Meredith Neiman - Photo Album

How has pediatric cancer affected us?

This question was one I never pondered until June 22, 2016…that day! It is the day we learned that Genevieve had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). It has changed our life…duh…it has made us more aware of the love and kindness in our life. It has given us hope for a sunnier future. Sadly, summer vacation went from the ideas of fun day trips to daily chemo. While a simple medical check-up morphed into a month-long inpatient hospital stay. No worries; we had the strength, love, and courage from a 10 year old girl named Genevieve. She keeps us optimistic and hopeful. We’ve never thought we’d be “that” family, BUT…we are. We are “that” family who has the most amazing daughter who happens to have Leukemia.

Genevieve, from the first minute to now, has had an optimistic silver-lining seeking attitude. That first night she asked for a pink wig and also cheered when realizing she wouldn’t have to run the mile in gym in the upcoming school year…the silver-lining. She makes you smile with her quit wit and ceaseless energy. Instead of sitting back and playing on her iPad (which she could easily do) she is out making friends with other patients, nurses, doctors, and everyone else in the hospital. She rather spend her gift cards on her friends or other patients. She is one loving and caring 10 year old. You can’t help, but love her right back.

Genevieve isn’t your typical Leukemia patient. While other children have signs up on their hospital doors asking you not to mention food, Genevieve is planning her next meal. Don’t mention food in front of her because then she will want it. She will text you or Facebook with you a request. Beware if my messages are spelled incorrectly; it’s Genevieve who has hijacked my phone asking for a meal. Luckily, with the love and kindness of our family and friends, we have been well fed!

We are only a few months into our treatment. It’s been a long summer. We still remain hopeful and optimistic. There are negative thoughts, but we quickly banish them by thinking about the silver-lining and good thoughts. We look at our daughter and know we are so blessed to have such a wonderful child. We remind ourselves that we have many people sending us good vibes, well wishes, prayers, love, and support. These positive thoughts come from across the states to overseas and they conquer any dark cloud over us. Leukemia hasn’t darkened our days, it has provided us with rays of hope and a sunnier future.