“The doctors, hospitals and protocols give our children a shot at a life. The Morgan Center gives the children enjoyment in life.”
— Cyndi (Jackie’s Mom)
Why The Morgan Center Is Needed
Every year there are over 200 children under the age of 5 diagnosed with cancer on Long Island and in the New York metropolitan area.
Children with cancer have suppressed immune systems due to their lowered white blood cell count from chemotherapy. For this reason, if they were to attend a typical preschool they could risk exposure to life threatening infections, illnesses and childhood diseases.
Children undergoing chemotherapy treatment can also be affected educationally by impaired attention, concentration and motor skills issues, as well as difficulty in the processing of information. Chemotherapy treatment administered to children at a very young age can also cause both short term and long term, post-treatment learning disabilities.
If children are not given the opportunity of a pre-kindergarten learning experience, then they can be deprived of growing intellectually,socially and emotionally. The importance of preschools and early learning centers is supported by the U.S. Department of Education.
“Today, many parents enroll their children in some form of preschool, which means that Kindergarten is no longer the child’s first experience with group educational programs. Many early childhood experts believe that children who have been involved in high quality group care or nursery school are better prepared for formal schooling. There is substantial evidence of the short-term effects (e.g., an increased likelihood of completing High School). The National Education goals stress the importance of access to quality early childhood programs.”1
THE MORGAN CENTER provides preschool age children battling cancer the opportunity to learn and socialize in a safe environment. Children undergoing chemotherapy treatment have a suppressed immune system. They cannot socialize with children in ‘typical’ preschool programs due to the risk of infections, illnesses and diseases. Even contracting a simple cold could become life threatening to an immuno suppressed child.They can however interact with other immuno suppressed children in similar situations, whose parents understand the inherent risks and the importance of a germ free environment and limiting exposures.
THE MORGAN CENTER gives preschool age cancer patients an early childhood learning experience that prepares them for kindergarten. The parents stay in a separate lounge area to relax or participate in group discussions and have access to professional support.
THE MORGAN CENTER ultimately helps these children and their families to cope with the stress of battling cancer. It provides a pre-kindergarten learning foundation and a sense of normalcy for the children and their families, as well as a distraction from their treatment and their pain.
1. Access to Preschool Education, U.S. Department of Education, Overview by the Condition of Education, August 1995