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Former W Basketball: M.D. Anderson – Kim’s Place Continues WNBA Star’s Legacy and Dedication to Kids

Oasis for Young Adults Opens at M. D. Anderson
> HOUSTON – Kim Perrot, starting point guard for the Houston Comets, was
> known
> for her dedication and courage on and off the basketball court. The
> University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Houston Comets
> will
> honor that legacy Wednesday, July 30 at 10 a.m. at the dedication of Kim’s
> Place – an on-site retreat created exclusively for adolescents and young
> adults affected by cancer.
> A non-smoker, Perrot was diagnosed with lung cancer, which had also spread
> to her brain. She was treated at M. D. Anderson and died August 19, 1999
> age 32.
> The idea for Kim’s Place originated from Perrot’s dream of creating a
> where young cancer patients could go to relax, learn, find support and
> interact with others their age. Management from the Comets approached M.
> Anderson shortly after Kim’s death to begin making her dream a reality.
> "We are proud that we could be a part of making Kim’s dream a reality,"
> says
> John Mendelsohn, M.D., president of M. D. Anderson. "Her compassion and
> dedication to improving children’s lives are closely aligned with our
> mission and we’re pleased to be a part of that legacy."
> Often adolescents and young adults affected by cancer feel isolated from
> others their age or miss the familiar surroundings of their school, home
> and
> friends. They may benefit from additional emotional and psychological
> support, and M. D. Anderson’s Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program is
> comprehensive approach to helping cancer patients and survivors aged 15 to
> 25 deal with the disease and lead a more normal life.
> By providing a place exclusively for adolescents and young adults away
> clinical areas and waiting rooms, Kim’s Place complements the AYA Program.
> It will also be available to anyone age 15 to 25 if a family member is
> receiving therapy at M. D. Anderson.
> "We recognized that cancer affects more than just the patient," says
> Eugenie
> Kleinerman, M.D., head of the Division of Pediatrics at M. D. Anderson.
> "When there’s cancer in the family, it affects siblings and children of
> patients too. Kim’s Place gives them a place to find support as well."
> Visitors to Kim’s Place are surrounded by reminders of her exuberance for
> life and love for the game of basketball. The wall at the entrance is
> covered with inspirational quotes from Perrot and her teammates.
> Memorabilia
> from her career are prominently displayed.
> Inside Kim’s Place there are two distinct areas, each with amenities to
> meet
> the social and educational needs of adolescents and young adults. The
> recreational area includes NBA free-throw machines, a pool table, a
> Wurlitzer jukebox, two computers with high-speed Internet access and
> games like Pac Man and Star Wars. There is plenty of banquette seating for
> reading and lounging.
> "Kim’s Place was meant to be a unique place at M. D. Anderson for young
> people to unwind and get away from it all," Kleinerman says. "The feedback
> from patients and their families has been overwhelming."
> In addition to offering visitors a place to "chill," the vocational
> counseling area is a more serene space that hosts a variety of gatherings
> from group counseling sessions and support groups to high school classes.
> The room’s high-tech equipment includes a wide-screen plasma TV with
> surround sound, desktop computer with Internet access and theatre-style
> seating for 12 people. There is also a selection of reference material and
> books addressing topics from career planning to study guides for college
> entrance exams.
> Kim’s Place is staffed by volunteers and Pediatrics staff and is open
> Monday
> through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
> The construction and furnishing of Kim’s Place was made possible through a
> $1.25 million contribution from the Houston Rockets & Comets Clutch City
> Foundation and fans of the Comets. The Clutch City Foundation was
> by team owner Leslie Alexander, as an umbrella for the Rockets and Comets
> community initiatives.