Let’s see…how do you end what was seriously the most epic and crazy trip ever? It started with abang so you just can’t end it with a whimper. And Connecticut delivered quite the send-off.
To begin with, we went straigth to the Smilow Cancer Center in New Haven, where we met Gary Kupfer who is an amazing doctor who knows the issues of treating teens with cancer. Then, we had one of the best interviews ever with Lauren who is 16 and was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma exactly one year ago. She says it has been one intense roller coaster and she can’t believe it has been a whole year! She really has some great insight and perspective on her experience.
And, similar to my own experience, she never once met another teen who was also going through treatment!
Then I got pulled aside and interviewed for…wait for it… the Today Show!!!
It was amazing. Really. I’m blown away that anyone is listening to the issues that have been so close to my heart ever since I was in treatment as a teenager. And now they’re interviewing me about them? Wow. All I want is to make things better for teens and young adults going through it now. Hopefully with more people listening we can achieve that.
And after that the day wasn’t over by a long shot! We got to interview one more patient in New Haven. We followed Nicole, who’s 18 and is still going through treatment for her ALL diagnosis. She’s in her maintenance chemo phase and will be coming in for it until next summer. But, she’s also heading off for her freshman year of college in the next month! Exciting times for her.
As I watched the sun set in the west I felt a great sense that things are going to shift all across this country. Here I was in the eastern tip, thinking of all those teens and young adults all scattered across the United States, dealing with their own journeys through cancer. So many of them think they are alone. Well they’re NOT. And we’re going to make some real change – it’s long overdue.