Ohio Man Creates Activity Booklets For Chemotherapy Patients

January 10, 2022

An Ohio man makes fun activity packets for people undergoing chemotherapy to keep their minds off the cancer.

ACT chemo activities
Photo: Scott Murphy / WCPO.com

When Scott Murphy was a kid, his big sister Linda always took care of him and babysat him when he was older. So when Linda was diagnosed with uterine cancer decades later in 2019, Scott decided it was his turn to take care of her.

He sat with her during each of her hours-long chemotherapy treatments and created activities to keep her mind off her diagnosis.

"I made her a bunch of booklets," he told WCPO. "Little trivia booklets with questions about Cincinnati and different movies she's seen, her favorite bands. So it's an activity book to kill some time when she was in chemo."

ACT chemo activities
Photo: Scott Murphy / WCPO.com

When other patients took notice, Scott started bringing extra packets with activities that had more general appeal.

He calls the work the A.C.T., or "Activities for Chemo Treatment," Project. And even after Linda's treatments stopped, Scott's A.C.T. Project continued. He has been bringing stacks of activity sheets to Mercy Health Fairfield Hospital in Fairfield every few months for the past two years.

Robin Saxon, the nurse manager on the oncology floor at Mercy Health Fairfield Hospital, says the activities offer patients a "great opportunity" to occupy their time with something other than thinking about their treatment.

"They're not thinking about the disease process and what's going on, the fact that this medication could be destroying good cells to take care of bad cells. That's very stressful on a person. They get to where they're stressed just thinking about it, and it can cause them anxiety and even depression," Saxon said.

"We're so grateful that there's other people – other than us – that are thinking about our patients and their wellbeing. Whether it be mental or physical. And I think a lot of times this sort of activity can help them more mentally than you might think it would," she added.

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