Riprap Friends facilitates in-home therapeutic social support services to pediatric oncology patients. Each year approximately 15,780 children in the United States, and more than 250,000 children globally, are diagnosed with some form of cancer1. Many children undergoing chemotherapy and other medical treatments for cancer are isolated and unable to participate in regular childhood activities because their immune systems are compromised as a result of that treatment. Such immunodeficiency often renders these children unable to have close contact with other children and/or exposure to many public settings, such as schools, playgrounds, etc. Riprap’s mission is to facilitate normalized day-to-day childhood experiences for immune-compromised pediatric oncology patients and to encourage socialization for these children by supporting engagement opportunities in the children’s areas of interest, as well as facilitating connections with experienced mentors and teachers, at no cost to the families with whom we work. Riprap will help pediatric oncology patients reach developmental milestones even while facing extremely challenging circumstances.

The name “Riprap Friends” comes from the word for a stone wall used to armor shorelines against water erosion. We will provide a metaphorical armor for pediatric cancer patients and their families against some of the often overlooked erosive characteristics of that disease: social, creative, and emotional isolation that can be a severe impediment to full recovery.

We understand that a child’s wellbeing depends on a variety of important factors, and among those factors is the child’s ability to be creative, intellectually stimulated, socially engaged, to have the opportunity to make meaningful choices in his or her day-to-day life, and most importantly, to have the support of family and friends during their medical treatment. Riprap intends to facilitate all of these things in the name of bettering the overall health of childhood cancer patients.

1 Retrieved on September 23, 2015, from American Childhood Cancer Organization website; http://www.acco.org/about-childhood-cancer/diagnosis/childhood-cancer-statis