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Child Life Services

Hall-Perrine Cancer Center offers Child Life Services to help children and teenagers who have a parent, grandparent or caregiver that is being treated for a cancer diagnosis.

It’s common for adults to worry about how a child may cope with an unexpected change in their life. A Certified Child Life Specialist can help children cope, prepare and understand what their loved one will experience as they are being treated, and to feel comfortable in a medical setting.

Hall-Perrine Cancer Center's Child Life Specialist provides the following types of assistance to children and teenagers:

  • Assess child’s ability to cope with a parent's diagnosis
  • Provide coping strategies
  • Provide opportunities for expression of feelings through the use of play and activities
  • Help to explain medical terminology in a way children understand
  • Provide guided child visits to the treatment areas to promote understanding of the parent’s experience. Children are often interested in what you do while you are having treatment. (what your chair looks like, do you get to watch TV, can you look out a window, etc.)
  • Provide opportunities for children to rehearse how to explain cancer and answer questions from friends, teachers, relatives, etc.
  • Facilitates support groups for children
  • Can help at any stage of treatment, or following treatment (if needed)
  • Provide bereavement support such as legacy building, memory making (handprints, hand molds, etc.), and talking to children about death

For more information, contact Mackenzie Kraus, BS, CCLS, at (319) 369-4466 or email

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Courageous Stories

Suzanne Staab

Suzanne's Story

In keeping with tradition at Hall-Perrine, Suzanne Staab – with family, friends and Mercy staff by her side – rings a bell to signify the end of her cancer treatment. Watch her story.

To discuss treatments call (319) 365-HOPE (4673)