Vic began interning with CCChampions as a Friendship Assistant in 2016.
Q: How would you describe your role as Friendship Assistant?
A: I would describe my role as a friend. I am there to support during both the good and the bad times, to always encourage positivity, and to hopefully help them cope and understand while just letting them be kids at the same time.
Q: What is your favorite thing about interning with CCChampions?
A: My favorite thing about interning with CCChampions is interacting with the children and their families at the hospital. It’s so fun watching the friendships grow and how each child lights up when someone from the CCChampions team walks in the door!
Q: Can you tell me about a moment you've had with one of our kids that really stood out to you?
A: One moment that really stood out to me was at the end of one of our kids’ appointment. She was getting ready to be discharged to go home, but we were playing in the playroom and she asked her mom if she could stay and play. This is really special to me because it shows that I was able to make her feel comfortable in a setting that can be scary for a child.
Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: When I was little I knew I wanted to work with kids when I grew up. I was always torn between being a teacher or a stay at home mom.
Q: What are your post-CCChampions plans?
A: I plan to graduate with my master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018. After graduation, I plan to become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) and obtain a job as a CCLS at a children’s hospital.
Q: Why do you think CCChampions is important?
A: I love everyone who is part of the CCChampions team! They are all very passionate and genuine about helping kids. I think the organization provides a very valuable service to the community. CCChampions has really made a positive impact on my life and I believe it has made a positive impact on the lives of many children in the community as well!
Read Vic's bio here.
Haley is a founding member of CCChampions Young Professional Advisory Board. She wanted to share her story and what CCChampions means to her.
I was 16 when I heard the words “you have ovarian cancer.” In what felt like a whirlwind, I was one tumor and one ovary lighter. Upon discharge from the hospital after my surgery, I felt isolated from most of my high school peers, who just could not relate to my experience. Outside of my parents, I was largely without a support system. I decided at that moment that I wanted to change healthcare for patients with difficult diagnoses so that they’d never have to feel like I did.
Fast forward eight years later and here I am – a data analyst and quality improvement professional working in behavioral health. As rewarding as my job is, I do not engage a lot with patients. However, healthcare facilities need more professionals like me who understand what it’s like to be sick because, unfortunately, most clinicians only know how to treat their patients physically, not emotionally. This simple truth is why CCChampions is so important to youth at Children’s Hospital who may struggle to cope with their illnesses.
I am an active volunteer with CCChampions because I know that 16-year-old-me would have benefitted greatly from its work, and I want to give kids today that opportunity. It has been the most fulfilling volunteer experience of my life.
Types of Friendships