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How Play Defeats Cancer

Play is the only thing you don’t have to teach a kiddo to do—it comes naturally. It is a critical element of growing up for all kids, but especially for kids fighting cancer. Children undergoing cancer treatment can experience significant physical and emotional challenges, including pain, fatigue and anxiety. But play can offer some relief by providing physical, cognitive, emotional and social benefits to kids fighting cancer and to their siblings and parents. 

Roc Solid provides playsets to kids fighting cancer because outdoor play is beneficial in many ways. Fresh air, sunshine and physical activity can help to improve a kiddo’s immune system and reduce the risk of infection. Physical play helps restore strength to muscles that are weakened by cancer treatment. 

Cognitively, play can also enhance a kiddo’s problem-solving skills and ability to concentrate. Play helps restore cognitive abilities that are hindered by treatment through challenging kids to use their creativity and learn to play cooperatively with others. Many Roc Solid kiddos love to play in the bottom section of their playset and use their imaginations to pretend it is a cafe, a store or a prison to capture their make-believe bad guys. 

Play can also provide a positive outlet for emotions and help kids feel a sense of control and normalcy. Their playset becomes a safe haven where they can forget about all the horrible things related to cancer and just be a kid. 

Play is critical for siblings of kids with cancer as well. Siblings often experience a range of emotions, such as fear, anxiety and confusion, as well as feelings of guilt, anger and jealousy as they watch their sibling go through the very scary battle against cancer. Play can help siblings to cope with these emotions and the changes that come with having a sibling with cancer by providing a sense of normalcy and routine during a difficult time.

In addition to the playset from Roc Solid, each family also receives a Play Kit full of fun indoor games and activities that the family can play together. These different ways to play give the family opportunities to make lasting memories with their kiddos and have some positive moments in the midst of the scary memories associated with cancer.

This is what hope looks like for families fighting pediatric cancer. Play is a critical tool for supporting the emotional well-being of kids fighting cancer and helps to strengthen family relationships during an unimaginable time. This is why we say play defeats cancer—when kids are playing, they aren’t thinking about cancer. 

If you want to help provide a life-changing playset to a family fighting pediatric cancer, click here to make a donation and email us at to get involved. Let’s change the world together.