Haley is a founding member of CCChampions Young Professional Advisory Board. She wanted to share her story and what CCChampions means to her.
I was 16 when I heard the words “you have ovarian cancer.” In what felt like a whirlwind, I was one tumor and one ovary lighter. Upon discharge from the hospital after my surgery, I felt isolated from most of my high school peers, who just could not relate to my experience. Outside of my parents, I was largely without a support system. I decided at that moment that I wanted to change healthcare for patients with difficult diagnoses so that they’d never have to feel like I did.
Fast forward eight years later and here I am – a data analyst and quality improvement professional working in behavioral health. As rewarding as my job is, I do not engage a lot with patients. However, healthcare facilities need more professionals like me who understand what it’s like to be sick because, unfortunately, most clinicians only know how to treat their patients physically, not emotionally. This simple truth is why CCChampions is so important to youth at Children’s Hospital who may struggle to cope with their illnesses.
I am an active volunteer with CCChampions because I know that 16-year-old-me would have benefitted greatly from its work, and I want to give kids today that opportunity. It has been the most fulfilling volunteer experience of my life.