In the summer of 2010, our daughter Grace became a cancer patient at the young age of 5. What a shock to us all that one minute she was swimming in a lake in Wisconsin and the next she was admitted into Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. Grace was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma and began treatment under the care of Dr. Noah Federman. July 17, 2010 at approximately 10:45pm, Grace received her first dose of chemotherapy. The road ahead was long: 14 rounds of chemotherapy; 32 doses of radiation; 22 admissions into the hospital through the Emergency Department; a bout with a parasite called cryptosporidia, 12 million stem cells harvested, 3 surgeries and a g-tube that just kept getting infected.
On May 13, 2011, Grace received her final chemo treatment and walked out into the sunshine of the UCLA campus. She is currently 8- years old and thriving.
What got this child and her family through the worst year of our lives was the best care by Dr. Federman and his staff; the nurses on the 3rd floor whose kindness knew no bounds; the nurses on the 5th floor with a lot of patience to figure out how to care for a chemo patient; the technicians in the radiation department who always treated Grace like a big kid and made the awful process of radiation a quick one; the doctors and nurses in the ED who always made a difficult situation the best it could be for a very sick little girl; for the nursing staff in radiology who also had a difficult task of making a scary situation less so; the amazing nurses in the outpatient clinic who thought of ways to get Grace her treatment in the fastest way possible so she could go home to recover from a chemo treatment; and the Chase Child Life staff, especially Hilary, who really turned a terrible crisis for this little 5-year old girl into something that she could handle. Also, they made every admission into Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA something to look forward to regardless of how sick Grace was.
Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA is 2.5 miles away from our home. We feel an incredible closeness to this place that saved Grace's life. We will be forever grateful that such a place exists that can help a child survive cancer ... and it does exists, right in our neighborhood.