Your whole life changes.
Throughout 11-year-old Wayana Vancayseele-Mabin’s fight against leukemia, she and her mom, Sokhna Heathyre Mabin, have been a team. “My mom is always next to me, and helps me take my mind off things that really make me sad.” Sokhna Heathyre knows the challenges of supporting a child through cancer. “This is my child and the cancer came from nowhere. Parents have repercussive effects. She’s nauseous, then I’m nauseous.” Having a trusted place to go for care brought comfort. “At Bronson, Wayana didn’t want to leave. They would play tag in the hallways. The love is there.”
Wayana was diagnosed two years ago, and her whole family was impacted. “I didn’t know what we needed, I was so lost,” says Sokhna Heathyre. “At that time I was carried by so many people. I have a loving squad, and the Bronson Children’s Hospital staff is amazing. They are so loving and playful.”
Today, Wayana feels strong. She is finishing her final rounds of chemotherapy, and will soon visit Bronson only for regular check-ups. “I’ll miss the nurses and doctors,” she says. “They’re a part of our family now,” Sokhna Heathyre adds. Wayana is headed to a new school for sixth grade. “I’m scared I’m going to get lost,” she jokes. “But my friends will be there too.”