Kira is a bright and thoughtful young lady with a great sense of humor and obvious love for her mother, Sara, father, Chris, and younger brother, Thomas. She also enjoys reading romance books (“not cheesy romance novels”) and has a passion for school. So, when Kira was told she had to stay at the hospital for testing and eventually treatment for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), she was understandably disappointed that she wouldn’t be returning to school.
“I didn’t feel good the day before we went into the hospital. I thought it would just go away, but it got worse as the day went on. I called my grandma to come get me which was weird because I never leave school.
When they told me I had ALL, I was like ‘OK, at least I know what’s wrong.’ I was admitted to the hospital the day before our end of the year volleyball party and two days away from the school dance! Really bad timing!”
The Big Sister She Always Wanted
Treatment would get tiresome for Kira and her family. Reflecting on their time spent in a hospital room, Sara is grateful that she signed Kira up for the Children’s Cancer Association’s (CCA) Chemo Pal Mentor Program.
“We’re in the hospital often and as fun as the hospital tries to make it, as a kid – you’re still stuck with your parents all the time. When Kira was matched with a Chemo Pal, I was able to take a step out and complete some of the things I needed to do, and Kira could have a break from me.”
Matched in December of 2017, Kira sees her Chemo Pal Mentor, Riley, as the big sister she always wanted. “Riley is really fun and nice. She never gets tired of playing Life with me.”
Learning to Play Again
More challenges were on the horizon for Kira when she had a bad reaction to chemo treatment resulting in a loss of motor function. “For a solid two weeks, she couldn’t move anything,” recalls Sara.
That’s when Kira began working with MyMusicRx, something she was grateful for while she worked to regain her mobility. “You could see in her eyes that she was relaxed when MyMusicRx played. Music was something she could connect to while regaining her ability to move.”
MyMusicRx Specialist, Annie, even helped her to relearn the piano, teaching Kira how to move her fingers again.
Today, Kira is playing and singing to her heart’s content. She even performed in two #Bedstock music videos with MyMusicRx and continues to see her Chemo Pal for limitless games of Life.
Reflecting on their very difficult year, Sara notes that they wouldn’t trade their time with Riley or the MyMusicRx team for anything. “CCA’s programs really do change the atmosphere of how you’re living in the hospital. Kira had to be out of school for a year and didn’t get to have many social interactions. The programs change how you interact with others and it was nice to have genuine positive interactions with people who are excited to see you.
To families that are thinking about getting involved in CCA’s programs, I’d say go for it and give it a chance to change that (hospital) space. You need to take care of the caretaker and CCA is looking after people’s emotional growth and emotional healing.”
Make a Difference
Your donation makes a difference in the emotional wellbeing of children and teens facing serious illness. You can provide a trusted adult mentor to children and teens like Kira when you donate today. Sign up as a monthly donor in April and your gifts will be matched for the rest of the year, doubling the impact.