The Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Med

The Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Med


We have a very family oriented atmosphere with a team that works together, nurses, social workers, Child Life, to make sure that families get the care and support they need. We’re the only facility in 20 counties that has the subspecialty services, we’re the only cancer care for children in the entire region. We are a member of the Children’s Oncology Group. Dr. Kanwar’s the principal investigator here. And what that means is that we do treat children according to the best known treatment internationally. We also treat children with unusual blood disorders including children with ITP, children with sickle cell disease, children with neurofibromatosis who develop tumors in their central nervous system, children with autoimmune blood disorders that affect their blood levels to where they need specialized treatment and certainly the expertise of the hematologist. So outside of Albany Med there are no other centers in our geographic region that are capable of managing that type of problem. Dr. Kanwar, Dr. Pearce, Dr. Porter, Dr. Nepo, they’ve been here for a long time they really are good at what they do. But also the nursing staff, we have very very experienced nurses. It’s important to have physicians and nurses in this area that you can trust to care for your children or yourself for the older teenagers and families. And it makes it a little bit easier to actually come here. We do try to make it light hearted when they come here and make it more of a family environment. Cancer as a diagnosis is so disruptive it’s so much, turns your whole world upside down. We can give them everything that they need medically, psycologically, socially, right here on the capital district without them having to leave family members that are able to support them in other ways as well. For any physician or nurse practitioner provider who needs help and support there’s a hotline that they’re able to access any one of us anytime day or night. If a doctor calls and says they need to talk to a doctor they talk to a doctor. Not to an intake person, not to whatever, and as I said, we’ll stay late, we’ll go to the ER, we’ll do things. And that doesn’t happen a lot of places. Why do you enjoy coming to work everyday? Oh the kids! (laughs) That’s an easy one. (laughs) Seeing the kids, just being able to see the smiles on their faces. Yes of course at times there will be cries. Once that part is done, the child is running around playing in the playroom, and just seeing that is what kind of keeps me going and coming back every day. The laughter the warmth, I love being with these families.