All children who are being treated for cancer can participate in the program Maximaal Bewegen. They learn how they, despite their illness and treatment, can exercise optimally and are encouraged to (continue to) play and sports. When they return home and pick up sports and games again, some children have difficulty finding a suitable sport (club). They have suffered a motor deficiency and/or are still recovering and cannot immediately resume their former sport.
Since early 2021 the sports clinic has started in the Máxima Center on a trial basis, for children with a brain tumor near the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. Lineke Rehorst-Kleinlugtenbelt, pediatric physiotherapist, who is supervising the pilot: 'These children have disturbed hormone levels and exercise can be difficult. Because of a slow metabolism and poor sleep, for example, children have less energy, are often tired and move less. Yet exercise is important. It prevents the symptoms from getting worse and even reduces fatigue.’
In the Máxima Center children can therefore be referred to the Sports and Exercise Center. In collaboration with the sports clinic of the Esther Vergeer Foundation, they get advice about exercise and a sport in the home situation. Counselors at this sports clinic advise and mediate for all children with physical disabilities: what is a suitable sport and where is a sports club where you’ll fit? Together with the Máxima pediatric physiotherapist they consider which sport matches the interests and skills of the child. In the past six months, six children have already been helped at the sports clinic. They have found their sports club and enjoy playing sports, despite their limitations during or after their cancer treatment. The pilot was successful and will be continued.
Golden Key Relay
The Esther Vergeer Foundation's consultations-on-appointment have also started on a trial basis in five other hospitals. By means of a relay, the Golden Key of the sports clinic will be brought to all participating hospitals. On Monday, October 4, at 4 pm, the relay team will arrive at the Princess Máxima Center, led by Mitch Valize, handbiker, time trial and road race gold medalist at the 2021 Paralympic Games. Lotte Riegen (14) is also taking part: 'As well as enjoying sport, it's also important for me to exercise. Because of my disability, I find it difficult to find a sport that suits me. Thanks to the sports clinic, I came into contact with the Esther Vergeer Foundation, who are now working hard to find a sport that suits me. Because I think it's important that everyone can play sports, I like to participate in the Key Relay.’