My son Ben was diagnosed with cancer
shortly after his second birthday. During
his 15 months in treatment we spent more
than 100 nights at Seattle Children’s.
I gave my all to helping Ben be a kid
throughout his illness. That my son’s
care team was focused on the same
thing completely blew me away. Ben’s
medical team always entered his world,
whether he was playing with cars,
reading or coloring. One day, a nurse
heard music in his room, so she jumped
in and joined the dance party Ben was
having with his stuffed animals.
Ben wouldn’t have understood the
word “cancer,” but it still took his life
when he was only 3 years old.
Most of my memories of the second
half of Ben’s life are attached to the
hospital, and they are good ones. I miss
Ben terribly, yet I still have incredible
gratitude to Children’s. If Ben were alive
today, we’d visit the fantastic people
we met there and I’d take him back to
the fish tanks to find Nemo, just like
we used to do.
Ben’s diagnosis changed my life.
Now I’m working to take cancer’s
power away for other families. I never
planned to do this. I’d rather be with
my son. But if I can’t stand with Ben,
I choose to stand with Dr. Michael Jensen and the team at Seattle Children’s
Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research – brilliant scientists
who are as dedicated to finding a cure
for childhood cancer as I am.
I Am Seattle Children's: The People Behind the Care
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Published in Connection magazine, November 2013