Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Clare Emily Watkins
Giving you an up-close look at the impact that the Hope and Heroes organization and Columbia University Medical Center has on the children it treats in the tri-state.
Clare Emily Watkins was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, in August 2007 at the age of nine. Instead of starting fifth grade that September she entered a whirlwind of cancer treatment. She immediately started chemotherapy and within three months received a life-changing, life-saving and limb-sparing surgery. Her doctor removed the tumor in her right thigh bone and all the affected bones and muscles from her leg, including most of her femur and knee. The femur was replaced with a state-of-the-art extendable rod that would be lengthened as Clare grew. After her operation, Clare spent eight more months in and out of the hospital and clinic at Columbia, undergoing treatment and physical therapy to learn to walk again. While she was a patient, Clare benefited from Hope & Heroes services in the clinic, such as integrative therapies, including massage and meditation, to help her throughout her treatment.
Today, Clare is a proud cancer survivor, spending her summer as a camp counselor with children like her who have been affected by a life-threatening disease. Even as survivor, her life continues to be impacted by Hope & Heroes through their Survivor Wellness program at Columbia, which provides Clare with yearly health check-ups and other support services, including SAT prep classes which helped her plan for college. This fall, Clare will return to Salve Regina University as a sophomore where she is an education major, planning to teach high school students.
Your support of Hope & Heroes helps kids like Clare receive important services throughout their treatment and as survivor.
Please join us and donate today!
* Each of these patients and their families has granted permission for their story and photo to be shared by Hope & Heroes and its partners during the September campaign.