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Cancer Care

How One Cancer Organization Is Using Music to Help Heal Child Patients

Danielle York

CCA’s President and General Manager

Micah lies in a hospital bed, looking up at the ceiling thinking, “Am I really here again?” He’s feeling bored, anxious, and angry at the way his life has been turned upside-down. His heart rate is elevated, his mood is low, and his pain is constant.

Then, a MyMusicRx Specialist knocks on his door and everything changes. Together, they find songs to help express what he’s feeling. They jam together. They laugh together. And in the place where there was once only fear and pain, there is now joy — and an elevated sense of well-being.

“(Children’s Cancer Association’s) MyMusicRx program helped Micah direct his talent and allowed him to be focused, allowed him to have something outside of his illness. I really push all of my patients to embrace music; use it as a form of therapy,” said Michael R. Powers, M.D., Pulmonary Medicine, Pediatrics, at Oregon Health & Science University’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

The power of joy

Since 1995, the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA) has been transforming the pediatric healthcare experience through innovative, joy-based programming, enhancing the mental health and emotional well-being of pediatric patients with the healing power of music, friendship, and nature. CCA’s joy-based programs are currently delivered in 31 pediatric healthcare facilities across the nation.


CCA’s JoyRxTM programs empower kids to positively shift their emotional states during the stressful and painful experiences related to fighting life-threatening illnesses and extended hospitalizations. CCA has a bold goal to clinically position and deliver JoyRx as best practice in children’s hospitals across the country.

Healing through music

MyMusicRx® is CCA’s flagship program. Led by trained music specialists, it is an innovative music medicine intervention that empowers pediatric patients to improve their emotional and mental states by interacting with music. The MyMusicRx 360° patient experience includes free-of-charge bedside service, in-hospital concerts, treatment diversion requests from medical staff, and, a 24/7 online platform — all designed to relieve stress, anxiety, and perception of pain for pediatric patients. 

CCA sees an extraordinary opportunity to disrupt the status quo of our nation’s pediatric healthcare system by incorporating joy as a new pathway from illness to greater wellness; reducing pain, anxiety, stress, and isolation; and integrating a new delivery system for improved emotional well-being.

Currently, there are no medically-validated tools to assess pediatric emotional and behavioral responses to joy-based programming. CCA will be the first organization in the nation to lead research to develop new technology and industry-validated tools to measure and prescribe its impact. Learn more at

Danielle York, CCA’s President and General Manager, [email protected]

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