In 2017, the First Lady established the Yumi C.A.R.E.S. Foundation, an independent 501c3 charitable organization which launched its first art therapy program for pediatric patients at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Yumi C.A.R.E.S. – Children’s Art for Recovery, Empowerment, and Strength – was initially conceived during the time The First Lady spent with her husband’s battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They had the opportunity to meet so many courageous pediatric patients and their families.
The Foundation seeks to expand art therapy by extending the program to other hospitals in the State.
Yumi C.A.R.E.S. fosters a sense of empowerment and strength in children facing health challenges, helping them heal both emotionally and physically. Through their experience in the program, the children build resiliency and coping skills that may assist them as they work through their treatment and recovery. When given a chance to express themselves in this way, pediatric patients gain a sense of control at a time when they may feel overwhelmed.