Pop quiz: what looks like a stuffed gray and red tube sock, is soft and huggable, has a zipper for a mouth, and can help comfort children with cancer?
To be more specific, it’s the Cellie Cancer Coping Kit, a tool designed by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers to help children and their families manage the physical and emotional challenges associated with cancer treatment. In addition to Cellie, the namesake plush toy — or critter, as some of the researchers who work with Cellie call it — the kit also includes a pack of “cancer coping cards” and a booklet for caregivers.
Cellie was co-invented by Meghan Marsac, PhD, a behavioral researcher and director of training at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP), and Anne Vinsel, MFA, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based artist and photographer. Dr. Marsac originally came up with the idea for the Cellie Cancer Coping Kit while working with pediatric cancer patients and finding that there was a need for additional resources to help children deal with stress related to cancer and its treatment.
Learn more about this therapeutic plush toy for patients in our Research Annual Report.