Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Teen Cancer America recently announced the completion of a new state-of-the-art lounge to serve the unique needs of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients.
Together, Kylie Jenner and Teen Cancer America made a $550,000 gift to build the new lounge space, located on the sixth floor of Children’s Hospital. The gift was made in honor of Harry Hudson, singer-songwriter and cancer survivor who was successfully treated for stage 3 Hodgkin lymphoma after being diagnosed in 2013 at age 20. Jenner, CEO/ Founder of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin, has been a longtime friend to Hudson.
In September 2017, Jenner announced that she would celebrate her birthday by raising funds for Teen Cancer America with Hudson. Through the sales of her Kylie Cosmetics Birthday Collection, she raised funds to help improve the lives of teens and young adults with cancer.
The new lounge, designed with input from a focus group made up of Children’s Hospital AYA patients, is outfitted with their specific needs and interests in mind. The main sitting area offers electronic equipment (video games, big screen television), a selection of movies and streaming capabilities for favorite television shows, a Wi-Fi connection, and space to interact with peers, which is critically important for the AYA population. Off the main area, there is also a meditation room.
Hudson visited Children’s Hospital twice in 2018 and then virtually visited on March 25 to meet with teen cancer patients and tour the newly completed teen cancer lounge.
“I am so grateful for Kylie’s friendship and the impact she’s had on my life and my cancer journey,” said Hudson. “She has always been there for me, and together, we wanted to figure out a way to be there for other young people who are battling this disease. With the help of Teen Cancer America, we were able to contribute the first Hey, I’m Here For You Teen Lounge at Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt — a comfortable space for young people undergoing treatment to pursue their passions.”
Adolescent and young adult cancer patients often have unique needs as they navigate their cancer treatments and long-term impacts after remission.
“The emotional and social support is critical to help them cope through their cancer journey,” said Scott Borinstein, MD, PhD, director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program and Scott and Tracie Hamilton Professor of Cancer Survivorship. “When they are in the cancer clinic or in the hospital, they crave camaraderie and want to interact with individuals their age so they can talk about their experiences. Our partnership with Teen Cancer America allows us to create a distinctive space for our AYA cancer patients — a place where they can be separate from our younger patients — an area of the hospital all their own, and an environment specially tailored to their wants and needs.”