Patients being treated for a serious illness often feel scared, angry or sad throughout their ordeal. Our Palliative Care Program helps patients and their loved ones cope with these feelings by focusing on improving the patient's overall quality of life. Where medical treatment aims to cure the disease, palliative care is intended to manage the symptoms and side effects of the illness and the treatment. Palliative care relieves symptoms such as pain, discomfort and stress. This is especially important for children who are chronically ill, have chronic pain or are receiving end of life care. Under our Palliative Care Program, patients and families meet the specialists soon after diagnosis to discuss their long-term healthcare management. Our specialists build a rapport with the family early on so that when difficult decisions need to be made, the family is prepared to make them. Since every patient is unique, each receives highly personalized options about their care. Some may decide to receive home visits instead of hospital treatment, some may want to pursue a clinical trial and others may opt to adjust their treatment so they can attend a special occasion like their high school prom. Ultimately, palliative care specialists assist in balancing long-term survival with a patient's immediate needs and desires, which results in an optimal quality of life.