New playroom brings light and healing to children with cancer at CHKD

Health

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Ben Goldberg was always full of life.

Back in 2016, we watched as the first-grader crushed 10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox in the “Cycle for Survival” cancer fundraiser.

Ben, however, could not beat the rare cancer he fought most of his life. He died at age 8 in 2016.

“I think his spirit is still alive and well and comes through this foundation in ways that sometimes even shocks me,” said his mother, Wendy Goldberg.

She started the Benjamin Goldberg Foundation in his honor.

Recently, the foundation donated $100,000 to help create a playroom in the new Hematology and Oncology Unit at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk.

It’s a place where kids can play and explore and feel like a normal kid again, and also experience dance and music therapy, yoga, and guided meditation.

“Sometimes you just want them to have a safe space with no medical intervention — and they go and they feel free,” Goldberg said.

For the kids who cannot leave their beds, the foundation created something else.

Goldberg said, “It’s called the ‘peace out portal’ and it is a virtual playroom and we have ‘Bitmoji Ben.'”

There’s music, meditation and more to help kids and their families find healing. That is how Ben lives on.

“It brings me a lot of peace to know that maybe we can change the story for some other people,” Goldberg told WAVY.

The playroom donation was the second the Benjamin Goldberg Foundation made to improve the lives of CHKD cancer patients.

In early 2020, the foundation donated $20,000 to buy infusion backpacks. The backpacks allow patients to receive drug therapy at home instead of having to spend days in the hospital.

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