Dear Mark & Christmas Wish Listeners,
Ja’Myah is a creative, artistic, loving, goofy and outspoken 7-year-old girl that I have had the pleasure of working with in the hospital.She started out in the emergency department and was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. After no improvement, her Mom decided to take her to her doctor and after he saw the bloodwork, immediately sent them to the Pediatric Emergency Room at Memorial Health.It was there that Ja’Myah’s mom was told that her daughter had leukemia. Ja’Myah has just completed a 9 day stay in the hospital, which included multiple nights in the ICU, 9 blood transfusions, surgery for a central line placement, and multiple lumbar punctures for chemotherapy and bone marrow biopsies. When you speak to Ja’Myah’s mom, she constantly comments on the strength and the positivity that her daughter has maintained throughout every day in the hospital and they lean heavily on their faith for support during such a difficult time.
Because Ja’Myah’s three siblings are not able to visit her in the hospital it’s been incredibly difficult for Ja’Myah and her family, as they are very close knit. One day, Ja’Myah asked me to help her make Valentine’s for her brothers and sister, so that she could show them that she loved them. Ja’Myah has a twin sister, Sha’Niyah, with whom she is incredibly close. Though they share a room with bunk beds, they choose to both sleep together in the bottom bunk! They like to play board games and play with their dolls. Ja’Myah also has a 10y brother, Le’Andre, and a 3y brother Ja’Mil.
As a Child Life Specialist, I had the opportunity to spend time with Ja’Myah in our ICU. She greeted me with a big smile and we were able to take her mind off of the word “cancer”. Ja’Myah hopes to be an artist or a soccer player when she grows up. One of her Mom’s concerns has been how to provide for her family, specifically during the holiday season. She shared with me that she is no longer able to work, due to Ja’Myah’s diagnosis and is also caring for her three other children. Her has to travel for her care multiple times a week, stretching the family even thinner.
Ja’Myah loves drawing, board games, and eating! Her favorite TV shows are Teen Titans, Sonic the Hedgehog, and the movie Trolls. She also likes to watch cooking shows on her tablet. Ja’Myah is hoping for a secret crush doll, and a Gemex jewelry set. An iPad would also be very helpful for her to have as she continues to come to the hospital for treatment. Her twin sister is hoping for crybaby dolls, and she loves unicorns. Ja’Myah’s older brother is hoping for a hover board, nerf guns, and beyblades. Her younger brother likes Baby Shark, Paw Patrol, and cars. As a family, they love the chance to eat at McDonald’s, Applebee’s or Texas Roadhouse. When you ask Mom what she wants for Christmas she says “Nothing, I just want my kids to be happy during the holidays”.
I am so incredibly honored to be writing this letter on behalf of Ja’Myah and her family. As hospital staff, we know that the next two years are going to be difficult and we see what treating cancer looks like. To be able to support this family medically and emotionally is a gift, and I know that your community of listeners will rally behind them and help to provide them with a joyful Christmas season as she begins her treatment journey.
Lauren Holley, Certified 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.