When Anna Dai and Efrain Segarra signed up to take an entry-level computer engineering course at University of Michigan, they expected to learn about game software development.
What they did not expect was to find themselves taking gaming to a whole new level through a massive project at U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Thanks to their efforts – along with the generosity of dozens of other individuals and groups – patients at Mott will now find their room equipped with an Xbox 360.
Out of the classroom, into the real world
Efrain Segarra was a freshman when he took Professor David Chesney’s course.
“Dr. Chesney calls it Gaming for the Greater Good,” says Segarra, referring to the course’s focus on developing software that can benefit children with disabilities.
The care staff that allowed Evan Newport to lead a happy childhood inspired his father, Scott, and brother, Noah, to found the HOPE Awards at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
By Scott Newport
This story is about a family. A family with a sick child.
The family I’m talking about is my own. I’m Scott, otherwise known as “Dad.” It all began on a Saturday afternoon last year when my wife, Penni, suggested it might be nice if I took our oldest son, Noah, out to the wood shop to work on something together. It was a good idea, and Noah was excited to have some alone time with Dad. (Not always an option when your younger brother has a terminal illness.)
Laura Galunas and Anne Marshall meet with Karen Hammelef about the Patient & Family Advisory Board.
On the day of her first appointment at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Anne Marshall remembers pulling into the parking lot, nervous and afraid. She had been to the center many times before with her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006; but pulling into the circle drive felt different when the breast cancer diagnosis was her own.
Then she met Cleon Abrams, a longtime parking attendant at the Cancer Center.
“I was surprised he remembered me,” said Marshall, who is a social worker. “He just had this perfect smile and said, ‘Be encouraged.'”
Those two words made all the difference to Marshall. Not only did they give her the boost she needed at that moment, but it led her to become more engaged in the Cancer Center and its efforts to provide the ideal patient care experience.
Recently, Marshall was a member of a task force to establish bylaws for the Cancer Center’s new Patient & Family Advisory Board. The board is designed to offer patients and families a formal role in providing input into the institution’s initiatives and operations. Continue reading →
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