Recently, The Brooklyn Hospital Center celebrated the Kids Kicking Sickle Cell (KKSC ) program's first anniversary. To mark the occasion, it held an Awards/Belting Ceremony for participants in its martial arts empowerment program. The ceremony was held at The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) in Fort Greene , Brooklyn on Wednesday, February 9 th at 6 pm in the cafeteria, and honored all of these young heroes for their achievements. Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg, Founder and National Director, and Dr. Susan Gardin, National Program Director, was in attendance, and refreshments followed.
The Brooklyn Hospital KKSC program joins children together in a supportive community where they learn to use the techniques of the martial arts to focus on their inner strengths and capabilities in confronting the pain associated with sickle cell disease. By teaching breathing, relaxation imagery and karate movements, the children become partners in their treatment and learn to transcend the pain and fear of their disease. According to Maura Connelly , MS , CCLS, Director of Child Life at TBHC, KKSC is a leader in its field: "When children take part in this program, they also have the chance to socialize with other kids with the same illness."
The KKSC program at The Brooklyn Hospital Center is a pilot project. The first of its kind for kids living with this chronic disease, KKSC opened in February 2004. A second program has since started in Detroit . Kids Kicking Cancer (KKC), the parent organization, was founded by Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg in Michigan to help ease the pain of pediatric cancer patients, while empowering them physically, spiritually and emotionally. The Kids Kicking Sickle Cell program was established utilizing this same model. The Kids Kicking Sickle Cell program is currently being sponsored by the national Kids Kicking Cancer organization until KKSC is able to raise its own funds. Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Wayne State University Medical School