St. Luke's Hospital classroom provides happy escape from treatment for children

Posted at 9:35 PM, Feb 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-06 23:35:21-05

When a child is diagnosed with cancer usually the first questions is about treatment, but next usually comes the everyday questions like what are we going to do about school.

St. Luke’s Hospital in Downtown Boise has staff that work hand in hand with schools to make sure that students are not held back simply because of their diagnosis. 

For 6th grader Kyrn Schaaf, the classroom is an essential part in keeping her grades up. 

"When I get older I want to become a pediatric oncologist and I have to get good grades to be able to go to the University of Utah,” explained Kyrn.

That’s a pretty lofty goal for the future ute, but she’s got a good reason behind it. The University of Utah is one of the premier cancer hospitals in the nation. 

St. Luke’s here in Boise works with the students school to develop a lesson plan and keep the kids on track which isn’t always an easy task with their physical side effects, something Kyrn’s hospital teacher Colin Carr empathizes with.

They may have to leave the classroom ten times to use the bathroom or depending on the effects of the treatment that are going on, but they always come back and they know that we will be here for them,” explained Carr.

“It’s nice having a teacher that understands where I am coming from so he can help me make sure I keep up with my homework,” said Kyrn.

And while not every child loves school, for these kids a lot of times it’s a happy escape from what they are going through. 

“I love going in there and hanging out with Colin. It takes my mind off of everything and it helps me get through the day. It helps pass times because the more time that passes the closer I am to going home,” said Kyrn.

And for Carr getting his students back to their normal school is his hope as well. 

“I’m very happy to see them go. I love my time with the kids. They are each different and so special but my goal is to get them back to where they are supposed to be,” said Carr.