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A smile can be a precious miracle …
especially from a brave child like Kayla.
It was just another school day for nine-year-old Kayla when her dad picked her up early because of an upset stomach. On the way to the doctor, she had a seizure in the car. What followed after extensive tests was the most terrifying news any parent can hear: Kayla had brain cancer.
Four brain surgeries … multiple organ failures … five rounds of chemotherapy … and six weeks of intense radiation treatments. Yet Kayla still managed a smile for her family, friends, and the staff here at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.
Of course, we’d like to think her smile comes from the excellent care she received at Children’s. But it also takes encouragement and support from friends and family—and the support of generous people in our community.
As Kayla’s dad says:
"We are so lucky to have Children’s Hospital close to home. Kayla can be surrounded by the people who love her. I see other children here who had to travel hundreds of miles to receive this kind of care, far away from their homes …”
Children’s Oakland is one of the nation’s leading pediatric cancer treatment centers, which means that children like Kayla can receive lifesaving care right here in their own community without having to travel hundreds—sometimes thousands—of miles.
We are also the Bay Area’s only Level 1 pediatric trauma center handling the region’s most severely injured and sick children. We have the largest pediatric inpatient rehabilitation unit in Northern California … and our cardiac surgery program has one of the lowest mortality rates in the nation for kids who have undergone open-heart surgery.
In addition, Children's Oakland treats the whole child—not just the illness—and offers programs that help them cope with their condition and the rigors of treatment. For Kayla, this meant enjoying the music therapy offered at Children’s. As Kayla’s dad tells us:
“During chemotherapy, Kayla was sometimes hooked up to eight IVs at a time, so she couldn’t get out of her room much. But one of the music therapists at Children’s would come to her bedside with a cart full of musical instruments. Kayla learned to write and perform songs while she was in chemo. These were great days for her and turned the hospital into a fun place to be a kid. The huge smile on her face spoke volumes about how much this meant to her.”
We literally rely on donations from generous people like you to continue providing advanced care to Bay area children … 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Your donation will help Children’s Oakland bring kids the kind of care they need … and deserve.
As for Kayla, we are happy to report that she is now cancer-free and is back home with family and friends.