2023 Hasbro Children's Hospital Radiothon Stories

Amelia’s Story

AmeliaAt first, her mother, Carly, thought it was just growing pains. Then three years old, Amelia was experiencing fatigue, pain and bruising that kept her up at night. As days and weeks passed, the symptoms worsened, and Amelia developed a rash. Her pediatrician ordered lab work to gather more information about the potential cause.

“She got lab work at seven in the morning, and by noon, her doctor’s office called and said to take her to Hasbro Children’s Hospital as soon as possible,” Carly recalls. “There would be an oncologist waiting for us.”

Carly remembers driving to the hospital on that February afternoon “in complete shock.” The hours that followed were a blur of more testing and evaluation. By midnight, the doctors had confirmed Amelia’s diagnosis: acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), an aggressive blood cancer, and started to formulate a treatment plan. Within days, Amelia had surgery to have a port placed and began chemotherapy.

“Treatment for ALL lasts anywhere from two to three years depending on how aggressive it is and what risk you are,” Carly says. “Fortunately, the survival rate is high.”

The first phase of treatment, induction, is especially aggressive and requires hospitalization. Amelia’s stay lasted 36 days.

“This period was really hard for Amelia,” Carly recalls. “She very quickly stopped talking. Not only to the doctors and nurses but to me. She also refused to eat, and she refused to take all medications. She was reverting back to acting like a baby because of everything that was thrown at her.”

Amelia’s caregivers were a bright spot during this extremely difficult time.

“They went out of their way every single day to make a bad experience less bad,” Carly says.
“They brought in puzzles, games, art projects...”

Soon, one of Hasbro Children’s child life specialists discovered that Ameila loved the hospital’s pet therapy dogs. “It was the only thing that made her smile during this time,” her mother says.

Carly notes that the doctors and nurses at Hasbro Children’s not only cared for Ameila but for her as well. “As a parent, they're making sure you slept,” she says. “They're making sure you ate. They're making that you leave the room that day. Those things make all the difference.”

Today, Amelia is in the final phase of cancer treatment and receives outpatient care at the hospital’s Tomorrow Fund Clinic. Best of all, she’s back to her bubbly self.

“She still has a long road ahead of her, and we know that,” Carly says. “But we're very hopeful that it stays as smooth as possible. She just shines. You look at her and you wouldn't think that she had cancer. Because she's just so bubbly, and outgoing and funny.”

For more information:
Tania Hurtado
Corporate Relations Officer
401-444-6411 • Thurtado2@lifespan.org