Giving Amanda Her Life Back
Amanda, 32, is a busy professional who lives in Washington, D.C. and runs her own business. At age 2, doctors at Children’s National Hospital diagnosed her with brain cancer. Anne says care providers there saved her daughter’s life.
“It started in January 1989,” Anne recalls. “We nearly lived at Children’s National for two years.” Amanda had 48 admissions during her intensive treatment, which included 287 days in the hospital, five brain surgeries, 84 chemotherapy treatments and 14 blood transfusions. She received care from many departments—hematology/oncology, neurosurgery, cardiology, urology, infectious disease psychology and speech and hearing. She went home cancer-free.
“It’s the people at Children’s National who created an atmosphere of caring and gave us Amanda’s life back,” Anne says. She recalls tireless doctors, an aide who sang and danced to keep Amanda giggling and a phlebotomist who always made her smile—even when drawing blood. A nurse brought Amanda pancakes after every chemotherapy treatment. Staff contributed to her stash of costume jewelry, kept in her “dress-up” box.
Amanda returned to our hospital during the summer of 1994, not for cancer, but when she and her older sister Kristen were treated for broken legs within six weeks of each other. Amanda overheard her ambulance driver saying he was headed to a different emergency room. “She said, ‘Take me to Children’s!’” Anne recalls, “and to Children’s National she went.”