SEMA Cares Chair Melanie White recently visited the Austin Hatcher Foundation in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to see first-hand their innovative cognitive program and evaluate the use of driving simulators for physical therapy.
The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer—a SEMA Cares charity—has launched an innovative program and study using driving simulators. The program allows pediatric cancer patients and their siblings to participate in fun, therapeutic activities while providing valuable information about children’s cognitive control skills. Driving simulators have been used around the world to improve the cognitive and executive function of intact and injured brains.
Some childhood cancer survivors develop learning problems, called cognitive impairments, as a result of the disease or cancer treatment. These problems affect cognitive control skills, such as focus, memory and hand-eye coordination.
“Cancer treatment is especially aggressive for young childre...
Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer helps young cancer survivors heal, discover hope and a future
In summer 2006, Dr. Jim Osborn and his wife Amy Jo welcomed their newborn son, Austin Hatcher, into the world. Within weeks, their bright, cuddly baby boy began to show signs of an illness, and days later, they would learn he had inoperable brain cancer. Just two weeks later, young “Hatch” died in his father’s arms. Devastated, the couple decided to honor their son by helping other parents of children stricken with cancer – and through their loss, the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer was born.
They registered the charity the following December with the mission to help raise awareness of pediatric cancer and to provide support for families struggling to cope with its effects and treatment. Leveraging Jim’s experience as an orthopedic surgeon guided them to a holistic approach to supporting cancer survivors – healthy lifestyle education, ps...
After my recent visit to Austin Hatcher for the annual SEMA pinewood build, I learned so much more about what this amazing foundation does. At first glance it may seem like they are trying to cure pediatric cancer but what they actually do and in my opinion, is equally as valuable, is provide multiple programs to help the families cope and recover during and after treatments. From council for the siblings that may be getting less attention to coaching parents on disciplining their now healthy child after being cured. It is these types of things that you may not think about and insurance just doesn’t cover. Since there are over one hundred types of cancer I believe it is equally as noble and a more realistic cause.
At the location itself there were many themed rooms for the families to utilize. From the garage themed room, we were decorating the pinewoods in to the toy room filled with relaxing bean bag chairs and different kinds of toys for every age level. I p...
The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a member of the “SEMA Cares Family of Charities,” hosted a “Build Day” on May 19, with children and their family members preparing Pinewood Derby miniature race cars to compete in the SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races prior to the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser on July 20 in Los Angeles.