Meet Claire, Your Patient Hero
“I just got a call. Claire has . . . cancer,” Claire’s mom, Lindsey, whispered into the camera as she shared the news with friends and family.
Sweet and outgoing Claire was just 6 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and her family made the first of many trips from their home in San Luis Obispo to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.
“One day she was in school, and the next day she wasn’t,” remembers Lindsey. Claire didn’t even get to say goodbye to her kindergarten classmates.
Claire’s medical team developed a specialized plan of treatment. She underwent six rounds of chemotherapy and received blood transfusions when her white blood cell count was dangerously low. First, she lost her eyelashes and eyebrows, and then Lindsey decided it was time to shave Claire’s head.
Through it all, Claire and her family kept an inspiring and positive attitude. Her care team credits that outlook with helping Claire battle through nausea, mouth sores, swelling, and other side effects.
To relieve stress and distract herself during treatment, Claire worked with our Child Life and Creative Arts team to film a series of videos in the Broadcast Studio, ranging from butterfly crafts and slime-making tutorials, to candid monologues about what it’s like to be a kid with cancer.
These services, which are not covered by insurance, help our patients heal—mind, body, and spirit.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who supports Packard Children’s,” says Lindsey. “Whether it is cutting-edge cancer research that saved Claire’s life, or the child life specialists who helped her just be a kid, even in the midst of treatment, we wouldn’t have been able to get through this without the generosity of people in our community. We are so grateful.”
What’s next for Claire? In July she was declared cancer-free! She’s back at school in San Luis Obispo and learning ballet. Inspired by her care team at Packard Children’s, she hopes to one day be a doctor.
Claire has a very bright future, thanks to you.
Claire is #WhyWeScamper.
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