Miracle Monday: A new program at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital gets oncology patients up & moving

SPOKANE, Wash. — It might seem counterintuitive initially, but patient care providers are on a mission to get the oncology patients at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital up and moving around.

The new program, the Red Tennis Shoe Program, is sparking some activity in the hospital halls.

Mason Diamond enjoys a good challenge, but this athlete was thrown a different kind of challenge in September of last year.

He had Ewing Sarcoma, a form of cancer, in his right index finger. Fourteen rounds of chemotherapy and a partial amputation of his finger made for a lot of time spent inside the hospital walls.

“So the challenge was finding things for him to do while he was here because he didn’t always feel super sick. So a lot of times he was bored while there,” his dad, Jordan Diamond, explained.

Mason was bored — only until the Red Shoe Challenge came along. For every mile walked, a patient gets a paper red tennis shoe to hang up on a recognition board. Mason took that challenge to the next level, completing a marathon and achieving star status.

“I just liked it because I’m an athletic kid and I like a goal to do while I was in the hospital,” Mason said. “It’s fun because it gets you out of the bed and moving a lot, so it would be more active and not just laying in bed all day.”

Each step of those 26 miles contributed to his recovery.

“For people and especially children that are ill, it’s just as important for people to stay active. It decreases their risk of infection. It decreases their risk of blood clots and psychologically probably just really improves their outlook on life, just to be moving around and get out of their room,” Judy Felgenhauer, Medical Director for Pediatric Hematology Oncology Floor told us.

His parents took each of those steps by his side. “It was a fun thing for me to do too. Just because, like we’re stuck here too and it’s nice, not to go too far, but instead of wandering aimlessly, you had a path and a purpose to go and be out.”

Mason is now through all his chemotherapy treatments and will have 3-month checkups going forward.

If you’d like to support the Children’s Miracle Network and programs just like this one, consider donating here. 100% of your donation will stay in our own community.

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