Monday, October 29, 2012

CuresSearch Recap

I can't believe it's been a month since the walk and I haven't written about it yet. I know I've mentioned it a million times but I am so fortunate to have a job that I absolutely adore.  I can't imagine working in any other specialty of nursing.  Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant truly is where I'm called to be.

For the past 2 years, the Tampa area has been fortunate to host the CureSearch Walk.  I wrote about what CureSearch is over here. Last year I was unable to attend because we were all at the Hospice House surrounding my grandfather with love as he left this world.  So this year, I was determined to be there.  I loaded the family (Hubs included) into the car and headed down to the park super early.  We got there, grabbed our bandannas and I settled in to my volunteer role.  The Hubs was entertaining the kiddos for me.  Everyone who participates in the walk is asked to wear a bandanna.  The 4 different colors represent 4 different reasons participants are walking.
I was volunteering at the banner table.  Participants are asked to write the "Reasons Why We Walk" on a banner.  I loved seeing everyone write messages to their loved ones. I couldn't pass up the chance to write down 2 very special reasons why I was walking.

Radio Disney was there and had tons of things for the kids to do.  Noah loved it!  He even won a prize!  Our Child Life department was out in full force, with activities and crafts for the kiddos.  Noah took advantage of that too.  Em was in a mood so she wasn't into it all that much.  There was face painting too.  At 10:00, Opening Ceremonies began with speeches from the doctors from All Children's and St Joseph's.  That was followed by a moment of silence to remember all those amazing warriors we have lost along the way.  The families who lost a child were presented with white roses and Taylor Swift's "Ronan's Song" was played. We even had a dove release that was nothing short of amazing.  I was prepared to hear that song but within 30 seconds, I was a blubbering mess.  I can't help but get emotional when it comes to my patients and their families.
 This was followed by a Survivors Ceremony.  All of the kids, both currently in treatment and those off treatment, were brought up to the stage and received a medal.  I am so proud to say that I know most of these amazing kids
From that point, it was walk time.  We loaded the kids into their stroller and off we went.

I had the most amazing honor of walking the first half of the walk with this amazing girl:
Madyson asked if I would walk with her.  So off we went, hand in hand.  I don't know if there has ever been a moment in my career that has impacted me as much as this did.  Every day I go to work hoping to make my patients feel loved.  I don't do it for the rewards.  I do it because I honestly love my patients and their families and I'm trying to make this horrible journey a little bit better for them.  I cherish every card, every coloring sheet, every thing that my patients make for me.  But this moment takes the cake.  There I am, just a random nurse, who means enough to this little girl that she wants me to be a part of her life.  Here is this little girl, who is surrounded by her family and friends, and I'm the one she wants to walk with. I won't lie...I teared up while walking with her.  I really have never felt so honored in my life.  I will forever be grateful to Madyson for reminding me how much I love my job and for renewing my passion for it.  You will always be my hero Mady!!!!

Now for the photo overload:
Some of the girls I worked with on 7S
Em showing her support
Happy after a great CureSearch Walk!
It was a short 1 mile walk but it was the most inspiring mile I've walked.  Seeing all the patients, surrounded by family, friends, and supporters, walking to raise awareness for Childhood Cancer was awesome.  We had a great turnout and raised over $70,000 for cancer research.  I'm so proud to have been a part of it!

Before anyone asks, I spoke with Madyson's parents for permission before I posted about her or her picture.   


  1. Congrats on an awesome event. You can tell that it is so important and special to you! How wonderful that Madyson wanted to walk with you. You can clearly see you have an impact!

  2. I love your blog, especially when you talk about this stuff. This makes me sooo excited about my chosen field, I can't WAIT to get to my Peds rotation. What a great post, thank you for sharing it!!

  3. What an incredible, awesome event! You are such an important part of these kids' lives, and clearly they appreciate you for it! They are so amazing!