Jamie, a longtime supporter of The Dragonfly Foundation and cancer survivor, sits down with Ria Davidson, co-founder of Dragonfly, to reflect on her battle with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) as a 21 years old. (Myelogenous leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The word “acute” in AML denotes the disease’s rapid progression.) Now married with children, Jamie appreciates the programs, services and community Dragonfly offers to young patients and families enduring cancer.
For Jamie and her family, having a positive attitude was so important. Jamie struggled with feelings of isolation during treatment. She craved interaction with friends, and had a desperate need to feel “normal.” She was unsure of her place in the world, especially while inpatient. Cancer also took a toll on those around her.
At the time, Dragonfly wasn’t in existence. She believes it would have helped to have the opportunity to connect with other teens and young adults going through a similar experience. Having friends and even acquaintances acknowledge her struggle was powerful. Her family, her boyfriend (now husband), her friends, and her “village” were important sources of daily support.
During treatment, Jamie lost her hair and experienced other side effects. Throughout it all, she was determined to remain optimistic for herself and those around her. Still, she had to prepare herself to be out in public. Her journey was not easy or portrayed in her online support community, she decided to “have pride,” to have people “see her” and to find comfort and inspiration in her attitude.
Jamie recounts an encounter with a stranger at a department store after she had lost her hair. She mentally prepared herself for a possible interaction with a stranger seeing her without hair. She did not want to deal with people being awkward or mean. She took her hat off with pride, to show people cancer is not winning! Hope you listen to hear the outcome of her encounter!
Dragonfly Effect Podcast
The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences.
To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777.
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