Go Gold for Childhood Cancer
Makayla Marie Gonsalves was three years old when she began complaining of headaches, followed by vomiting. A trip to an Urgent Care clinic, followed by the ER and a CAT scan revealed the devastating news: Makayla had a rare form of cancer called medullomyblastoma. Being an aggressive malignant tumor, it would require chemo and radiation after it was removed surgically.
What followed was two long years in and out of the hospital as Makayla, supported by her loving family and team of doctors, fought to rid her body of the cancer. Makayla’s journey was well documented by her devoted mom on her blog and Instagram feed. The courageous little girl captured the hearts of many, with thousands of followers. She shares the togetherness at the Ronald McDonald house, and the pain of separation as the Gonsalves’ tried to be there for both Makayla and their older son, Jakob.
The pain of childhood cancer is made real when scrolling through pictures of Makayla and her friends from the Ronald McDonald house playing in parks and museums with masks over their mouths and a bevy of medical equipment.
In March 2013 Makayla’s mom posted a picture of the first few strands of hair that remained on her hand after rubbing Makayla’s head. With it came the reality of chemo’s side effects, and the hope that this would be the first step toward curing Makayla. Many rounds of chemo, blood transfusions, and hospital stays later, Makayla finally came home. Her mom made sure to personally thank everyone who sent gifts, and gave an honest account of Makayla’s journey. She showed the ugliness of vomiting and weakness, and the highs of Makayla meeting her idol, Justin Bieber, at his concert.
On April 25,2014, a year after that fateful trip to the ER, four-year-old Makayla was declared NED (no evidence of disease.)
In honor of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we at Medical Scrubs Collection are joining Makayla and the many children who are pleading for support, in the fight to stand up to cancer. The hope is to turn the world Gold in September in order to promote awareness and to persuade the National Institutes of Health to donate more than 4% to childhood cancer research.
As nurses and members of the medical community you know better than anyone the devastation of childhood cancer. So #gogold! Let’s kick childhood cancer!