Financial Support

NFTBHF provides financial assistance for pediatric cancer patients. This can include help with bills, food, gas, basic essentials, medical costs, etc.

For Financial Assistance, contact the clinic’s social worker at 518-262-2875.

Family Hope Bags

Newly diagnosed families may not have the opportunity to go home when faced with their child’s situation. Family Hope bags provide essentials that a parent and child need until they can get home. It includes a guidebook that explains what to expect during treatment, local restaurants, supportive services, information about the hospital. Plus, essentials like toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, notebook, pen, comforting items, and gift certificates to local restaurants and travel. These bags provide hope with a supportive letter from a local family who has gone through the journey.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Nick’s Comfort Bags

Whether in the clinic or hospital for a day or weeks, we provide teen comfort bags to pediatric cancer patients (ages 10-25). These may include fun distractions such as DVDs, books, video games or cozy socks. NFTBHF also likes to personalize them to each teen and work with the clinic’s Child Life Specialist to make sure the teen comfort bag is unique to each patient.

Family Connections

Family Connections is a monthly program where all our Melodies Center families can come together for support. It includes sharing the basics of journaling whether for healing, self-awareness, note taking, or daily writing. Every event also includes a simple yoga flow, which involves breathing and meditation techniques. Dinner is always served. The entire family is welcome. If you are a part of the Melodies Center Cancer family and would like to join our private FaceBook group, please email Janine Cammarata at

For journaling ideas visit:

Pet Therapy

Chloe is a special maltipoo (maltese/poodle mix) born on 12/13/14. With such a special birthday, she was destined to do great things! She has been with her human family since she was 3 months old, and it was immediately apparent to her owners that her sweet spirit and gentle disposition needed to be shared with the world. At 8 months old, Chloe began training to be a therapy dog. She quickly progressed through basic obedience and then earned her canine good citizenship certification. In December 2015, at the young age of one, Chloe trained for and passed her therapy dog certification. She has been actively working since then through her affiliation with Therapy Dog International (TDI). Chloe loves her visits with all ages, but has a special place in her heart for children. She especially loves being the official therapy dog of NFTBHF where she brings support, comfort, and affectionate kisses to children battling cancer at The Melodies Center at The Bernard & Millie Duker’s Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.

Flow to be Healed Program

Flow to be Healed

Karen Patchell, NFTBHF Board member and Registered Yoga Teacher, started Flow to be Healed program on February 17, 2017. Fun games and simple poses empower a child to develop tools that help them move, use breath, and focus in order to take their mind off any distractions or discomfort. Fun games and simple poses empower a child to develop tools that help them move and use breath and focus to take their mind off any distractions or discomfort. Yoga improves their self-confidence and heals mind, body, and spirit. Karen’s visits vary. Contact the clinic’s Child Life Specialist for Karen’s schedule or to arrange a visit.

Child Life Specialist

This position, as well as many others, at The Melodies Center at The Bernard & Millie Duker’s Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center is supplemented by donations and grants. It is such a vital positive position for pediatric cancer patients that part of our mission is to help fund it.

Some of their responsibilities include:

  • Planning and implementing therapeutic activities and programs for all ages of children and teens.

  • Providing developmentally appropriate information about their illness and procedures, as well as procedural support when needed.

  • Developing therapeutic and supportive relationships with patients and families to provide advocacy and to initiate referrals to services within the hospital and community as needed.