In the U.S., more children die from cancer than any other disease. The Four Diamonds' mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Children's Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research.
We believe in a holistic approach to childhood cancer treatment. We treat the disease, but we also care for the child's well-being and their family. In addition, Four Diamonds covers all expenses for the care and treatment of the child not paid for by insurance or other means.
Four Diamonds provides comprehensive support to children and their families by paying for care and treatment not covered by insurance or other means, as well as additional expenses that disrupt the welfare of the child.
Thanks to the generous support of donors like you, Four Diamonds has been able to assist 100% of the eligible childhood cancer patients who have been treated at Penn State Children's Hospital.
Four Diamonds makes it possible for 24 specialty care providers to exclusively serve the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of our patients and their families.
These care providers include child life specialists, social workers, music therapists, nurse specialists, a clinical nutritionist, a psychologist, a pharmacist, a genetics counselor and pastoral care.
Our child life specialists help children confront fears about their illness. Through the use of play therapy and distraction techniques, we work with patients and families to help them find ways to cope with the life changing effects of childhood cancer.
Our clinical nutritionist is a valuable resource to families, assisting them with nutrition information that will keep their child as healthy as possible. Nutritional care also helps to reduce the side effects of therapy.
"It almost seems like we have a caring extended family that includes social workers, child life specialists, pediatric oncology doctors and nurses, music therapists, etc. All of these individuals should be proud of the work they do. For my family, it was their love and support that helped us through Katherine's treatment."
- The Katherine Johnson Family
Our clinical psychologist helps patients and families with the unique psychological challenges presented by childhood cancer. Our services include: individual and family therapy, coping skills, relaxation techniques, bereavement services and referrals for psychological testing.
Our pediatric neuropsychologist offers help to children, adolescents and young adults who may be struggling with cognitive impairment related to their medical diagnosis or treatments. An evaluation takes place to assess cognitive strengths and weaknesses in patients, in order to determine appropriate treatment interventions in the areas of education, daily functioning and emotional and behaviorial needs.
Our pediatric oncology nurse specialists work exclusively with pediatric oncology patients through all stages of treatment, providing outpatient care, support and education. They are also skilled in the treatment protocols necessary for the long-term care of children, which allows our team to provide pediatric oncology patients with the highest quality of care possible.
"Four Diamonds represents the true spirit of kindness, generosity, giving, selflessness and love. It is a life line for a situation in which there are very few lines to cling to."
- The Craig Cline Family
Our social workers support families with their adjustment from diagnosis, into treatment and through survivorship. Together we serve as advocates for each family, addressing practical concerns including financial assistance, school needs, employment concerns, transportation assistance and healthy coping.
Our music therapists use therapeutic interventions, including playing instruments, singing, listening and song writing to promote adjustment to the hospital setting. These experiences are designed to help manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, improve communication, foster social interaction and promote physical rehabilitation.
Our chaplain integrates the spiritual needs of patients and their families into the plan of care, and notified the entire team about family faith practices and how their faith may impact medical treatment.
Our genetic counselors specialize in the discovery and explanation of a child's personal and family history as it relates to their diagnosis of cancer. They are available to listen and understand what patients and families are going through to help them make decisions. Optional genetic testing may answer why a child developed cancer, help screen for other cancers, guide treatment strategies and identify other family members at risk for cancer.
This growing population of long-term childhood cancer survivors is at risk for adverse effects related to their cancer and subsequent therapy. These adverse effects, known as late effects, may not become apparent until years later. Approximately two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors experience at least one late effect, many of which are severe or life threatening.
The mission of the Penn State Children’s Hospital Childhood Cancer Survivorship Clinic is to educate survivors about the possible late effects that may occur as a result of the therapy they received and monitor them closely for these effects.
Survivors meet with a physician, the survivorship clinic coordinator and a social worker, all of whom specialize in late effects of childhood cancer. Visits include:
For more information, contact Amanda Musser, a Four Diamonds social worker in the Survivorship Clinic, at email@example.com.
"Penn State Children's Hospital is fortunate to have Four Diamonds. As the Children's Hospital builds upon its reputation for providing world-class care for kids, we look toward the enormous opportunities that lie ahead for our patients, our physicians and our community."
- A. Craig Hillemeier, M.D.
Dean, Penn State College of Medicine
Chief Executive Officer, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Penn State
Founded in 1996, the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Center is creating new knowledge to save the lives of children with cancer. Our outstanding physicians/scientists and their teams are focused on learning more about how cancer forms, how it can be treated, and how treatments can be made to be more effective while minimizing long-term side effects of treatment.
Treatment outcomes for children with cancer have made tremendous improvements in the past 50 years. Certain childhood cancers, such as standard risk leukemia and a kidney tumor called Wilm's tumor, now have treatment success rates of more than 90%.
"Research into understanding how cancers develop and the design of targeted therapies to these pathways offers the best hope of making a cure possible for all while reducing side effects of treatment. Our mission is to make this happen."
- Barbara A. Miller, M.D.
Chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and Vice Chair for Research
As our research operation continues to grow, we remain committed to providing cutting edge medicine that uses the latest research findings in the care and treatment of patients. As members of the Children's Oncology Group, our physicians and nurses are involved in the development and management of products used nationally to treat children with cancer.
a network of more than 200 leading institutions which provide state-of-the-art upfront therapies for many pediatric cancers
a network of clinicians and scientists engaged in scientific and educational activities related to the use of hematopoietic stem cells in the treatment of diseases of children and adolescents
a network of 11 leading academic medical centers, all working together to provide the collaborative and research strength needed to complete intensive phase I and phase II clinical trials of novel cancer treatments
a network of 18 universities and children's hospitals that offer a nationwide network of childhood cancer clinical trials for relapsed and refractory disease which also included an individualized approach to treatment