"I am a housekeeper. I've worked here since September 2003. I do everything from garbage to cleaning all the patient rooms. I start at 7:30am. When I go into the patients rooms, I say good morning. The parents, they like me, the way I clean. And not only the cleaning, but the care I give to their kids. They know me. I won the Hero award last October in the cancer patient ward. The way I treat the kids and the parents, I respect them. I love the kids. I don't have kids. I'm married, but I don't have kids. All the kids here, I pray for them to be healed. Especially when they are new and have a diagnosis. It's my family. I treat them like my own kids. So if they're sad, I'm sad too. If they're happy because they are going home, I'm happy because they are getting better. I'm so emotional if something happens, like their kids are not feeling better or pass away. I cry too. Because the parents tell me what is going on. I never ask because we're not allowed to but they tell me what's going on with their kids. That's why I can feel their feelings."
This September, follow us as we share the unfiltered voices of childhood cancer—intimate glimpses into the lives of patients and their families, doctors, nurses, researchers and donors. These are stories of hope, raw and vulnerable, of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. #ThisIsCare
“I was right out of nursing school when I started here, and there was only about a five or six year difference between me and my very first patient that passed away. It hit me so hard I thought I was going to leave. She was a teenager and I was a young adult and it was devastating. I remember I called my dad and said, 'I can’t do this.' And he said, 'this is their journey; this is not your journey. They’re going to go through this with or without you. So if you can make a difference in their journey, then you can do this.' So I switched my way of thinking. It became a privilege to be a part of their journey. I’ve been here 25 years now this September and always in oncology. And this place is mostly full of laughter and love. If you come into our playroom you see these children playing and laughing. They're all hooked up to their chemotherapy or blood transfusion, but they're wearing princess costumes or playing with trains. Everywhere you go there are these moments. I remember to see them for who they are and not just their disease because they are not just their cancer.” #ThisIsCare
Suzanne is celebrating her 25th anniversary at BC Children's Hospital today.
(1 of 2) “Michael was nine and a half years old when we first walked into the oncology clinic. There were all these children in there with IV poles and bald heads. I literally made it to the reception room area and I passed out. The reality hit that he could have cancer. When he landed in the oncology ward there was a little boy there who was born with cancer. Michael couldn’t believe babies could be born with cancer. He said, 'I’ve got to do something. I'm going to make a difference.' He started to write his own songs when he had his first bout of cancer and was in isolation. He wanted to put a CD out to raise money for childhood cancer. I remember after the bone marrow transplant he was down to 59lbs, I had to piggy back him up and down the stairs he was so weak. But as soon as he got his immune system back, he wanted to go right to the studio. He finished that CD and released it at 11 years old and that’s how he started the Michael Cuccione Foundation. He ran the foundation for the first five years. He wanted to fund young researchers for childhood cancer. He felt if we didn’t support researchers early on, how would we ever find these masterminds? Before he left this world, he ended up funding two lifetime endowments for young scientists to study childhood cancer. After that we established a laboratory. And then I said, why can’t we have a full out program to support a whole team of researchers? It was a $10 million commitment and my husband thought we were crazy. But we did it. It was supposed to be over a period of 10 years but we did it in five.” #ThisIsCare