The threat of COVID-19 brought lives to a screeching halt in early 2020. But cancer doesn’t stop during a pandemic. For my 7-year-old son Riley and his team at Children’s National Hospital, the work didn’t stop either. Treatment plans, research and the commitment to patients and their families pressed on. Much had to be adjusted at the hospital during this time, but their commitment didn’t waver.
Riley’s team has fought hard for him ever since his diagnosis. The care, love and friendliness have come from the nurses and the doctors — sometimes during midnight dance parties to lift his spirits. It has also come from the kind cleaning staff, the techs and the people who bring meals, even though none of them knew us before. They gave us the kind of care and compassion that makes you believe in humanity. We felt that humanity in the relationships we made. We heard it when the doctor said Riley no longer had cancer. Now Riley plays baseball in the front yard with his brothers. He loves to paint. His joy is contagious.
Care from Children’s National saved Riley’s life and it’s still ongoing. The hospital has a great system set up. I feel safe when I take him for his weekly infusion, even during COVID-19. The work — and the joy — of saving children’s lives continues.
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