Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9
On August 28, 2018, just a week before starting my senior year in high school, my life was changed. My chest hurt when I coughed so my mother took me to the doctor. The doctor sent us for a chest X-ray and half an hour later we got the call that we needed to go to Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown. The X-ray revealed a mass in my chest and I needed to be seen immediately. After a CT scan, I was admitted and being prepped for surgery. On August 29th the surgery revealed that I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This was the same cancer my mother had and beat 23 years earlier.
The next few weeks were a blur as we faced further testing and treatment plans. We then had to make the decision as to where I should be treated for the Hodgkin’s. My parents and I chose the Valerie Center at Goryeb Children’s Hospital because it was truly a wonderful place. Everyone from the doctors, nurses, social workers and staff treated me like a family member and I felt at home there. Dr. Neier was so caring and comforting and we knew we would be in good hands. There really was no other choice for me.
I was treated with inpatient and outpatient chemotherapy from September to December. My last chemotherapy treatment was on December 18, 2018. I start the next phase of treatment which is radiation on January 7, 2019. I am grateful to have made it through my treatments and I am grateful to have been part of the Valerie Center family. My goal is to help raise money so that the Valerie Fund can continue to make a difference in other children’s lives. The Valerie Center is a special place with the most amazing people around. It really was a home away from home for me and my family. I received great care during my visits and treatments. The Valerie Center Fund helped in so many ways. They supplied me with a VGO robot that I could use in my classes so I was still part of the class. The Valerie Center education liaison, social workers, nutritionist, child life workers, nurses and doctors each had a huge impact on my life and treatment.
I will be running in the Valerie Fund 5K on June 13, 2020 and would be honored if you could join my team. You can walk, run or make a donation to sponsor me. Please help me give back to the Valerie Fund so that they can keep helping children.