Stories from the Sandbox
Reflections from children, teens and young adults living with Cancer and Blood Disorders
The images and stories in this book were created by patients and families living with Cancer and Blood Disorders. Their expressions, created in the sand and conveyed through the written word, provide insight into what it is like to live with health challenges. Sand tray therapy is a recognized therapeutic modality used with children and adults, providing a sacred space to process experiences using symbols instead of language. Sometimes meaning is further revealed through talking about a sand tray. Other times, it can remain a private expression that holds significance only to its creator. It is a helpful way for youth to process their past and present medical experience, help them set goals, and to teach others about their needs. Sand tray is a window into the thoughts, feelings, and coping styles of youth struggling with illness and hospitalization. Importantly, as youth with chronic medical illnesses often experience pain and discomfort as part of their treatment, the ability to have positive tactile experiences can be a very healing process. This collection of photos and personal stories, facilitated by the Child and Family Life Department, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, was compiled so that other patients, their families, and their friends can share the authors’ journeys as we all continue to battle these difficult diseases.