Joy and Wellness Program provided support for those battling cancer

Sep 15, 2022, 5:58 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2022, 2:52 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A program at LDS Hospital is bringing support and a distraction from those receiving treatment for blood cancers.

The Joy and Wellness Program is a hallway in LDS Hospital, where patients and their loved ones can do crafts, play video games, and find support in each other.

“A lot of the time when you think of cancer, you think of loneliness and sadness, but this is a hallway full of joy,” Charlene Clayton, recreational therapist at Inter mountain’s LDS Hospital said.

Clayton said the program started in 2018, when a previous patient made an anonymous donation to fund the program.

Clayton said the program is unique for those battling blood cancers. She said these patients stay at the hospital the whole time they are receiving treatment.

“It’s not like other cancers where you take it out and you’re done. They are coming in for treatment, they’re coming in from chemo, and they’re coming in for transplants. It’s a very long process,” Clayton said.

28 year old, Karina Rivera, battled leukemia. She said she was diagnosed in October 2021, and started receiving treatments immediately.

In December, she received a bone marrow transplant from her brother which put her in the hospital for a month.

While she was there, she said she was able to find support in the Joy and Wellness program.

“I would spend almost every single day that I was able to get out of bed, out in the hallway with a bunch of other patients that were going through the same thing,” Rivera said.

Rivera said having the opportunity to go to the Joy and Wellness program was really appreciated.

“It’s just a load that’s lifted off, being able to meet people who have been through it and can talk you through what they’ve been through,” Rivera said.

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Joy and Wellness Program provided support for those battling cancer