Service Before Self: Ivy Teammates Provide Respite for a Pediatric Cancer Patient
Hearing those four simple words, your child has cancer, will change your life in an instant. Time that was once spent together as a family is now spent at doctor appointments, hope is replaced with uncertainty, and the simple act of playing together takes on a whole new meaning as parents begin to navigate their new “normal.” As a bystander, you’re left to wonder, what does this family need and how can we help?
We asked that very question and received something quite special in return when we teamed up with the Roc Solid Foundation. It all started with our annual One Ivy Virtual 5k – an event designed to not only bring our teams together, but to make a bigger financial impact by combining all of our efforts into one philanthropic service project. The second we were introduced to the Roc Solid Foundation, we knew we’d met our match. Their mission is to build hope for every child and family fighting pediatric cancer by providing and building custom backyard play sets. Not only would we be able to contribute financially, but we were also invited to go on-site and actually build the play set for a very deserving little girl.
The recipient of our live, on-site build was Cambrie – a bright-eyed and bubbly four-year-old who’s living with acute lymphocytic leukemia – a type of blood and bone marrow cancer. The team instantly fell in love with her family, and knowing that our efforts were going to make such a significant impact on them was an indescribable feeling.
Oftentimes cancer treatments end up leaving children with a compromised immune system that can prohibit the ability to play and interact in public. By providing these children with their very own backyard play set, we’re giving them the gift of a safe, germ-free place to play, where they can get away from the realities that come with fighting cancer and make memories together as a family.
Upon arrival, teams instantly got to work swinging hammers, leveling out boards, and tightening screws. And because these sets are built in modular sections, the process went pretty quickly. In fact, barely an hour had passed before the massive upper level was being hoisted into place by volunteers, and a round of applause broke out. What started as a massive pile of cedar planks had materialized into the play set of every child’s dream before Cambrie had even finished breakfast. As a final touch, everyone took a Sharpie and inscribed inspiring messages on the play set.
When Cambrie and her family, who had all been eagerly watching from the kitchen window, came out to the backyard, their heartfelt joy was contagious, and it was easy to see just how much this expression of caring meant to them.
“This family enriched all of our lives by allowing us to join in on this experience today, and for that, we’re so grateful,” said Beth King, Ivy Rehab’s Vice President of Pediatric Operations. “We hope that Cambrie and her family will make the most amazing memories here in their own backyard.”
Teammates held back tears of joy as they watched Cambrie’s genuine excitement take over when she went down the slide for the first time. It might just be a play set, but the volunteers from Ivy Rehab and Roc Solid gave this family something much more: happy memories together, filled with innocent play, allowing Cambrie to just be a kid.
At Ivy Rehab, serving others and giving back to our community is at the core of what we do each and every day. While Cambrie’s play set build was an inspiring and heartwarming display of our mission to give back, it was simply our dedicated teammates doing what they’re passionate about – helping to inspire and enable people to live life to the fullest.
If you’d like to know more about our One Ivy 5k, read the first part of this story here.
The medical information contained herein is provided as an information resource only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultation with healthcare professionals. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-provider relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. IvyRehab Network, Inc. disclaims any and all responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained herein.