Dear Mark & Christmas Wish Listeners,
My sweet patient, Amy, is two-years-old and will turn three-years-old right after Christmas. Amy is super fun and loves to sing and dance! She especially loves singing and dancing to Frozen songs and Baby Shark. During the holidays last year, Amy and her family’s lives changed forever when she was admitted to our children’s hospital for low blood cell counts. Our pediatric hospitalists quickly realized they were likely dealing with a childhood cancer called leukemia. Amy’s mother and father were lovingly at her side as she played with musical toys in her hospital room amidst pokes and surgeries. Amy’s diagnosis eventually came back as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and her family was informed that she would undergo treatment that would span the course of the next few years. Amy’s mom remembers, “We were told the worst news a parent fears... ‘Your child has cancer.’ The first month was the worst. We fought our way through every stage. When she lost her hair, it hit me again of how awful this disease is. We will not back down. We will continue to fight for our daughter.”
Amy loves playing with Barbie dolls, cars, balls, and other toys typical for a girl her age. Her parents share “not even chemo can get her down!” For Christmas this year, Amy is hoping for a Barbie Dreamhouse or a ride-on/push toy. Amy is the “baby” of her family and has three older siblings who adore her. They all have their hearts set on a trampoline for them all to play together on, for playing together is their favorite thing to do.
They are the kindest kids and were so polite and gracious when they came to see me at Memorial! Amy’s two brothers are 10 year old Alex, and 9 year old and Dalet(dal-it). Her sister Kelsie is five-years-old. Her brothers really love Nerf guns or any toys. Amy’s sister, Kelsie, loves dolls and play-make-up. Amy’s mom, Abigail, says “Whatever the kids get will be perfect… because no matter what, we have each other.”
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the family is as well. And this family has faced financial challenges while going through their daughter’s treatment. It would fill my heart with joy to see this family helped out in any way possible this holiday season. When Amy’s family gets to eat out, they normally choose Zaxby’s, Dairy Queen, and Wendy’s. They also frequently shop at WalMart, TJ Maxx, Belk, and Amazon for clothes and regular needs.
Mark, as always, thank you for sharing these letters with your listeners. Our patients mean so much to us and it is such an honor for me to take part in Christmas Wish each year in order to play a small part in helping these families have a Christmas they will never forget. This past year has been a wild ride for many, or perhaps all, of those listening to your radio station today. I invite listeners to think about how that chaos we have all experienced might be complicated by having a two-year-old who is undergoing treatment for cancer. We could each use a reminder to be grateful for what we have and hug those we love a little tighter.
Child Life Specialist
Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah
This year 98.7 The River has partnered with Southern Motors Honda, Gastroenterolody Consultants of Savanah, and Howell-Chase Heating & Airto make Christmas Wish possible.