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In September, members of the Team G Childhood Cancer Foundation joined us at the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases to dedicate a special gift—a shiny, brass bell for young patients to ring to celebrate the end of their cancer treatment.
During a dedication ceremony, 10-year-old Packard Children’s cancer survivor Gabriella read a touching poem, which our care teams will share with other pediatric cancer survivors at the end of their treatment.
Final Chemo Bell
This is a special one
It possesses beautiful powers
Its ring sounds through this entire room
As if rung from the highest towers.
Its sound is soft and pretty
Truly a gentle sound to hear
But the real magic goes much deeper
As its gift is so very dear.
Battling cancer takes enormous strength
It’s an exhausting, overwhelming fight
We all need to truly believe
That at the end of the tunnel there is light.
Now imagine a day of chemo
Maybe the beginning, middle or end
Feeling that you can’t go on
Needing support of an unexpected friend.
Suddenly you hear the most uplifting sound
And you look towards the bell’s place
Standing there you see a stranger
Or maybe a familiar face.
You realize that this person
Has completed their final lap
And new friends all around the room
Give a peaceful, supportive clap.
As you look around you notice
Everyone feels the joy and peace and hope
Please hide away this moment
Remember it, treasure it, and let it help you cope.
Know that your day will come
Of the story you can tell
When you gave others support and hope
The day you rang our bell.
Gabriella, lovingly called “G” by her family and the namesake of Team G, was only 4 years old when she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer formed from cells that normally develop into muscle tissue. Gabriella’s treatment lasted more than 42 weeks and included surgeries, multiple types of chemotherapy, and six weeks of daily radiation.
“Throughout Gabriella’s year of cancer treatment, we were so humbled by the goodness of family, friends, and strangers willing to support us during an incredibly difficult time,” said Kristin Cosner, Gabriella’s mom, executive officer and co-founder of Team G. “We saw the outpouring of love and support for children fighting cancer and vowed to keep it going for other parents and children facing the same situation."
Adam and Kristin Cosner formed the Team G Childhood Cancer Foundation with the mission to support families fighting pediatric cancer and to fund new and innovative treatments to ultimately cure childhood cancer. To date, Team G has donated more than $95,000 to support pediatric oncology research conducted at Packard Children’s and in total, has contributed more than $201,000 to pediatric oncology research across various research centers. The bell is Team G’s most recent gift to our patients and families at the Bass Cancer Center.
"The bell has had a long-standing meaning for cancer patients who have embarked on the journey of chemotherapy and have come to the finish line. It symbolizes all the hard work they have endured to get to this point,” said Kristin. “I hope that the children starting treatment or who are in the middle of a difficult journey will find hope and encouragement to know that the day will come when they get to ring the final chemo bell.”
Thank you to Team G for supporting our patients! We would also like to congratulate Kristin for recently becoming a licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Acute Care) and for completing two rotations at Packard Children’s. Thank you for your commitment to children’s health!