Finding out your child has cancer is a game-changer in life. I am writing on behalf of the Skinner family. William is just 2 ½-years-old and was diagnosed with a type of leukemia. When his mother heard, she said, “My life is over!” What and where does a parent go after getting this news? The Skinner family went to The Children’s Hospital at Memorial. Sergeant Skinner and his wife and William came to us for local treatment and care. The family was still new to our city after being transferred here and met our wonderful medical team. For the first couple of months, Mom tried to stay busy because she knew if she had time to sit and think about William’s diagnosis, she would burst into tears. William had to have surgery and chemotherapy treatments. As the family accepted their new reality, they began to rally around him. Mom says “William is that kid you dream or pray of having as a new mom, a kid that goes with the flow and is so calm.” Mom says "William gets through everything so well, even better than me sometimes."
William is a cheerful little boy who loves to play with cars and trucks. Every week he has a new Hot Wheels car to show us that he adds to his collection. He loves to drive the cars off his hospital bedside table at fast speeds. This makes him really laugh. William taught us a new phrase that has now been adopted by our staff: “Rock and roll.” When he faces challenges, he just rolls through everything. William is also a big help at the hospital. He always helps his nurses when it comes to getting his temperature and blood pressure measurements. He actually asks for them. Not many 2-year-olds do this so calmly. William never misses an opportunity to learn. He is currently working on flashcards with numbers, letters and colors. He has his mom drill him when he is in getting his treatments. The staff joke around and say the wrong thing on the card and he corrects us, by giving us the right answer.
William loves Thomas the Train sets. He does not have any of the toys but he really wants to connect all the cars together and pull them along the tracks. He also likes to play basketball and likes the Fisher Price basketball set that we have at the hospital. The only gift William’s parents wish for is a gift card so they can provide William with a good Christmas.
Thanks you for listening to this family’s story and helping to grant good spirits and happiness during this holiday season.
Child Life Specialist
The Children’s Hospital at Memorial
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