IV seats help kids battling cancer in the Upstate - FOX Carolina 21

IV seats help kids battling cancer in the Upstate

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Children fighting cancer in the Upstate now have a new way to get around hospital halls while receiving treatment - and it's all thanks to one mom's idea and the skill of a local woodworker.

IV seats were delivered to the BI-LO Charities Children's Cancer Center in Greenville on Wednesday.  They fit around the base of an IV pole, and make it easier for the young patients to get around when they can't walk where they need to go, or just want a few minutes to be a kid and take a fun ride down the hall.

Mimi Williams had the idea after she heard of a similar kind of seat already being used at other hospitals.  Her 3-year-old son Jack is battling cancer, and loves to be on the move, even while getting chemotherapy. 

"It’s hard to explain to him that he has to stay with his pole.  He is so young and he doesn’t understand he’s accessed through his chest permanently when we are inpatient, and at least while we’re getting chemo, we’re here for several hours.  And anywhere he goes, the pole has to go," Williams explained. "He is so small that the feet on the pole usually knock into his legs and he goes one way and I try to follow him with the pole and he takes off running."

Mimi took her idea for the IV seats to her friend Andy Ballew, with Ballew Woodworks.  He measured and cut the boards, and asked his friends to paint them.   He dropped off the IV seats on Wednesday.

"It's exciting, I've been waiting for this, just to see the seats come in, seeing the different artwork has been really neat, and I'm just really happy to get them here," said Andy.

Those who work with the children say it's a wonderful way for the kids to just be kids for a while.  Ericka Turner is a Child Life Specialist at BI-LO Charities Children's Cancer Center

"If we can bring them a little bit of sunshine, a little bit of normalcy, that's what we try to do," said Turner. "I’ve seen Jack so excited about them and that’s why we do what we do, and it’s the little things.  In this case it’s the big things - being able to have somebody donate these to our center...we are so grateful for that, so I’m excited to see many more faces like Jack’s."

Andy said he dropped off 13 seats so far, and is waiting on a few more to be painted so he can drop them off soon.  He's hoping to make more for the hospital in the future.

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