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Child Life Month Celebration: Stephanie M.

For the month of March, Children’s Wish Foundation is celebrating every Child Life Specialist that has made a difference in the lives of children and families around the world.  On behalf of Wish kids everywhere, we want to thank each and every Child Life Specialist for all that they’ve done to help children face their illness head on. In the event of Child Life month, what better way to celebrate their hard work and dedication than to feature a few of the Child Life Specialists that we work with on a daily basis. Reading their stories has brought tears to our faces and joy to our hearts. Enjoy!

SMCM

My name is Stephanie, I live in Summerville, SC, with my husband and two boys ages 12 and 9. I have an undergraduate degree in Child Development and a graduate degree in Counseling/Play Therapy.  I have been a child life specialist since 1996 and started my career at MUSC Children’s Hospital where I worked in the Pediatric ICU and the infant/toddler med/surg unit.  I have been with Hands of Hope Pediatric Palliative Care and Hospice since 2013.

I always had an interest in the medical field but also knew I wanted to help children and their families.  I learned about the child life field during my freshman orientation at Auburn University.  As soon as I read the description for this career I knew this was what I was meant to do!

Children’s Wish Foundation has a program for every child no matter the age.  In particular I love their Young Minds and Family Focus wishes.   So many of my Hands of Hope patients are under the age of 3 and Children’s Wish Foundation provides joy for them and their families.  This Foundation is incredibly easy to work with and is very responsive.

It is an honor to be part of a child’s journey and to be allowed within a family’s sacred space of home.  I meet a family at one of the most difficult times in their lives as they are dealing with their child’s life limiting condition.  As a child life specialist I focus on bringing joy, hope, support and building of memories for the child and family through play, expressive arts and education.  I love being able to make a difference no matter how small.

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