'Monkey in my Chair' Program Helps Kids Cope - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Monkey in my Chair' Program Helps Kids Cope

Posted: Updated:
Mobile users, click this link to see slideshow photos and video: http://tinyurl.com/oq8mo75

SPOKANE, Wash. - Monkey see, monkey do, but it's not every day you see a monkey sitting in a chair, unless it's part of the 'Monkey in my Chair' program.

The 'Monkey in my Chair' program sends out 'Monkey Kits' to kids battling cancer. The kit includes one big monkey, one little one, and plenty of journals and handbooks. The bigger monkey sits in the students chair at school while they are undergoing treatment and the little monkey keeps the little patient company in the hospital while they are missing their friends at school.

Here in Spokane, Providence Sacred Heart Children's Hospital handed out about 25 of these kits over the past 3 years. One of the recipients is 7-year old Carter Hadlock.

In January 2012, Carter was diagnosed with A.L.L. - acute lymphoblastic leukemia - forcing him to miss the beginning of kindergarten.

"I was really, really sad he wasn't going to be able to start with all of his friends," explained Carter's mom, Amanda Hadlock. "He was going to miss the social skills that you learn when you first start school."

Carter's mom requested a monkey for Carter as soon as she learned about the program. And, to this day, the monkey keeps Carter's seat warm for him whenever he has to miss a day of school to go to the doctor.

"Sometimes he's kind of wild," said Carter in describing how his monkey acts at school. "He sits at my desk and does my work for me...he learns math, and he learns stuff like numbers."

Carter's older sister, Brooklyn, is in charge of the monkey when Carter has to go to the doctor, but she doesn't mind the extra responsibility.

"I bring him back and forth from home and I got quite a bit of attention on the bus, like woah, what's that monkey for?" explained Brooklyn. "It brings a lot of attention but I think it's kind of funny walking around with a big monkey around the school...I'm really glad to help him[Carter] out."

Because the monkey has had a steady presence at Carter's school over the past year, his classmates now have a better understanding about what Carter and his family are going through.

"When he [Carter] returned to class, they didn't look at him like, who's this strange bald kid coming in," said Amanda. "They were so excited to see him, they were so used to having the monkey there, and knew all about Carter and knew what to expect when Carter came."

Pediatric oncology social worker at Providence Sacred Heart Children's Hospital Maggie Rowe put it best:

"[This program] gives them something to say when sometimes words are really hard, when it's really hard to explain what cancer is, what the family is going thru," explains Rowe. "It gives people some kind of an idea, that that kid and the family is going thru something. It just improves empathy across the board with children, and really gets the child embraced by their school community."

Carter is still receiving chemotherapy about once a month but his cancer is in now in remission.

Hopefully very soon his monkey will have a permanent seat next to him, instead of in place of him, at school. For more information about the 'Monkey in my Chair' program, check out their website: http://www.monkeyinmychair.org/.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Priest Lake lots auctioned off

    PHOTOS: Priest Lake lots auctioned off

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:46 PM EDT2014-08-29 00:46:58 GMT
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. >>
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. For years, those already living on the sites leased the land from the State of Idaho, but the State was looking to sell. Residents already living on the sites showed up on Thursday to buy them back, and many were successful. 


    >>
  • THROWBACK THURSDAY: Johnny Depp in Spokane for 'Benny and Joon'

    THROWBACK THURSDAY: Johnny Depp in Spokane for 'Benny and Joon'

    Thursday, August 28 2014 4:06 PM EDT2014-08-28 20:06:32 GMT
    KHQ.COM - In the late 80's and early 90's Hollywood came to the Spokane area in a big way. One of the most well known films that was shot in the Lilac city was Benny and Joon. The 1992 movie included Aidan Quinn, Mary Stuart Masterson and Johnny Depp. KHQ was on set for a scene of the movie.
    >>
    KHQ.COM - In the late 80's and early 90's Hollywood came to the Spokane area in a big way. One of the most well known films that was shot in the Lilac city was Benny and Joon. The 1992 movie included Aidan Quinn, Mary Stuart Masterson and Johnny Depp. KHQ was on set for a scene of the movie.
    >>
  • Priest Lake Auction: Saying goodbye to home

    Priest Lake Auction: Saying goodbye to home

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:50:23 GMT
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. >>
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. People who have been leasing land from the state, some more than 40 years, will find out if they get to keep their property in an auction.Back in 2010, the State of Idaho decided to divest more than 300 lake lots on Priest Lake.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Competency check for teen accused in girl's death

    Competency check for teen accused in girl's death

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-08-29 15:54:31 GMT
    PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) - Kitsap County prosecutors say a 17-year-old accused in the rape and killing of 6-year-old Jenise Wright will be evaluated next week to see if he's competent to stand trial. The Kitsap Sun reports Gabriel Gaeta made a brief appearance in Kitsap County Superior Court on Thursday.>>
    PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) - Kitsap County prosecutors say a 17-year-old accused in the rape and killing of 6-year-old Jenise Wright will be evaluated next week to see if he's competent to stand trial. The Kitsap Sun reports Gabriel Gaeta made a brief appearance in Kitsap County Superior Court on Thursday.
    >>
  • Viral Video: Little boy's hysterical response to mother's pregnancy

    Viral Video: Little boy's hysterical response to mother's pregnancy

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:29:39 GMT
    KHQ.COM - When Shanee Gibson Hart of Fort Lewis, Washington, shared the news about her pregnancy with her son, Tré, she thought he would be thrilled. Instead, his reaction was a little different than expected. "This is exasperating!" Tré exclaimed. "Why you want to get another baby?...That doesn't make no sense!">>
    KHQ.COM - When Shanee Gibson Hart of Fort Lewis, Washington, shared the news about her pregnancy with her son, Tré, she thought he would be thrilled. Instead, his reaction was a little different than expected. "This is exasperating!" Tré exclaimed. "Why you want to get another baby?...That doesn't make no sense!"
    >>
  • Britain raises terror threat level

    Britain raises terror threat level

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:07:12 GMT
    LONDON (AP) - Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May says the country has raised the terror threat level from substantial to severe, but says there is no specific threat. The threat level means that a terrorist attack is considered "highly likely," but May insisted Friday there is no information to suggest an attack is imminent.>>
    LONDON (AP) - Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May says the country has raised the terror threat level from substantial to severe, but says there is no specific threat. The threat level means that a terrorist attack is considered "highly likely," but May insisted Friday there is no information to suggest an attack is imminent.>>