My name is Christie Currie and I am the founder of Zandaland. When I was a freshman in high school I was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer. My whole world turned upside down and I had no clue how to come to terms with what was happening to me. That uncertainty led me to walk on very a fine line. The line between coming out on the better end of cancer as a strong and empowered survivor or coming out on the worse end, mad at the world and continuing to suffer from the mental trauma of my treatment. I chose the better end, but it wasn't easy. It took me 2 years until I finally found the resources I needed to cope, including a personal blog which helped me to work through things in my own terms and language. I attribute my ability to cope and the feeling of resiliency that it gave me to not only my being able to get through cancer treatment, but to how I since have let the experience drive me positively in everything else I have done since.
I want to give that feeling of resiliency and empowerment to other kids, especially those who are younger than I was, but I don't want it to be as hard as it was for me. Zandaland is a holistic digital platform and virtual world for Children’s Hospitals that educates, connects, and comforts inpatient pediatric patients. We use fun, play and technology to empower these young patients through knowledge and engagement. This virtual world allows children to interact in a familiar way in their off time, while also learning about what is to come. This allows Child Life Specialists who give attention to the mental health of patients in Children's Hospitals to maximize the 1:1 time they do have with a child and have a deeper level of conversation. We want Child Life Specialists to have the resource to be proactive in a child's mental health plan through treatment instead of reactive.
The Zandaland team is amazingly competent and even more passionate. As graduation from Miami approaches, we are 100% committed to this path and to the impact, we know Zandaland can have on pediatric patients everywhere.
As we push Zandaland further, we are incurring and planning for more and more start-up costs and are seeking funding for expenses including the following:
1. Software subscription and website costs
2. Initial priority feature development costs
3. The cost of hiring an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) consultant to help us through the process of applying for competitive National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health funds
4. Supporting travel expenses for upcoming and anticipated meetings
No donation is too big or too small. Please help us create this better, virtual world, in which children diagnosed with pediatric cancer and illness alike can start to make sense of the things that no child should ever have to understand. Thank you for your support and interest, and thank you to the huge community we have created around this company and its mission, we couldn't have gotten to this point without so many people believing in us.
All the best,
Christie Currie & The Zandaland Team