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Pediatric Cancer Patients Treated to Free Popsicles to Fight Effects of Treatment

Nothing is better than an ice-cold popsicle on a hot summer day, especially when it’s free! If you’re a young patient coping with cancer, a freezer pop is not only a tasty treat; it also makes you feel better.

In partnership with the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) and The Jel-Sert Company, maker of Fla-Vor-Ice and Otter Pops, Nemours Children’s Clinic and The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola is now providing outpatient pediatric cancer patients with free ice pops all throughout the year as part of the “Take a Pop; Share a Smile” program. Young patients who visit Nemours Children’s Clinic and the hospital’s Pediatric Infusion Center for outpatient cancer treatment are invited to choose a pop in their favorite flavor.

NemoursJel Sert and the ACCO recently donated a 5-cubic-foot freezer to Nemours Children’s Clinic and stocked it with 200 freezer pops. The Jel Sert Company will keep it stocked with a continuous supply of pops.

Children with cancer face many challenges, including several unpleasant side effects from treatment. Invasive, toxic therapies can cause painful mouth sores, which make eating, drinking and even speaking difficult. Ice pops are often used to ease the pain and to bring some fun into a very serious situation. They are a welcome source of oral hydration, too. Whether a child with cancer is visiting for lab work or undergoing treatment, he or she is invited to choose a pop.

“Little things like an icy-cold freezer pop can make a big difference to a child coping with cancer,” says Jenny Greunke, pediatric social worker with Nemours Children’s Clinic. “The freezer design is colorful, and getting these free, icy treats just adds a little fun to their treatment visits,” says Greunke.

The “Take a Pop; Share a Smile” program began in 2008, and today almost 90 children’s hospitals and pediatric treatment facilities across the U.S. are partners. For more information about this program, visit

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