Having caring specialists really helps to brighten Izy’s day

Shelly Cassel, mom of Bronson Children's Hospital patient

When Izy Cassel was 8 years old, she started having knee pain. At first her mom, Shelly, thought it was because of loose joints related to Izy’s Down syndrome. Then the pain got so bad Izy couldn’t even stand up. A trip to the emergency department followed by bloodwork results the next day, revealed Izy’s symptoms were caused by leukemia.

“Our pediatrician called and said ‘you need to go to Bronson Children’s Hospital right away, and pack for several days,’” says Shelly. “The visit turned into a six-week stay because the chemotherapy is tougher on children with Down syndrome and their blood counts don’t come back as quickly.”

Since the initial stay, Izy has returned to the Children’s Hospital several times due to fever or infection. She also regularly visits Bronson Pediatric Hematology and Oncology for outpatient chemo treatments. During her visits, Izy and her family benefit from the many services provided by the Bronson Health Foundation Children’s Hospital Fund.

“We are thankful that Bronson has art therapy, child life and other services to keep Izy occupied. It gives her something to do besides just watching the walls and the IVs. She loves when Meg, the art therapist, comes in and paints with her. Izy made paintings for all the nurses, and one of her paintings was added to the gallery at the entrance. I know a lot of the other kids’ parents can’t be here as much as I am able to, so for them it’s really important that these services are available.  It’s not much fun being in a hospital room, but having caring specialists like Meg really helps to brighten Izy’s day.”

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