March 29, 2021

A March filled with hope

This month, Shine On! Kids is filled with hope and anticipation as Ty and Masa get ready to enter the final phase of their training to become fully qualified Hospital Facility Dogs!!! We are so excited and so very, very grateful to everyone who has helped us get this far on our puppy journey!

Shine On!

Happy Birthday Ty and Masa!

Both of our handsome boys have recently turned 2 years old!

One of our awesome puppy sitters, Kate Klippenstein, held a gathering for Masa’s birthday – with yummy treats and lots of friends!

A Mom’s story about Shine On! Kids Beads of Courage®

Here is a story from Makoto’s mother…

“My son is now out of the hospital and recovering at home, but Beads of Courage was such an important source of support during his hospitalization when he was going through his tough treatment for leukemia. My son has a severe birth defect and was in the NICU for a long time. 

Back then, when he finished one treatment, all I could think was ‘I’m sorry.’ But thanks to Beads of Courage, with his leukemia treatment, positive words like ‘Wow!,’ ‘You did a great job!,’ and ‘You’re doing great!’ came naturally to me. I can look back with a positive perspective.

Recording the progress of his treatment is no longer just a painful task, but a proof of his hard work.

Beads of Courage also provides emotional support for mothers who stay close to their children. The program is currently in 23 hospitals in Japan, but I hope it will reach more and more children!”

Follow our new IG page here! And learn how you can support a child through our Carry a Bead program here.

Shine On! Connections

It’s coming up to a year (!!) since we launched our Shine On! Connections program in response to the Covid restrictions last year, and the much-needed program to “connect” and “engage” hospitalized kids isolated from their families and friends continue to be as important as ever.

All of our interactive activities are created and implemented by a team of experts in various disciplines, and in the photo above, some of our Camp Courage cancer survivors.

One of our recent activities took place at Shimane University Hospital where our team helped patients create a digital picture book. Shine On! Connections will continue through this year – and, we hope – beyond! The program has helped everyone understand just how important it is for hospitalized children to engage in an educational and meaningful way with the outside world.

Training Tips with Ty and Masa

Ty and Masa are in the final stages of their “internship” training at Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center so of course, they are now “experts” in all of the basic, but important skills.

But over a year ago, we did a short practice session while playing at a dog run. When Marina, Shine On! Kids’ dog trainer, said, “Come here!”, Ty and Masa both came running back. Even though it seemed easy for them, this “come here” was quite an advanced-level skill when done outdoors in nature. There are so many exciting distractions outside – a dog’s paradise! And who would want to leave paradise and “come here” with just a cue? They were not even one year old at the time!

What’s Marina’s advice to get your dog to do the same???

Thank you AIG!

AIG Japan Holdings KK, a long-term supporter of Shine On! Kids, has offered a special donation to help Ty and Masa through their final stages of training this year. 2020 was a real challenge for Shine On! Kids in terms of fundraising, and in spite of our efforts and the amazing support of so many individuals, corporations and grants, we found ourselves heading into 2021 with a bit of uncertainty. AIG stepped up quickly with an offer of support and the timing couldn’t have been better! Thank you for the generous 3 million yen donation! Shine On!