Cancer

Bends in the road

Below, Doernbecher dad Jerris Marr shares his family’s incredible journey – and invites you to help make a difference in the lives of other patients and families. Throughout life’s journey there are bends in the road that you never see coming. July 2007. During a family vacation, we noticed that our 4-year-old daughter Faith’s back was not bending as it should; she frequently complained of pain. At one point, when lightly wrestling with her brother, … Read More

From patient to med student: Shira’s Doernbecher story

Below, Shira Einstein, a second-year medical student at the OHSU School of Medicine, shares her powerful Doernbecher story. Many of us who decide to go into the medical field do so bearing scars. Mine happens to be about 1-inch-long under my left collarbone, where a port-a-cath was placed nine years ago in order to administer my IV chemotherapy treatments. I was a freshman in high school when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, stage 2A. … Read More

The battle of a lifetime

National Cancer Survivors Day is a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families and an outreach to the community. Below, Elaine Brockhage shares her Doernbecher story and how her diagnosis at age 12 continues to impact her life today. Cancer is something you fight. The patient himself fights. The patient’s family fights. The family’s friends fight. Even good Samaritan strangers join in the battle. When … Read More

‘Story Beads’ help tell oncology patients’ stories at Doernbecher

At Doernbecher, every bead has a story. Strung together, these beads take on an even greater meaning: helping oncology patients conceptualize, cope with and share their cancer journeys. The Story Bead Program began at Doernbecher in 2003 and is supported by the Doernbecher Child Life program. Every year, there are about 250 newly diagnosed cancer patients treated at Doernbecher. If a child is interested in participating in the Story Bead Program, they are given an … Read More

Give birth to hope by donating cord blood

Every minute a hero is born with the potential to save a life. The Oregon Cord Blood Program works to save the lives of thousands of critically ill patients with blood diseases like leukemia and lymphoma who are in urgent need of a life-saving transplant. Umbilical cord blood, which is typically discarded, is rich with the blood-forming cells that can give blood cancer patients hope for a cure. Donating your baby’s cord blood to a … Read More

2015 in review: It’s all about the patients

Social media is great for connecting families, patients, employees, donors and community members with one another and with the hospital as a whole. We love sharing Doernbecher stories and news to help foster a sense of community and provide a space where folks can support one another, get advice from experts and learn how they can give back. Below you’ll find this year’s most-read blog posts. Happy reading!   1. Meet Hope, Doernbecher’s hospital facility dog  Our … Read More

A Doernbecher patient gives back

Four years ago, 15-year-old Lydia Tam was undergoing inpatient chemotherapy at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital – and she forgot to pack socks. Our hospital provided her with a pair to keep her feet warm. Although a sock snafu was the least of her concerns while she was being treated for a brain tumor, it sparked an idea. “On our drive back to Eugene after treatment, my mom and I were talking about how supportive everyone was … Read More

From Doernbecher to Tanzania

Pediatric hematologist/oncologist Dr. Sue Lindemulder knows that families are families, no matter where they are in the world. For the last three years, Dr. Lindemulder has organized and led a group of Doernbecher fellows on annual trips to Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where they care for kids at children’s hospital Jengo La Watoto and work with hospital staff to develop curriculum and improve their pediatric oncology … Read More

Lizzy’s Doernbecher story

When 10-year-old Doernbecher Freestyle patient-designer Lizzy Olivan came down with a fever last summer, her mom Beatriz knew something wasn’t right. We sat down to learn more about Lizzy (now 11) and her battle against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). *** Can you tell us more about Lizzy’s diagnosis? Last August, she came down with a fever. I gave her some Tylenol and kept a close eye on her. After four days, I took her to … Read More

Five things you might not know about cancer survivorship

1. Worry doesn’t go away when cancer does. While completing the final chemotherapy and/or radiation appointment is a huge milestone in the family’s journey, just because active treatment is over does not mean that the family is “out of the woods.” Active treatment can provide an easy focus for the family’s worry, and once that has completed, the family must transition to a new “waiting game.” We often hear that transitioning away from frequent hospital … Read More

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