“Right now my focus is being angry at cancer”

Amanda Mulhearn writes about her experience as a parent of two children who received treatment at ACH.

Mulhearn Family

Explaining the loss of your child or children never gets easier.

Five years ago, my husband, Travis, and I lost our infant Charlotte Diane to a very rare viral infection of the heart. Last spring we also lost our 2-year-old Stella Rose to another rare disease, brain cancer.

Tragic as these losses are, this story is not about our losses, but what we gained by being at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

When Stella was diagnosed, I quickly contacted doctors, family and other hospitals to find the best place for Stella’s survival.

I was prepared to travel to the ends of the earth for her care, but I discovered we were in one of only eight places in this country capable of treating her illness. Having Stella so close to our family, friends and most importantly, our son, changed our path for the better.

The care we received at ACH cannot be matched. These were the hardest and most desperate months of my life, but being at ACH made them easier.

The nurses and staff were the most caring and loving group of people I have ever encountered. Our surgeons, oncologists, nurses, staff and others made sure we gave Stella the best possible chance.

Our stays at ACH do not have happy endings, but provided us with some happy memories and hope.

I share this side of our story because I want Arkansas Children's Hospital to thrive and advance. I want children to continue to be treated with such a high quality of care close to their homes and communities. 

Our family will continue to put ACH at the top of our priority list, just as they did our daughters. I want to give back to the people who gave so much to us. People come to us and say, “What can we do?” I've got something for you to do – support Freezin’ for a Reason and Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

In its inaugural year, Freezin’ for a Reason, organized by the Faulkner County Circle of Friends Chapter, raised more than $30,000 for Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Save the date for next year – February 1, 2014 in Conway!

Learn more about hosting an event in your area or how you can get involved with your local Circle of Friends chapter.

 

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