Three-year-old Lia Scagnoli skipped across the “Bridge of Hope” connecting Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute each time she had a chemotherapy infusion or other treatment for pediatric kidney cancer at Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. Caregivers offering equal parts love, hope, and fun diversions gave her and her family a feeling of confidence that even the loss of her right kidney and long light-brown hair could not dissipate.
Today, Lia is a mature and insightful fifth grader, infused with empathy and wisdom well beyond her 10 years. She only remembers some of her cancer journey at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, but what she recalls above all else is the support she received along the way.
Today Lia no longer needs to make regular trips to Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s. She has “graduated” to annual check-ups with pediatric nurse practitioner Eileen Duffey-Lind, MSN, RN, and other staff at the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic, which provides survivors of childhood cancer with care and support as they man
Lia’s visits with her buddy Martha Young are now usually reserved for fun events like the Jimmy Fund Clinic Summer Festival. At this year’s festival in late July, Lia debuted a new look; earlier that month, she had most of her long hair cut off and donated to Wigs for Kids, an organization that helps children dealing with hair loss due to medical conditions and treatment.age issues related to survivorship.
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Featured image credit: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.