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Advice From A Wish Family: Ramona

Ramona Lapp Whitt
Ramona and her family know volumes about isolation and distancing stemming from her brain tumor diagnosis in 2015. Surgery and proton radiation immediately helped, but doctors discovered a recurrence in 2018 and Ramona had another surgery and an additional round of more than 30 proton radiation treatments.
According to her mom, Ramona is very creative and likes drawing, reading and thinking up apps. She also likes to write stories and plays, mysteries and riddles and is an avid upcycler, transforming unwanted items into new, often beautiful uses.

“We’ve had to cultivate a lot of self-entertaining skills”, Rachel said, and now they want to share them with you.

  • Ramona and her family often listed to a book together as they made the long drive to the treatment center. Read or listen to audio books. As a family or on your own with headphones, you can find books to download free through your local library and right now, several other online sites are offering free access to books.
  • Stretch and move! Kids yoga is a great way to keep active, even from a bed or chair.
  • Clean, recyclable materials are great for building towns, furniture or cars for dolls and action figures. Making everything means it fits your story and then kids can spend hours playing with their new creations.
  • Meditations for kids help learn calming breathing techniques and focusing exercises. “We highly recommend these,” Rachel shared. “Ramona even listened to meditation videos during her second time in radiation treatment - she didn’t get anesthesia but had to be very still, and the techs would cue up these relaxing stories, exercises and music.”
  • If you have patience and a tolerance for getting a little messy, baking is a great sensory experience for kids that also teaches life skills.
  • Fun with a side of learning with sites like where there are suggestions for books, games, crafts and more.

Due to the coronavirus travel restrictions, Ramona’s wish to visit New York City for her birthday in April, has been postponed. She chose this wish because many of the books she loves are set in the Big Apple, and she’s excited to experience everything she “seen” in her favorite books. Until then, she’ll be spending time hunkered down with her family, enjoying some of the things they’ve come to appreciate during her treatments.

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