Gratitude from a Future Leader
By Paige, a Children’s National patient
I love anything that sparkles, making art and game nights with my family. But when I was 6, my mom knew something was wrong. I wouldn’t ride my bike and I had a constant fever. Doctors said I had high-risk, B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It was as scary as it sounds. I didn’t leave the hospital for 33 days.
I can still feel the sting of the shots in my thighs. I had to swallow a lot of pills. They drew fluid from my spine. My IV pole had so many wires hanging off it, I named it Frankenstein.
There were so many hard parts about cancer treatment, but I fell in love with the people at Children’s National. They saved my life. They made me feel like family, especially the nurses. They special ordered my favorite foods like noodles with melted cheese. They helped me set up video games so I could join game night with my aunts, uncles and cousins from my hospital bed. All that care and love helped me get through.
In January 2023, I rang the bell at Children’s National to celebrate my last chemotherapy round. The happiest day of my life. It made feel like I can do anything!
When I grow up, maybe I’ll be a doctor. I’d like to help find a cure for cancer, especially the kind that children get. My hope for the future is that is that every single kid gets the care they need. That’s what I want to accomplish. I know we can do it!