True Tales Storytelling Workshops for Children with Chronic Health Issues

For many patients and people with life-long disabilities, telling or writing their story is what helps them to cope and thus improve their overall well-being, confidence and sense of acceptance in the community.

Through a generous grant from the FDC Foundation, Tellin’ Tales launched the Hospital Storytelling Workshops in 2017.  It is designed to serve children with traumatic illnesses and injuries and/or those requiring continual/long-term care and physical therapy.  During that workshop, the children learn how to turn their personal story into a short written or performance piece for family, hospital staff and friends.

To date stories have ranged from gratitude for being adopted to overcoming pain, from how to stop rumors of an amputation to finding hope as a disabled dancer.  All very positive in their telling and empowering stories.

Our sincerest thanks to the FDC Foundation for their support and encouragement.

Enthusiastic young storyteller at Advocate Children’s Hospital
Enthusiastic young storyteller at Advocate Children’s Hospital

True Tales Hospital Workshops
~ A Testimony 

On behalf of the children and staff here at Shriners Hospital for Children – Chicago, I would like to thank you for coming to provide fun Tellin’ Tales story sessions for our patients.  This four week session was not only fun, but creative and our kids were so engaged.

Your ability to get the patients interested in learning ways to tell their story, learn about each other in a fun format and interesting exercises was fascinating.  Though we weren’t able to have a consistent group throughout the four weeks, those who came regularly really enjoyed themselves.

Thanks to the FDC Foundation for sponsoring this program for us.  It is fun to use the art of storytelling to provide a positive means to express ourselves and difficult experiences that may have happened to us. Thank you for all you do for us here at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Chicago.  We are looking forward to more Tellin’ Tales workshops in the future.


Darlene Kelly, CTRS
Recreation Therapy/Child Life Department
Chicago, IL 60707

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay.