Our experience at Bronson Children’s Hospital has been amazing.
Mom, Amber Williams: Trae is 7 years old. He likes playing basketball, baseball, swimming and he loves playing video games. He’s smart and kind. In January of 2022, we learned Trae has Langerhans cell histiocytosis, which is a type of cancer. He has three lesions, one on his arm and two on his skull, which are essentially tumors that are growing from his bones.
His diagnosis is very curable, and thankfully it hasn’t affected any of his organs. Still, he’s already had one surgery to remove a portion of one of the lesions on his skull and he’ll have to undergo chemotherapy at least for a year. The doctors and staff at Bronson have been on top of everything. From the moment our pediatrician called over to Bronson Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, she talked to Dr. Schwalm right away and they got us in for an appointment the next day. They are very kind, they treat us like family.
Dad, Trae Williams: Our experience at Bronson Children’s Hospital has been amazing. He’s very, very comfortable here.
Dr. Carla Schwalm: Patients with Trae’s diagnosis do have a long road in front of them. It’s a pretty long year of chemotherapy. Trae has had to come in every week for the first 12 weeks, and will come in every three weeks for the rest of the year.
At Bronson Children’s Hospital, we offer all the various types of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, everything that goes along with being diagnosed with cancer. So families can stay together and be treated close to home. In Trae’s case, he has a sibling at home, so he is able to go home and play and just be a kid while undergoing care. Our practice participates in the Children’s Oncology Group, in which all member hospitals are using the exact same chemotherapy protocols around the country, so we are confident we are delivering the most up to date and current care for all of our pediatric oncology patients.
In addition to the medical care, Bronson Children’s Hospital also provides specialized programs and services for our patients. Our child life, music therapy and art therapy teams are so important to help children cope emotionally and socially, to help them understand their care, and to provide distraction during treatment. We also have a pediatric psychologist who is available for all of our patients in the hematology and oncology program.
We are really thankful for the community’s support of these programs through Bronson Health Foundation. For patients like Trae, who has to spend so much time here, it’s so critical to have these additional services for our patients.
Betsy Bildner, child life specialist: I get to spend time with Trae when he comes in for his treatments. I provide emotional, psychological and social support. I find it most fulfilling when patients start to thrive and reveal their true personalities as they become more and more comfortable with being in the clinic. That’s when you know they feel safe in an environment that once felt scary to them. Trae is a funny kid who makes everyone in the clinic smile and laugh! I’ve learned he also is a puzzle genius, and he absolutely loves Ninja Turtles and Spiderman. 🙂