Pediatric Healing Program

Little Heroes, Big Healing

Teaching pediatric patients to use martial arts-based techniques to manage their response to pain and stress.

Our therapy is evidence-based and backed by leading pediatric hospitals.

In our Heroes Circle Pediatric Healing Program, we use martial arts therapeutic techniques to help children, teens and young adults cope with difficult situations associated with chronic health conditions such as cancer, sickle cell, hemophilia, heart disease, and chronic GI disease, organ transplant and other pediatric illnesses.

Pediatric patients often find diagnostic tools frightening and painful. Treatments, including chemotherapies, surgeries, blood transfusions and radiation, may leave these children feeling fatigued, nauseous and depressed. The message they receive is that they are weak, passive, and without control over their own existence.

Our unique non-contact, martial arts approach blends together the elements of imagery, empowerment, relaxation, and movement to equip students with the tools necessary to overcome pain and self-regulate during moments of extreme stress.

In several studies, our methodology has been proven to reduce pain and distress among children with chronic health conditions, as well as their otherwise healthy siblings. Our reputation as a standard of pediatric care is evidenced and widely sought by doctors, nurses, psychosocial clinicians and parents.

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Power.

Peace.

Purpose.

This is the mantra used by all of our Heroes Circle programs and is truly indicative of the transformation in a student from feeling helpless to conquering their pain, stress or anxiety.

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Journey to the Heroes Circle

In 1999, Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg started Kids Kicking Cancer in response to the amazing benefits he found that martial arts meditation and breathing techniques have for those in great pain and stress — particularly children.

Power. Peace. Purpose

Inside the Dojo

Classes teach traditional karate moves along with the mind-body techniques of meditation, breathing, relaxation and visualization to dramatically lower pain levels. Learn more about the program and meet some of our little heroes.

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Parents

Family Support

Since our inception, we have committed to providing martial arts therapy to children and families at no cost. However, we know that each of these children has stressors and challenges beyond our classes, as many of our families suffer financially from medical bills and other expenses (COVID-19 has only exacerbated these issues). Because we consider these families our own, we offer a family service emergency fund for parents and children in our program who are struggling financially.

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Register your child today!

The Heroes Circle Pediatric Healing Program, led by trained Martial Arts Therapists, is open to 3-year-old children to young adults. We offer in-person and virtual options at no cost to families. Once registered, students will receive a martial arts uniform with a belt, t-shirt and a Martial Arts Super Power Kit.

Our impact

Together, We Are Changing Lives

This snapshot is a chance to celebrate everything that we accomplished together in 2021, thanks to donors like you!

The total number of instances that children in our Heroes Circle Pediatric Healing Program participated in a class or session.
Hospitals and program locations offered Heroes Circle programming.
Pediatric patients each participated in an average of five classes last year.
Summer camps offered its campers Heroes Circle virtual programing in the United States and Ontario, Canada.

Evidence

Research, Grants & Case Studies

Martial arts based meditative techniques reduce pain and emotional distress

March 25, 2021

Research shows that meditative techniques are effective for reducing pain and emotional distress in adults and more recently in children. However, compliance to meditation and … Continued

Martial Arts-Based Therapy Reduces Pain and Distress Among Children with Chronic Health Conditions and Their Siblings

March 25, 2020

Test whether a martial arts-based therapy, Kids Kicking Cancer (KKC), can reduce pain and emotional distress in children with cancer, other chronic health conditions (e.g., … Continued

Understanding the Psychological Effects of Childhood Cancer

July 18, 2018

Many forms of childhood cancers have gone from being a death sentence to a curable disease. Thanks to advances in treatments, the overall survival rate … Continued

Martial arts intervention decreases pain scores in children with malignancy

July 8, 2016

Martial arts intervention in disease has been mostly limited to adult inflammatory, musculoskeletal, or motor diseases, where a mechanical intervention effects positive change. However, the … Continued

Frequently Asked Questions

Testimonials

Take their word for it.

Kids kicking cancer have been great for me and my family! They’ve helped my family deal with our emotions and pain when we lost our father to cancer. They’ve made us feel welcome and we love what they do for us and others. They’re more than a program to us, and we appreciate everything.

Sadiyah H.

9/24/2021

Kids Kicking Cancer has been an incredible source of strength and comfort to my daughter. She has learned how to work through difficult situations by using power breathing and meditation. Her Senseis encourage her every week and make their time together fun and educational. KKC provides a platform where she can meet other children battling cancer all while learning karate. I applaud the amazing team at KKC. They have been such an incredible blessing!

Kym Jones

08/28/2021

The Kids Kicking Cancer organization is a wonderful resource for families facing the uncertainty of a childhood cancer diagnosis and other childhood illnesses. The techniques that they teach empower the children to face the many challenges of their treatments and the other programming wraps around the entire family. The entire team is supportive and caring. We couldn’t have been introduced to a better second family.

Amckay297

08/18/2020

I have never run across an organization before that cares more for their mission than Kids Kicking Cancer! They invest so heavily into developing the hearts, minds, and souls of these kids that it hard to fathom.

My son was born with no immune system and will have to undergo monthly treatments for the rest of his life to stay alive. These treatments bring an untold amount of stress into his life. Kid's Kicking Cancer has helped him develop skills and abilities to help him deal with this stress. If I am being completely honest, I as the parent have used some of these techniques as well with my stress.

From the moment I walked into the dojo I felt like this is the place that my son needs to be. Honestly, from the bottom of my heart I thank you all for the work that you do.

James Y – Cole’s Dad

06/30/2020

I absolutely LOVE this organization!!! Even throughout this pandemic situation, they have helped my kids maintain some normalcy through video classes and other events that keep the children connected with their instructors and other participants (also known as our KKC family)!!! Great organization!!!

Patrice D

06/26/2020

From the first karate class, my boys were hooked. It was definitely an adjustment because they had never participated in any kind of organized sport or school. They looked forward to going every week and they transformed before our eyes. They grew in discipline and control of their bodies and they learned how to work out their anger and frustration. Watching them do something that makes them happy in a time that has been so unhappy is indescribable.

Everyone at KKC has treated us like family from the moment we walked in the door. We are incredibly grateful for the privilege of being apart of their family. Kids Kicking Cancer has been a life saver for us and has helped make our family whole again.

Jtohurst

10/17/2017
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Help more children find

Power. Peace. Purpose.

Despite the ongoing challenges of the global pandemic, we are committed to empowering one million children to reduce their pain and stress with the help of our evidence-based martial arts therapy.