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To See a Hurting Child Smile

Dr. Weintraub

By Dr. Lauren Weintraub

A patient I had has a great, caring family. Her sister came to a lot of the appointments. They were very close in age; the patient was seven, the sister six.

We did the patient’s Make-A-Wish reveal here at The Melodies Center. It was a Disney wish. The sister was so excited, you’d think she won the lottery! It is something so special to be able to give them — not only to the wish kid, but also the sibling who was going through this illness with her.

I regularly give kids and families such heavy news. For the nurses and doctors, to be part of a wish means we get to witness happiness re-enter the lives of these children and parents. When you’re forced to see these kids suffer so greatly, then get to watch them get excited about a wish, it helps. It helps them. It helps us.

That family we did the Disney reveal for was in such a dark place after receiving the diagnosis, and then had to jump right into treatment. But when they got back from the wish trip there was a lightness — a light. Because the family got to watch their kid be a kid again for a week. And that meant everything.

There is a lot of tough stuff in my field. But when you get to be part of these wishes and observe and feel the joy, it helps balance things out. These amazing, strong kids and their families are boosted by these wishes. And we in the medical community surely benefit from their smiles.

Dr. Lauren Weintraub is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Albany Medical College and a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at The Melodies Center for Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Make-A-Wish Northeast New York.

Nov 01, 2019

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