About three months ago I was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare cancer found primarily in kids. I had an emergency spinal surgery and spent a week at Dartmouth with my mom, dad, stepmom, and sister. During that week at Dartmouth was when I met the pediatric oncology team at CHAD and although that was probably the most scary week of my life it was definitely made less scary and lonesome by the arrival of the team. For me meeting the doctors was a huge relief , being able to rely on the fact that they knew what they were doing and were confident made me feel much safer. I have a little sister who is only six years old. I remember her being pretty scared by my surgery and being in the hospital but Jen, the child life specialist, took time not only to talk to me but to talk to my sister as well. I have to say that was a big thing for me, while I was in the hospital I was worried that my sister would just be scared and have no idea what was happening but I was so thankful that she was being watched out for.
Jeff, the social worker, has also made huge impact on my family. My mom has had to take off a whole year of work in order to take me to doctors appointments and the hospital and my dad has used all his sick days to be with us during treatments. This means that some big changes have been made to finances and time we have has a family. Jeff and the rest of the team have been able to find us programs and open opportunities for my family to help with all of the issues that my parents have had to face.
Because of my cancer and the rigorous treatment I get I have had to pause so many aspects of my life. I can’t go on trips that I had planned for the summer. I can’t work. I can’t hang out with my friends when I want to. But the team at Dartmouth has made sure that when I am at the hospital I am feeling the best I can, mentally and physically and that there are programs intouch with me that provide fun activities and presents. I just got these snazzy shoes from one of the programs Jeff showed us.
My aim in sharing this isn’t to get sympathy but to explain how having cancer isn’t the worst thing that can happen, it’s just a pretty awful experience but because of the great work the the people at CHAD do it is made a lot easier.
The money raised tonight helps to fund the work the whole team is doing and enriching my life and many other families lives. Thank you