Dear Mark & 98.7 The River Listeners,
I can’t help but smile when thinking about a very special boy, Timmy, and I’m so thrilled to be able to share with you about him this holiday season. Timmy is a very sweet eleven-year-old boy who loves laughing, baseball, playing FortNite with his friends, cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs, and spending time with his awesome family. Timmy has a heart of gold, is always interested in caring for others, and is a shining light to all who know him.
This past January, Timmy was admitted to the hospital and eventually diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma, meaning that he had a cancerous mass in his abdomen. Timmy and his family’s lives were changed in an instant. Since January, Timmy has bravely endured five rounds of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, a bone marrow transplant, 20 days of radiation, and is now in the immunotherapy phase of treatment here at our children’s hospital which means many week-long admissions in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
I have had the wonderful honor of getting to know Timmy and his mom, Sloan, very well throughout the last eleven months. It has been a joy to be able to see Timmy conquer this formidable disease. It has also been special to witness the unwavering love his mom exudes as she is by his side during every treatment. One of my favorite memories has been when Timmy spent Halloween in the hospital. Timmy found the scariest costume he could find and scared all of the nurses and doctors in the unit! He didn’t let being in the hospital stop him from having a blast on a holiday. His laughter was contagious.
This Christmas, Timmy is simply hoping to be home with his family and not here in the hospital. However, when prompted further, Timmy shared that he would love some Xbox or Gamestop gift cards. This would be awesome for Timmy as playing on his Xbox has been one of his go-to ways of coping with his long hospital stays. Timmy also would love to read and would appreciate some gift cards to Books-A-Million or Barnes and Noble.
Timmy has two older sisters who have amazed me in their steadfastness of support throughout Timmy’s treatment. Hannah, Timmy’s eldest sister, is 20 while Logan, the middle sister, is 16. Both Hannah and Logan would love gift cards for Christmas, whether general gift cards or to stores like Ulta, Sephora, and Target. As far as Timmy’s parents go, they share, “There is nothing that we need; We just hope to be at home with family as that is a gift in itself to us.” However, I know that his family would benefit from some gas station gift cards to assist with the frequent long car trips to and from the hospital. In addition, some general gift cards would be a huge blessing when considering the financial burden of having a child with cancer. Timmy’s family also shops at Target, Publix, TJ Maxx, and Wal-Mart. When they get the rare opportunity to eat out together as a family, Carrabbas, Chick-Fil-A, and Olive Garden are some favorite options.
Thank you for listening to Timmy’s story. I know that I speak for the entire healthcare team when I say that although we wish Timmy was never diagnosed with neuroblastoma, we are grateful we have come to know such an incredible child and family. It would be a huge blessing for this family to have an extra special Christmas this year.
Child Life Specialist
Memorial Health Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah