I’m a cancer patient, a cancer mom, and a medical device innovator. Over the past 7 years, I’ve gone from being terrified of needles and hospitals, to spending weeks on end in hospitals, injecting myself – and my child – with medications, frequenting hospitals to train nurses on product use, and bringing a patient perspective and voice to medical innovation.
Our family was pushed into the cancer world with my diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January 2011, after months of enduring misdiagnosis and mistakes. Scared and shocked, I weaned my 8-month-old daughter, and started chemotherapy. Just a few months later, after months of misdiagnosis and mistakes again, our then 11-month-old daughter, Saoirse, was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma – an aggressive pediatric cancer. Devastated and numb, we signed consent forms, were admitted to the hospital, and started our second cancer journey.
We pushed on. I went into remission quickly, and finished treatments that July, and Saoirse did very well with her treatments initially, and was in remission by October. We looked into different treatment options for her and decided to go to NYC for a newer, less toxic therapy for the second part of her treatment.