Rylie's Story Managing leukemia. The difference a supportive environment makes.

Kelly Richards had just flown a combat mission over Afghanistan when he got a call from his wife, telling him their daughter, Rylie, had leukemia. As drastic as the news was, the family felt comforted to know that Children’s National would be able to treat the illness and help make sure Rylie could continue doing the things that kids need to do.

Children’s National provides psychosocial services such child life specialists, psychologists, music and art therapists, and teachers – all funded through philanthropy. “They always say that the job of a child is to play, and at Children’s National, she can still fulfill that need,” said Rylie’s mom, Tracie.

Dr. Jeffrey Dome, Chief of Hematology and Oncology, said, “We’ve learned that successful cancer treatment isn’t just about delivering the medications. It’s about making the environment a friendly place where people can feel safe and comfortable during the course of their treatment.”

Added Amanda Thompson, medical director of Patient Support Services, “We have to rely on the support of our donors to be able to keep doing what we’re doing and to be able to support our patients and families. We want our patients not just to survive cancer, but to thrive in spite of it.”

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