Kerri Padgett, is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist, Certified Infant Massage Teacher, and holds specialized massage training for children with Cancer and Autism Spectrum Disorders practicing in Grafton, MA and Providence, RI.
Before becoming a mom herself, Kerri trained as a lactation consultant and worked for many years as an in-home caregiver to children and adults with complex medical needs.
It was in this work she began exploring the benefits and impact of nurturing touch on whole family wellness. This approach to care became a lifelong passion after her infant son, Kai, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2011.
Through a grant-funded program, Lucy's Love Bus, Kai received massage therapy, acupuncture treatments and nutritional counseling that helped ease the side affects of his chemotherapy. Kerri also attributes this extended care team to helping to reduce isolation and promote self-advocacy throughout her family’s medical journey. After seeing first hand the benefits of these therapies alongside traditional cancer care, Kerri began working to advocate these services for other families.
Two years later she enrolled in a professional massage therapy program with a clear focus on working with medically complex children and their families.
After attaining several Liddle Kidz Foundation certifications, Kerri began working as the director of Integrative Therapies - a division of pediatric pain management & palliative care program, at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where she happily serves families like hers.
In addition to providing hands on therapy, Kerri continues to dedicate herself to education and advocacy, working to ensure better access to massage therapy as a component of comprehensive comfort care for all children living with a life-threatening illness.
Kerri currently acts as the Community Manager for the Courageous Parents Network - an education and advocacy group for pediatric palliative care, and as an in-home massage therapist for Notre Dame Pediatric Palliative Care program in Worcester, MA. She also continues to provide massage to other children fighting cancer through Lucy’s Love Bus. She lives with her best friend and her dog, Boston - remembering & honoring Kai every day.
Why do you feel you would be an asset to the Liddle Kidz Foundation volunteer team?
In my relatively short time working at a CPMT I have broad experience with many family types and medical conditions. My knowledge of pediatric medicine and ability to handle a crisis or stressful situation is strong. I am a part of a very hands on team in the hospital and because of that I see a lot. I have also seen a lot in my personal experiences and have learned coping skills that allow me to accept and adapt during times of hardship. Although, I do not pretend to know the life these children live, I do think I can bring an empathetic approach to my work there that is both genuine and valuable to working with this population.
Why would you like to participate in this outreach event?
I started massage school a few months after my son died of an inoperable brain tumor. I saw how much massage, acupuncture and other integrative therapies helped him through his treatment and decided I wanted to be able to provide that type of relief and connection for other kids/families by becoming an licensed massage therapist. All through school my goal was to train through Liddle Kidz Foundation and eventually apply to an outreach trip.
In my time working as a CPMT, I have learned how massage is so much more than a therapy for these families, it can change their way of viewing medical care. In the hospital I love empowering young people to take an active roll in their care by working with them on body awareness and touch boundaries. I also love getting the parents/caregivers involved and seeing how their touch can help.
Working with children/caregivers outside the US will hopefully give me an even stronger view of the power of touch therapy for children who are medically fragile or neglected. I hope to take the skills I learn in the Philippines back into my work here in Massachusetts.
I am also really looking forward to meeting this amazing group of like minded people and spending this time working together to help others.
There are millions of infants and children worldwide who are struggling to live to their fullest potential. Would you like an opportunity to bring nurturing touch and pediatric massage to orphaned and displaced children around the globe?
Do you wish to share your skills with children who are affected by Cerebral Palsy, AIDS/HIV, landmines, Agent Orange, developmental disabilities, genetic birth defects, mental and emotional trauma?
Just ask yourself . . . can one person make a difference?
Take this moment to make a difference in the life of a child.
Apply now to be part of our next international volunteer team . . .you too, can be a Liddle Kidz Ambassador!