A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Phoenix Children’s Hospital’

A Wish Is…

Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

A wish is…

 a hope, and a dream, and a leap of faith. One act of love can make it come true.

~Melinda

With summer 2012 fading into the sunset, I find myself with my first two weeks of college behind me. I love it here at Pepperdine! Before time rolls on, I want to complete my Make-A-Wish Hope Tour Story. I believe I left off at the Grand Canyon, which brings us to our time in Phoenix.

I will probably always chuckle when I recall our time in Phoenix. What makes me laugh is remembering waiting for our “shuttle” in the hotel lobby on our very first morning there. Our itinerary showed that a shuttle would pick us up and take us to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. We saw that there was a hotel shuttle out front and then noticed that the shuttle driver was scurrying around in the hotel. As we waited for the driver to finish his business in the lobby, an enormous white limousine—with a big blue star that said, “Make-A-Wish,”– pulled up alongside the shuttle.

Could it be that there is another “Wish Kid” here?

Could it be that that is for me?

Is THIS the “shuttle”?!

I was equally delighted by our ride as by our driver, Modjtaba. What a wonderful man, with a beautiful way, and what an enormous number of children he must have delighted throughout his many years of service to Make-A-Wish!

My “shuttle driver”, Maja

My special thanks go to Jamie, Teri, and Allison at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and to Rachel and Jennifer from Make-A-Wish.

With Rachel Jimenez from Make-A-Wish

Speaking at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

While I was at Phoenix Children’s, I was able to speak with patients and staff, have visiting time with patients, and was able to take a tour of their brand new facilities. The cafeteria at Phoenix Children’s Hospital wins my personal grand prize (thank you for lunch, Allison, and thank you to Jennifer from Make-A-Wish, Phoenix, for all your hard work!) One more of the many things I love about Phoenix Children’s Hospital, is that they have a therapy dog program! What would I have done without the therapy dogs at Cottage Hospital?!

I love therapy dogs! Phoenix Children’s Hospital

The staff was exceptionally kind and caring. I loved meeting each of them. You would imagine that anyone who would choose the field of caring for children with cancer would have qualities of gentleness and compassion, and this is exactly what I found at each of the hospitals I visited on the Hope Tour. I have within me even more respect, even more gratitude, for each and every worker who helps the children than ever before. Each of their jobs is important in the lives of the kids.

With Teri Lane at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

I want to hug them all! Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Ashton getting ready to go home!

Thank you for what you do!

Hope Tour Video Day 24

Hope Tour Video Day 24 Part II

Day Two in Phoenix brought more surprises. I was very excited for this day. I knew from our schedule that we would be meeting Elizabeth Reich, President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona, and David Williams, President & CEO of Make-A-Wish. All I could think about was how I could ever express my thanks to them. How could I ever tell them what Make-A-Wish has done for me? How could I thank them for all that Make-A-Wish does for children with cancer?

These thoughts stilled swirled about in my brain as Mom and I entered the Ritz-Carlton in Scottsdale to meet them for lunch. It’s a good thing my brain was swirling a bit, because I was totally unprepared for what awaited us as we entered the beautiful building. As the doors opened, I noticed the staff was standing on either side of me, forming a path for me to walk through. And they were clapping.

Melinda Food at The Ritz-Carlton in Scottsdale

The swirling of my brain escalated, as we entered an elevator with Elizabeth and David that opened its doors to a room filled with my favorite foods! Really! Chef Jeff (I love saying that!) greeted us and then gave us a tour of the gourmet delicacies that awaited our lucky taste-buds. The food was delicious beyond word-description. It included a frozen yogurt for dessert (with berry topping!) that I swear had to come straight from the cow.

Lunch with David Williams and Elizabeth Reich– Chef Jeff at the Ritz-Carlton in Scottsdale

I loved meeting and talking with David and Elizabeth. I could have enjoyed their company all day long, and if there was room in my tummy, I could have enjoyed the food all day long! I send my sincere thanks to everyone at the Ritz-Carlton for everything! When we finished our lunch, we headed across the street to Make-A-Wish Headquarters. With this stop near the end of my Hope Tour, I had so much to thank everyone for that I could hardly wait.  

With Elizabeth at Make-A-Wish Headquarters

After speaking with everyone and signing books, Mom and I had a tour. I loved meeting everyone at Make-A-Wish. I was touched by the love in everyone’s hearts. I was touched by the photos on the walls of other Wish Kids.

With Frances and Jennifer at Make-A-Wish Headquarters in Phoenix

To anyone who has ever worked for or supported Make-A-Wish, I need to thank you. You helped grant so much more than my wish. You sent love into my heart and into the world.

Thank you!

Thank you Make-A-Wish!

 Hope Tour Video Day 25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Greetings From Arizona

Grace: A Child's Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

This morning, just as the roosters began crowing, Mom and I hopped into our Jeep Patriot rental car (who we have already fondly named “Hugo”) and began driving eastward. The windows are decorated with my non-award-winning artwork– childhood cancer awareness and HOPE signs. The back is packed to the brim for our three week trip, and I am so excited about the adventures and the possibilities that lie ahead. 

Each day brings new responses from the children’s hospitals we have contacted; although they have never heard of someone doing this, they have been wonderfully receptive and kind. Tomorrow morning, before we leave Arizona, we will see the brand new children’s hospital here in Phoenix. I won’t be able to visit with any of the children here because they are moving to the new hospital. I want to thank Teri from Phoenix Children’s Hospital for trying her very best to make it happen! Their staff is delighted about the move, and I have discovered that even the hotel desk clerk speaks of the new hospital with pride. 

Adventure is fun. Adventure with a huge purpose is thrilling. 

I know there are many, many children across the U.S. who would love to be healthy enough for adventure. I am grateful– so grateful– to be healthy enough to travel to see the children. I pray with all of my heart that my visits will somehow help to give them hope and strength. I pray this Tour will bring more people to help the children, more money for research, and that it will bring what we truly need right now…

A Cure!

Nurse Cyndi Kissing my Dome

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