Stories

Working Together to Cure Cancer

Cancer patient with nurse, child, RN

Though cancer remains the most fatal of childhood illnesses, Seattle Children's offers hope to children with cancer and their families.

Our cure rate – which is higher than the national average – is due to our team-based approach and the integration of research and treatment. This is made possible, in part, by our work with our Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) partners Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine.

The alliance brings together a diverse, talented group of pediatric specialists, allowing us to offer the most advanced treatments possible.

Our team includes oncologists, surgeons, advanced practice nurses, nutritionists, social workers and child-life specialists whose sole focus is treating cancer.

After treatment, our Cancer Survivor Program is designed to meet the unique health care needs of long-term survivors of childhood cancer.

Making a Difference

One visit with a pediatric cancer patient changed Ji Hyun Lee's entire career.

Lee, a nurse practitioner in the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children's, was studying to become either a geriatric or labor/delivery nurse when she learned a little girl from Brazil was being treated for leukemia in the local hospital.

Having lived in Brazil for 10 years, Lee thought the girl would appreciate talking to somebody who knew her language – Portuguese – and was familiar with her home.

When Lee entered the pediatric oncology ward, she instantly knew those were the patients with whom she wanted to work. "I just felt something special about their needs and thought this is where I could make the most difference," she says.

Lee, who came to Children's in 1999, says the best part about her job is interacting with patients and their families. Sometimes that means giving them good news when treatment is going well, other times it involves offering comfort and support when things get tough. Best of all is seeing them at the end of treatment and getting a big hug.

"It's very gratifying," says Lee. "I feel very fortunate to be here, helping these families."

Though cancer remains the most fatal of childhood illnesses, Children's offers hope to children with cancer and their families.

Improving Outcomes Through Research

As a member of the Children's Oncology Group, we work with other pediatric cancer programs across the nation to improve survival and treatment outcomes for children with cancer.

Chosen and funded by the National Cancer Institute, Children's is also part of the Novel Approaches to Neuroblastoma Consortium and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, a group of the nine most advanced U.S. pediatric centers doing brain tumor research.

Both of these groups enhance members' research efforts to speed discoveries from the lab to the bedside.

Our clinical success and research to find new treatment options have made Children's and the SCCA national resources for children fighting cancer.

Learn more about our Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and the SCCA.