Location: Hummelstown, PA
Connection to Four Diamonds: Nurse Manager, Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center Pediatric Oncology Unit
Years of Involvement: I have been the nurse manager at the Children’s Hospital for four years, but I have been a member of the Pediatric Oncology Unit nursing team since 2003.
How are/were you involved with Four Diamonds and THON?
I participated in Four Diamonds events to raise money and promoted events on behalf of our patients, families and team members. I’m also a representative for the unit to speak on behalf of the team as to how Four Diamonds and/or THON benefits the patients and families we serve.
Why is the partnership between Four Diamonds and THON important?
Four Diamonds removes the financial burden and makes possible certain aspects of care that allow our patients and families to focus on what is most important. Four Diamonds has allowed our team to grow and better support patients and families through the services of Child Life, Chaplaincy, Quality Improvement Specialists, Social Workers and much more. The level of care we provide to these patients and families would not be possible without all of our team members pulling together. It is with great pride that I work alongside the men and women of this team. They go above and beyond for these kids every day – often in ways that go unnoticed! Four Diamonds has also afforded education opportunities for members of our nursing team that would not be possible without their help. Last year we have started sending nurses to the APHON (Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses) regional and national conferences. I hope in the next year that we will be able to present all of our great work in one of these forums.
What is your favorite memory?
I don’t know that I have any one favorite memory. My best days though are the days I see the patients, families and team pull together in unison to celebrate a milestone…be it the singing of a song as they walk out the door after their last inpatient chemo or simply a dressing change.
What is your dream for Four Diamonds and THON over the next 40 years?
I think everyone’s dream is to play a part in stomping out cancer. I would like to see Four Diamonds and THON continue to grow through the engagement of the community…maybe a new dance in different areas in celebration and partnership with Penn State University…light up Hollywood and even the White House in honor of these patients and families! Even if we don’t cure childhood cancer, I know we will get better at what we live, breathe and do daily in honor and service of these children!