turning Point
December 23, 2009 – Don Vaughan
Best Face Forward
December 23, 2009 – Lacey Meyer
Recipes from Chef Hans Rueffert
December 20, 2009
A Skinny Chef You Can Trust
December 22, 2009 – Karen Patterson
Getting Help
December 23, 2009 – Jo Cavallo
Stress Reducers
December 23, 2009 – Laurie M. Fisher
Cisforcupid.com
December 23, 2009 – Lacey Meyer
Only 10 Seconds to Care: Help and Hope for Busy Clinicians
December 23, 2009 – Kathy LaTour
Flavored-Cigarette Ban Takes Effect, With More to Come
December 23, 2009 – Lacey Meyer
Stress, Depression & PTSD
December 23, 2009 – Laurie M. Fisher
Imaging Strategies: The Bigger Picture
December 23, 2009 – Laura Beil
Herceptin Combinations Improve Survival, Lessen Heart Toxicity
December 23, 2009 – Laura Beil
Integrative Techniques: A Sampler
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Drug Therapies
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Letters from Our Readers
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Treatment Updates
December 23, 2009 – Staff Reports
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December 23, 2009 – Lacey Meyer
Mutant Tissue Wanted
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The More You Know
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Patients' Songs Take Flight
December 23, 2009 – Bunmi Ishola
Comfort in Strange Places
December 23, 2009 – Susie Kasinski Drummond
The 'Price' is $1 Million
December 23, 2009 – Lacey Meyer
Pancreatic Cancer Symposia
December 23, 2009
Tired of Being Tired?
December 23, 2009 – Lacey Meyer
Message From the Editor
December 23, 2009 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Beneficial Brew
December 23, 2009 – Lena Huang
Gut Reaction
December 23, 2009 – Karen Patterson
Today's Lesson: Cancer
December 23, 2009 – Bunmi Ishola
Uncertain Obligations
December 23, 2009 – Jo Cavallo
Beyond Face Value
December 22, 2009 – Terry Healey
Cancer's Silver Lining
December 22, 2009 – Don Vaughan
Kids Allowed
December 21, 2009 – Marc Silver
Layman's Terms
December 23, 2009 – Charlotte Huff
All Stressed Out
December 23, 2009 – Laurie M. Fisher
Bad Neighbors
December 22, 2009 – Laura Beil

Patients' Songs Take Flight

Young patients' songs take flight with Purple Songs Can Fly project

BY Bunmi Ishola
PUBLISHED December 23, 2009

Purple Songs Can Fly is part of the hospital’s Arts in Medicine (AIM) program. It gives pediatric patients the opportunity to write and record songs, which are put on purple CDs and then flown to destinations across the globe and beyond. The CDs eventually make it back to Houston, with flight log and signatures, where they are framed and hung in the hospital’s in-house studio.

“The name (for the program) was more about flight of spirit, and rising above the illness,” says Anita Kruse, songwriter and founder of Purple Songs Can Fly. The songs have so far been on two space shuttle missions. Purple CDs have also toured with the Rolling Stones, and Continental Airlines “flies” the songs in its in-flight entertainment channel.

Kruse works with the kids, helping them write and record a song. Since its inception in March 2006, around 150 songs have been completed, Kruse says. And one of the most powerful things about the songs is they rarely focus on cancer. 

“The kids express happiness, joy, and thanks,” Kruse says. “Most of the songs are thanking someone who’s been influential, or important in their life or cancer journey.”

The effect has been so great on both Kruse and the kids that she hopes to expand Purple Songs Can Fly to other Texas Children’s-affiliated hospitals. 

For more information, or to hear a “Purple Song,” visit www.purplesongscanfly.org.

Purple could be considered a good color for cancer patients. It’s often associated with courage, healing, strength, and confidence. It’s also associated with inspiration and imagination, and has been known to stimulate a child’s creativity. For patients at Texas Children’s Cancer Center in Houston, it’s a great color because of Purple Songs Can Fly. 

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