Local News

Jim Valvano Day Hospital Opens To Provide Treatment For Young Cancer Patients

Posted May 31, 2000

— Jim Valvano's dream of helping cancer patients and their families fight the disease has finally come true. A day hospital that bears the name of the former N.C. State coach is treating thousands of sick children at Duke.

It was difficult for Nick Valvano to control his emotions as he handed out teddy bears to young cancer patients. The Jim Valvano Day Hospital at Duke was named after his brother.

"One of the things we learned when Jim was sick is that your mental attitude is so important to your treatment, both the patient's mental attitude and the parents' or siblings'," Valvano says.

Children come to the day hospital for outpatient treatment like chemotherapy. Fifteen-year-old Marcel Yang is being treated for lymphoma.

"It makes me feel not as bad about being a patient. It's more like a field trip," Yang says.

The day hospital is seven times larger than the old facility. It also has more features that are fun for kids, like individual televisions they can watch while they are being treated.

"It's night and day," says nurse Melody Watral. "It's cheerful and bright. It's brand new."

The Jim Valvano Day Hospital takes up one floor of the new McGovern-Davison Children's Health Center. It will treat 10,000 patients a year. The "V" Foundation donated $1 million to help get it started.

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