FlairCare: Empowering Pediatric Mental Health

FlairCare: Empowering Pediatric Mental Health

By Danielle Wang and Dean Wang

Driven by Children

Founders of FlairCare, Dean Wang (left) and Danielle Wang (right).

While volunteering in the oncology department of the local hospital, Danielle Wang met Julia M., a little girl undergoing chemotherapy and hair loss. Struggling with self-image, Julia often felt excluded at school and protested going out in public without a hat. Seeing such a young kid struggle so much was heartbreaking! Inspired by this story, Danielle wanted to help brighten up pediatric patients’ healing journey.

Vibrant Initiatives

Image from “Beautiful As Always: a little girl’s cancer journey”

Danielle and Dean, with his dynamic leadership and visionary thinking, created FlairCare, a non-profit organization. Like the little girl, many young patients experience incredibly dull, isolating, and painful hospital visits. They are the most vulnerable to stressful conditions and are at greater risk for mental health problems. FlairCare serves kids with chronic physical health conditions who need emotional support.

As one of the first initiatives, FlairCare wrote and illustrated a children’s book, Beautiful As Always, dedicated to patients like Julia. It reminds everyone that beauty and self-value do not lie in external appearances. After its publication, the first copy was gifted to Julia, and she was ecstatic. One girl’s story helped inspire thousands more. Within a few months, children’s hospitals nationwide eagerly collaborated to distribute Beautiful As Always: a little girl’s cancer journey to more patients.

The book also received resounding endorsements from several pediatricians, and FlairCare was invited to host storytelling and creative arts events to encourage the self-confidence and self-love that all children deserve. They met nurses, teachers, and grandparents who were also impacted by cancer and felt deeply touched by the organization’s sentiment. FlairCare was truly delighted and honored to inspire the community.

Healing with Art

Medicine isn’t just about curing disease. Comprehensive treatment requires a holistic recognition of the individual. Integrating years of artistic experience and community service, FlairCare’s founders uniquely connect with kids through the healing nature of art. Art breaks down social barriers by transcending language, evoking emotions, and communicating ideas without the use of spoken or written words.

Working with specialists and healthcare professionals, FlairCare hosted a series of workshops for pediatric patients at local hospitals. They also designed therapeutic art programs for children to enjoy folding origami butterflies, arm-crocheting cozy scarves, creating thumbprint cartoon strips, and more! Art therapy alleviates stress by forming authentic bonds and bringing joy into clinical settings

Social Impact

FlairCare Founders meeting with pediatric patients and their families.

Within its first year, FlairCare reached thousands of pediatric patients around the country. However, Danielle and Dean know this is just the start. Sharing their passions for community service and arts with their community galvanizes them to add more colors to this world. They are excited about continuing their mission of enhancing patient-centered healthcare—helping brave kids laugh a little more, embrace their treatment, and achieve their healthiest, happiest selves. To make mental health education more accessible for all children, FlairCare plans to translate the published book into more languages and record audiobooks. The founders are currently interviewing more inspirational kids and writing more books to cover various medical conditions for widespread audiences.

Danielle’s contribution to mental healthcare was acknowledged recently, as she was invited to serve as the youngest member of the Minnesota Hospice and Palliative Care Board Committee. Danielle works with a team of healthcare professionals across the state to help pilot new frameworks to improve the quality of life for critical care patients. Moreover, she is the voice for pediatric patients, helping to extend programs to youth groups. This experience enhances FlairCare’s vision of spearheading palliative care initiatives, advocating for mental health, and creating tools for incorporating humanistic elements into healthcare.

FlairCare aspires to continue establishing trusting and empowering relationships with patients and their families. The NGO’s ultimate goal is to alleviate real-world mental health disparities and create avenues for global healthcare improvement.

Visit flaircare.org to join the mission.