I haven’t been able to shake the news of TJ Anderson’s passing today. I can never fathom being in TJ or Isabella’s parents’ shoes, heads or hearts and losing a child to cancer. With Isabella, I simply watched from the outside looking in. It changed me forever.
I will never forget watching Isabella’s little body struggle for life with every breath she took during 3F8 antibody treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. I will never forget the 2 ER visits in one night due to adverse reactions to treatments that day. I will never forget taking a shift at night in the hospital so that Isabella’s parents could get some rest… and Isabella was up all night puking blood in a bucket while her life was hooked to machines. I will never forget the next morning as she lifted her head off the pillow and her dyed red hair was falling out AGAIN due to the kitchen sink chemo procedure. I will never forget sitting with her during chemo treatments at Levine Children’s Hospital and watching a teenager receiving treatment right across from us… when both Isabella and this teenager should be with friends or at school. I will never forget getting called in the middle of the night to come sit with Isabella’s siblings while her parents rushed her to the hospital. I will never forget Erin’s shaking hands as she begged and pleaded with the doctors to operate after they said there was no more options. I will never forget the doctors lecture on how it was time to think about Isabella’s quality of life. I will never forget kissing Isabella goodbye while she laid un-alert in her parents bed and how ashen she looked.
I will never un-see these moments. I saw too much to not take action and continue fighting. I watched from the outside looking in. It changed me forever.
We talk a lot about taking action… awareness is simply not enough. What are you doing to turn your awareness into ACTION?
– Rachel, ISF Marketing Director