Social media outlets like Instagram are often seen as frivolous, just endless selfies or pictures of glamorous meals and travel. But in the world of childhood cancer and blood disorders, these channels can be a lifeline. When a child is treated for a serious illness, an extended network of patients, families and medical professionals is created. Social networks can provide inspiration to members of this new family just when it’s needed most. A patient family of ours recently received an email from one of their daughter’s nurses that illustrates this to a T:
Hi Amanda and Jerry!
Hope all is going well with you guys. I see the Hope & Heroes walk is coming up this weekend and I wanted to tell you how bummed I am that I can’t make it this year. I’ve been out in San Francisco doing travel nursing the last 3 months and won’t be back in NY until June. I had a great time at the walk last year and wish I could be a part of it again.
I’ve also wanted to let you know how unbelievably happy I am to see Leni doing so well. Not very often do I get updated on how some of the patients I have taken care of are doing after they have left the hospital. Following you guys on Instagram lets me see how much she’s grown and how far she’s come. You may have heard ICU nurses have one of the highest “burn out” rates because of the difficult situations we are involved in everyday. And after awhile I started to ask myself if all the things we put some of the sickest kids through is really worth it. I think back to when Leni was at Cornell with her big tummy, jaundice, and intubated. I look at her now and see her so happy and being everything a 2 year old deserves to be. When I have a hard shift her pictures reminds me why I am a PICU nurse and why we do the things we do. It is all worth it.
You are two of the coolest and caring parents I’ve met and deserve nothing but the best. Give Leni a hug for me and hope you get a beautiful day on Sunday.
Also Happy Belated Mother’s Day!
Lots of Love,
So the next time you’re wondering about the value of all the sharing we do these days, remember this story. Leni is also the star of one of our Walk teams – you can see her page and make a donation here. And make sure you follow Hope & Heroes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for your own regular dose of inspiration!