Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Carson’s Story

Great Hearts Academies September 27, 2022

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month“It was hard and really sad to be in the hospital and miss out on seeing my friends and going to school.”  Carson, a student at Archway Glendale, had a simple tummy ache and fever last year that led to a shocking diagnosis when doctors discovered a large cancerous tumor.

Carson has already learned a lot about herself at the young age of 7.  “I learned that I can do hard things and there are so many people that love me.”  It has been a hard journey for her entire family, but they found tremendous community support.  Carson recalled, “So many people helped us: my school, my teachers (Mrs. Dausend and Mrs. Blake), Mrs. Swinford, my friends, our Vistancia community, Dr. Kothari and Dr. Cleveland at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH), the Animal Assisted Therapy dogs at PCH, Child Life specialists, and my cousins, grandparents and sisters.”

Childhood Cancer Awareness MonthAfter a difficult surgery, traumatic chemotherapy, and countless doctor visits, Carson is now cancer free. Carson’s parents, who have been in survival mode throughout Carson’s treatment, are looking forward to getting back to their previous routine but realize that life will never be “normal” again as cancer has made such an impact on their lives.  Cancer has become a part of everyday language to them.  Carson still receives routine scans and checkups.

She still enjoys doing many of the same things as her 3rd grade peers. “I like to play volleyball, create art, play the piano, and take dance classes.  Some of my favorite things are my tap shoes, stuffed animals, my family, and my friends,” said Carson.  “I am proud I can serve the volleyball overhand.  I am proud that I conquered cancer and did really hard things like chemo.  I am working hard at school, and I am working hard at tumbling to get my backbend on my own.”

Childhood Cancer Awareness MonthThe remarkable thing about Carson’s story is how she turned her trauma into a way to give to others. Carson has started and participated in several campaigns to help other children with cancer.  She is doing cancer walks, wearing ribbons, and bringing awareness to Childhood Cancer however and whenever she can.  She raised funds to purchase Brave Gowns, gowns with bright, fun, and lively designs that replace dingy and uncomfortable hospital gowns, with the goal to donate one for every patient at PCH.  “I hope to help other kids with cancer someday.”

Childhood Cancer Awareness MonthHear Isaac’s story, another Great Heats scholar who survived a rare form childhood cancer as we highlight stories during the month of September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  With a goal to increase awareness and raise funds for those affected by childhood cancer, the American Childhood Cancer Organization encourages everyone to Go Gold® during September in honor and in memory of kids with cancer!  #GOGOLDwithACCO

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