"How can having a tumor be lucky?"
Guest blogger: Lucca Lorenzi
Fireworks, hot dogs, hamburgers, and American flags EVERYWHERE. These are the usual items that people associate with the 4th of July. I would like to say the same; however, after this past summer, the only object I associate this holiday with is a Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma. In other words: a benign tumor that only 0.5 percent of the male adolescent population contracts. It’s not exactly worth lighting fireworks for. Instead, I spent my 4th of July in a hospital. Rather than hearing the crackles and pops from fireworks, I listened to the beeps and whirs from different testing machines. It felt like winning the unlucky lottery. Yet, after thinking back, I realize that this was the wrong perspective, and my experience was far from unlucky.
Now you may be asking, “How is the experience of having a tumor yanked out of your nose, lucky?” My answer to this question is about what I gained from this experience. With Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital having saved my life, and providing outstanding patient care, it inspired my parents and me to give back to the hospital.
The only problem was, we didn’t have a clue what we should give. What would make our gift meaningful? But we soon realized, art supplies were our answer! Art has always led my mind away from life’s stresses; that’s why I have always enjoyed drawing.
While recovering at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, I was asked if I would like to participate in their arts and crafts room. Although too weak to draw at the time, I realized that art was very important to the hospital as well. In fact, the hospital has an entire Art Cart that travels the many floors in search of sparking creativity within their young patients’ minds. With this in mind, “Pack It Up For Packard” was born! Our goal was to collect as many art supplies from the community as we possibly could. From there, we packed them up in our car, and set our course for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital where the supplies were delivered to their art cart and playrooms in the new building. Last fall my family was blessed enough to deliver over 800 donated items, and this summer, our mission is to deliver over 1,000 art supplies!
“Pack It Up For Packard” is what makes me feel so lucky to have undergone my surgeries at Lucile Packard. Without my surgeries, I would never have been aware of the wonderful opportunities that this hospital seeks to provide for its patients.
I am proud to say that the hospital has allowed me an opportunity to make others happy. The nurses and doctors at this hospital have done so much for my family and me; it was only natural that we pay it forward.
Editor's note: Lucca is our 2018 Summer Scamper Patient Hero representing our Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases. Join Lucca and our other amazing Patient Heroes on June 24 at the 8th annual Summer Scamper 5k, 10k, and kids’ fun run.