Partner: LAD –  Sector: Health  –  Country: Italy –  Place: Catania –  Year: 2015-2020 –  Project Status: Ongoing –  Type: AMI


Art workshops with child oncology patients at Catania hospital to help them and their parents to deal with the experience of cancer from an emotional point of view.



To offer a creative space for young cancer patients and their families to express the anguish and dysfunction experienced as a result of illness in order to prevent the long-term trauma of a cancer diagnosis.


Approximately 150 children and adolescents, patients at the Unità Operativa di Ematologia e Oncologia Pediatrica dell’Ospedale Policlinico di Catania (Pediatric Hospital of Catania), as well as about 70 parents. In 2019 and 2020 beneficiaries also include the young guests and the families of WonderLAD.


The project includes the presence on the ward of psychologists and art therapists (5 days a week) for the creation of individual and group creative workshops for child chemotherapy patients and their parents (design, creative imagination, visual arts, videos and short films). The Tree of Desire Association (LAD) uses the principles of Art Therapy to make the cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment less traumatic for the children and their parents, by stimulating their creativity and imagination as a way to react in a dynamic and vital fashion to the inevitable stasis of the illness. Five times a week, individual and group creative workshops are held for the young patients and their families at the pediatric hospital in Catania in close collaboration with the hospital doctors. On admission and during painful diagnostic-therapeutic procedures creative activities help ground parents and children in their family units and emphasise their individual capabilities in order to prevent the long-term traumatic effects of the cancer diagnosis. Throughout their time at the hospital the artistic activities help the children maintain their sense of freedom and control, enabling them to be the protagonists of their reality and keeping at bay “the sickness that grows inside and seems never to abandon body or thought.”

Since 2019 the project extends beyond the hospital walls to also include the children of WonderLAD, a home for children suffering from serious pathologies and their families.