Taylor Swift is making her mark on Philadelphia by providing children fighting cancer with the tools to create music while they recover.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) announced today that they are receiving $50,000 gift from seven-time Grammy award winner Swift, 24, a Berks County native who has previously supported CHOP patients with personal visits and is known for supporting ill children with frequent and lengthy visits to hospital sickrooms.
This gift will go towards creating a "high-tech music therapy cart for teens to create and produce their own music while they go through cancer treatment," according to a statement released by CHOP.
"We are thrilled that Taylor Swift has chosen to support The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Cancer Center," Dr. Steven M. Altschuler, CEO of CHOP, said in a statement. "Her gift will help lift the spirits of many CHOP patients during a difficult time."
Swift's grant will be used to create specialized, multidisciplinary programming for teens with cancer treated at CHOP's Cancer Center, according to a statement released by the hospital.
"Taylor Swift's music is an inspiration to so many of our teen patients," Dr. Lamia Barakat, a psychologist and director of the Psychosocial Services Program at CHOP's Cancer Center, said in a statement. "We can think of no better way to use her gift than to grow our Adolescent and Young Adult initiative designed to support the emotional well-being of our teens with cancer."
The CHOP Cancer Center's "Adolescent and Young Adult Initiative" was started in 2010 to provide teen cancer patients with psychosocial services and activities as they fight for their health. Swift's grant will add a music therapy program to the mix. The "music cart" will be available in patients' rooms and in the Cancer Center's teen room, according to a release from CHOP.
"Essentially a recording studio on wheels, this new tool will enable our Music Therapy Team to eliminate traditional barriers, and allow for limitless musical expression by our teen patients," said CHOP Cancer Center child life manager Stephanie Rogerwick in a statement.
A spokeswoman for CHOP was not able to immediately confirm when the music therapy cart will be ready for use by patients but said that with the funds from Swift, development of the device can now begin.