Kids with cancer take a breath break... and with a little celebrity star power


We featured Kids Kicking Cancer in our Childhood Cancer First Line section back in Fall 2009 ("Kids Kick Cancer With Martial Arts and Karate Program"). It's a wonderful organization we were alerted to that helps childhood cancer patients learn to use the power of breathing and meditation to help with stress and pain.From the 2009 article: The KKC program aims to help pediatric cancer patients heal, while empowering them physically, spiritually, and emotionally. KKC pulls the kids' focus away from their cancer and illnesses and instead helps them focus on all the things they can do and control. Most of the work with the children is aimed at resolving feelings of pain, anger, anxiety, fear, loss of control, and diminished self-esteem."Pain is a message you don't have to listen to," says founder and national director Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg, known as "Rabbi G" to students."One of the best examples are when children normally have to be held down for procedures in the clinic and they are able to use their breath work to be totally calm and blow out the pain," Goldberg says. "We just had a mom who normally her child had to be anesthetized for her MRI," he says. "She was able to spend several hours totally calm, meditating while she was getting her scan with her martial artist standing nearby her--totally calm, totally focused, 4 years old."The program started in Michigan, but has expanded to include New York, California and Windsor, Ontario.In addition, a smartphone app called Breath Brake offers kids (and adults) everywhere tips on reducing stress and pain.KKC ( is also getting some star power with the help of Gerard Burns, Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus. But the brightest star may be Bernard, the young man to the left in the wheelchair. I heard this morning that he had passed away last night. He will be remembered this weekend when KKC presents his honorary black belt to his sister. A statement from the organization includes this piece of inspiration:His family believes strongly that Bernard would want everyone to know and use his life's lesson:"Breathe in the light and blow out the darkness" No matter what.

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