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Meet Isabella Sasu...

In the fall of 2013, Isabella was a new Kindergarten student at Rilke Schule. She loved going to school every day, but she kept getting sick and having to stay home. Her fevers first came every few weeks and then progressed to every few days. Multiple trips to the hospital gave no answers. Isabella’s mom, Erika, desperately wanted to know what was wrong and figure out how she could help her daughter.

Test after test could not identify what was causing Isabella’s fevers. Erika finally elected to have a bone marrow test, which gave them an answer they desperately needed, but every parent dreads hearing. Isabella was diagnosed with pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia on February 21, 2014 and would need to begin treatment right away. Her parents spent the weekend deciding on a course of action.

Erika initially planned to travel to Portland for Isabella’s treatment thinking the best care would be found at a larger hospital outside. But after much deliberation, she decided to have Isabella’s treatment at Providence’s Cancer Center. Erika knew that the love and support Isabella would receive from her family was a crucial part of her treatment and she just couldn’t get that anywhere outside of Alaska.

"The Cancer Center is amazing. I didn’t even know it existed. It has allowed our family to stay together." -Erika

Isabella started her treatment right away.  Isabella had a long journey ahead of her as chemotherapy for children with ALL is a 2.5 year process. A team of doctors, nurses, and child life specialists all worked together to ensure Isabella was given the best family-centered care Providence could provide.

"So many things are done for families, not just the kids, it’s the whole family. The way everyone works together is a dream come true." -Erika

Isabella responded to treatment very well, and went into remission during the second month of chemotherapy. She stills visits the Cancer Center once a month to receive chemotherapy infusions that are very hard on her body, but her spirits are very high thanks in part to the child life team. Isabella started calling the child life specialists ‘fun nurses’ and that title couldn’t be closer to the truth. While the medical team is tending to Isabella’s physical well-being, the child life team is caring for Isabella’s emotional well-being. They have been with her every step of the way; helping her understand what is going on with her body, providing pleasant distractions from painful procedures, and keeping her as close to a normal six year old as she can possibly be.

Through this process Isabella started collecting beads, one for each poke or procedure she experienced. Although there are many beads on this chain, she owns them proudly.  

When you give to Children’s Miracle Network you help patients just like Isabella and her family receive compassionate care right here in Alaska at The Children’s Hospital at Providence. Please use the form below and donate now! 

 

 
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