I Am Seattle Children's

Jim Carol: I Am Changed Forever

Jim Carol

Co-founder of a nonprofit that helps kids with serious illnesses

My life turned upside down one summer day after my 10-year-old son hurt his arm playing baseball. What I thought was a typical childhood injury turned into a diagnosis of leukemia. Doctors told us that if Taylor’s sky-high white blood cell count had not been discovered, he would not have lived but a few more weeks.

I’ve never been more scared.

While our son started chemotherapy near our home in California, I researched the best place for a bone marrow transplant. One visit to Seattle Children’s and we knew we’d found the experts – and the hope – to save our son.

That was my best decision ever. The nine months of medical care Taylor received at Seattle Children’s exceeded all my expectations, but one memory stands above the rest. It was 3 a.m. and I was at my son’s bedside watching him sleep, lost in worried thoughts. Wordlessly, a custodian on the night shift tiptoed in and gave me a hug. Daily kindnesses like this humbled me – and changed the course of my life.

A year after Taylor finished treatment, we created a nonprofit that donates video players and games to kids with cancer. (Gaming helped Taylor “feel like a kid” during the harsh reality of his own therapy.)

Today, some things have changed: Taylor is a senior at Harvard and our nonprofit now awards college scholarships and provides more services to families. And some things remain the same: I’m forever indebted to Seattle Children’s – and so thankful to pay my gratitude forward.

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