Episode #7: Activities for Kids With Chronic Illnesses

In this week’s episode of The UpBeat Podcast powered by CoachArt, our co-hosts Greg and Roxanne are joined by Brandon, whose son Aiden has been a long-time CoachArt student.

Aiden was diagnosed with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), a rare autoimmune disorder that poses numerous challenges, both great and small, for him and his family. Brandon discusses his experience throughout the diagnosis process, including the initial emotional impact on his family, and also shares how he’s learned to help Aiden and their family thrive on a day-to-day basis.

One of the issues that Brandon faces, and that affects every family impacted by childhood chronic illness, is finding appropriate activities for their child. CoachArt’s goal is to assist in that process and there are also other helpful resources to find fun, healthy activities for children impacted by chronic illness. Read the full blog post here to check out our suggestions.

Episode #6: A Parent’s Journey With Individualized Education Plans

In this week’s episode of The Upbeat Podcast powered by CoachArt, our host Greg is joined by Felicia Ford, an amazing single mother whose 17-year-old daughter Faith was born with cerebral palsy.

Felicia shares her inspiring story of how her frightening experience at Faith’s birth motivated her to dive in and do all she could for Faith and for parents in similar situations.

Read the full blog post here for Felicia’s wonderful advice on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).


Episode #5: Anxiety in Children as a Result of Their Illness: How to Identify it & 5 Ways to Combat it

In this week’s episode of The UpBeat Podcast powered by CoachArt, our host Greg sits down with Megan Gallagher, a 23-year-old mental health advocate and motivational speaker, to discuss her experience with an issue familiar to many families impacted by childhood chronic illness — severe anxiety.

After years of her own fight with crippling anxiety and panic attacks, Megan now travels the country speaking to middle and high school students about managing their anxiety, loving themselves, and being in tune with their bodies.

Read the full blog post here for Megan’s easy-to-implement remedies on how to combat severe anxiety.

Episode #4: 3 Amazing Nonprofit Organizations for Kids Diagnosed With Cancer

In this week’s episode of The UpBeat Podcast powered by CoachArt, co-host Greg is joined by special guest host Elena, one of CoachArt’s board members (and our interviewee on podcast episode 3), as they sit down to chat with CoachArt’s marketing director, Roxanne.

Roxanne switches seats from co-host to interviewee and shares her experience with pediatric cancer. Her daughter, Aleyna, was diagnosed with Wilms tumor at age 6. Roxanne provides tips and advice on how to help your child navigate the social pressures encountered by children with chronic illness and tells a touching story of how a little note to a classmate’s parents led to a big gesture from new friends.

Click here for the full blog post.

Episode #3: Communication Tips for Families of Kids Impacted by Chronic Illness

In this week’s episode of The UpBeat Podcast powered by CoachArt, co-hosts Greg and Roxanne sit down with CoachArt parent and board member, Elena, to discuss her family’s experiences with chronic illness. Her unique journey began when her son Brad was diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor at the age of 14.

Much of Elena’s guidance centers on communication. And sometimes it’s hard to take stock of all the avenues of communication that will experience stress as the family navigates their new path — between the diagnosed and their family; between the diagnosed and their peers; within the family including the diagnosed; between the parents of the child; and all other relationships that exist within and around a family.

For more tips and resources on communication when dealing with a childhood chronic illness, visit our full post.

Episode #2: 3 Tips for Dealing With “Information Overload” After Your Child’s Diagnosis

In this week’s episode of The UpBeat Podcast, powered by CoachArt, co-hosts Greg and Roxanne chat with Lacey, whose 10-year-old son Levi is one of CoachArt’s newest members.  

At just 3 days old, Levi was diagnosed with craniosynostosis and cleft palate. Since then, Lacey and her family have experienced all the ups and downs that living with a chronic illness entails, without a community of like-minded parents and families … until she found us here at The UpBeat! Now Lacey’s ready to share some advice and stories about how her family has navigated the journey of Levi’s illness, including its effects on his schooling, his friends, and his parents. 

Lacey has lots of insightful info, including her top three tips for families with children who have recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Read the full blog post..

Episode #1: Interview with Tiger Livy Author, Erin Garcia – Plus 5 Additional Children’s Books That Address Childhood Chronic Illness

In this week’s episode of The UpBeat Podcast powered by CoachArt, co-hosts Greg and Roxanne sit down with Erin Garcia, co-author of the brand new children’s book, Tiger Livy.

When a rare autoimmune disease suddenly turned her niece’s life upside down, Erin immediately looked for books they could share. But when she couldn’t find many age-appropriate stories about kids with chronic illnesses, she did what any English teacher would do — she wrote her own. In our new podcast, she shares Livy’s story and its impact on the lives of those around her. She also explains how this wonderful new book can help both kids and their families who are confronting similar situations and discusses how she created this inspiring tale of child empowerment.

Our chat with Erin also reminded us that it can indeed be difficult to find good stories for children dealing with chronic illnesses. For a list of our favorites, read the full blog post.

Meet our UpBeat Podcast Hosts


Roxanne Doche

As Marketing Director for CoachArt, Roxanne oversees all of The UpBeat content and co-hosts The UpBeat Podcast. It’s not only Roxanne’s vast experience in marketing and philanthropic causes that help her spearhead CoachArt’s growth through The UpBeat; as the mother to 3 children, her eldest a cancer survivor and CoachArt student, she brings an important viewpoint to all of our work.


Greg Harrell-Edge

Alongside Roxanne, Greg co-hosts The UpBeat Podcast and helps direct the platform’s content as an extension of CoachArt, where he serves as Executive Director. He was previously the Development Director of Friends of the Urban Forest in San Francisco, and has consulted for nonprofits in the arts, environment, LGBT and education sectors to optimize their online fundraising. Greg’s diverse background in nonprofit, political, and entertainment adds an innovative perspective to The UpBeat.