Each year around 13,500 children are diagnosed with cancer in the US, that’s more than a classroom of kids a day.Cancer kills more children than AIDs, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital anomalies combined. It can be stressful and scary to a children to endure therapy treatments.
Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program has created a tool to help. It is called ‘Chemo Duck App’. It is the first app ever created for kids with cancer. The Chemo Duck App, available on iTunes for use on all Apple phones and devices, is filled with enjoyable games to help children of all ages living with cancer adjust to hospital life and treatments. The free app helps to keep kids entertained, educated and at ease while waiting for clinic visits or during overnight stays.
E8: What inspired the creation of an app of this kind?
Lu Sipos: “Walk into most any pediatric healthcare setting and one thing is universal – patients are usually glued to some kind of electronic device.
Gabe Sipos: “It was such a fun experience coming up with all the different ideas and aspects for the games,” said Gabe. “I sort of knew what types of games I thought kids would like and how I wanted the whole thing to look.”
It should be note that Chemo Duck founder Lu Sipos and her son are first hand warriors of cancer.. Her son, 12 year-old Gabe Sipos, knows what it is like personally. Except now, 10 years after spending countless hours in clinics and the hospital during his treatment of rhabdosarcoma, he had an idea.
The game allows you to engage in ‘Talk Like a Duck’, ‘Exercise Wheel’, ‘Touch and Learn’, get a ‘Call from Chemo Duck’, Hospital Bingo and Mix and Match. They are all interactive activities geared toward keeping kids engaged while providing teaching opportunities.
E8: What is the incentive or the win for each game that will keep someone playing?
Gabe Sipos: ‘I really like the idea that in order to move ahead in the games, you have to earn a coin to unlock the next level,It makes you want to keep playing. I do think kids will like it. I know I would’ve liked to have had something like that when I was in treatment.”
Everyone on the team is committed.
Phil Earnest, the app designer, was impressed with Gabe’s vision for the apps. “One of the coolest things about this project was hearing from Gabe what he wanted and working with him on the different elements. It was neat knowing that his dream was becoming a reality, that what he envisioned was coming to life. It was a great feeling to be a part of that.”
The app, Chemo Duck will surely be a positive way to impact the lives of pediatric cancer patients. Lu quickly discovered while doing research for the app, the market was ripe for such a product. “I searched for an app to both entertain and educate kids living with cancer but couldn’t find one,” says Lu. “When I mentioned this to Gabe, his face lit up. He was thrilled to develop one. He has really found his place within the foundation. He has a way to give back. Helping others is a simple way to bring us fulfillment. But seeing Gabe’s passion about this, it’s the start of a next chapter for Chemo Duck.”
To download the app go to apple.com/itunes and search for “chemo duck.”
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