‘You are the true heroes’
Former and current patients and their families join caregivers to show respect to those fighting childhood cancer.
Sharon Nienhuis, RN, hugs former patient Tyler Kremer. Tyler was treated for leukemia. (Chris Clark | Spectrum Health Beat)
Marcel van der Elst holds his daughters, Gisele, 5, and Jane, 7, as they raise their pompoms in a choreographed wave. (Chris Clark | Spectrum Health Beat)
Conner Guiles is shown near his mom who wears a T-shirt with a photo of him taken when he was undergoing treatment for leukemia. (Chris Clark | Spectrum Health Beat)
Hayden Fowler gets to leave his room to participate in the hospital hug. (Chris Clark | Spectrum Health Beat)
Kalani Stowe, left, and Carmen Wiseman show up to support Carmen's twin sister, Cadia, who is hospitalized for cancer treatment. (Chris Clark | Spectrum Health Beat)
Will Coltrop raises his pompom with his parents and grandparents. Will finished treatment for a rare sarcoma and is doing well. (Chris Clark | Spectrum Health Beat)
Gold ribbons for participants to wear to observe the fight against childhood cancer. (Chris Clark | Spectrum Health Beat)
Families who have been touched by childhood cancer got a hug today.
“In the form of a hug we want to show support to the families who are upstairs on the 10th floor or the eighth or ninth floors getting treatment, to show how much we care,” Sharon Nienhuis, RN, said.
Former and current patients and their families joined Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital caregivers to bear witness to the battles against childhood cancer.
The large group formed a “hug” on the drive in front of the hospital. They raised pompoms in a choreographed wave.
“You are the true heroes in our lives,” said James Fahner, MD, division chief for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at the hospital. “The journey is never easy, it is unpredictable, it is very long, it is overwhelming in so many ways for our families.”