'Kids Kicking Cancer' program helps kids cope with illness

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DETRIOT, Mi. (WDIV) - A program called Kids Kicking Cancer in Michigan is teaching kids with serious illnesses skills to help them cope and power through the pain and discomfort of being poked and prodded all the time.

(Photo Credit: WDIV / NBC)

Patients in the program at Children's Hospital of Michigan are taught the mind-body techniques of martial arts, breathing, and meditation.

Michael Hunt was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma when he was 9-years-old. His treatment for the disease included the surgical removal of four ribs and a tumor, chemotherapy, and radiation. Hunt discovered Kids Kicking Cancer when he was a patient and it helped him get through his treatment. He is now a mentor to new patients.

"With all of that came a lot of pain, a lot of stress, and I found out about Kids Kicking Cancer. I went to the first class, loved the breathing, the meditations that we did, and they helped me," Hunt said.

Alexandra Willoughby's son, Terrell, has sickle cell anemia. She said she has seen his confidence grown and his fear subside when he gets injections and receives other treatments.

"I would say that this program is very powerful. It will help not only the family with stress relief, but your children who are going through different challenges with having different ailments. It will definitely help them get through some of the hard times," Willoughby said.

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