Hope Has a New Home

As the inpatient unit of the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases moves to a new space, Bass Center nurses took time to reflect on the thousands of patients, families, and staff who filled the previous unit.

In an intimate remembrance ceremony, the nurses shared their memories with their colleagues, many of whom are also close friends. They also wrote down the names of patients and staff who touched their lives and placed them into a hand-blown glass heart, which will be on display in the new unit.

Here are some of their words:

“The glass heart is a metaphor for the loving energy that we have provided for patients here, and we’re bringing that into the new space. It is profound to be in the midst of love. We’re having this ceremony because this is a space that goes beyond just walls. I think we’ve all been so touched by the people we have worked with, and by the patients and families that have been here during such a vulnerable period of their life. We have helped provide a space that has supported them and provided a sense of hope.”—Leslie Griffith, RN

“I remember the first time walking through these doors, not knowing what lay ahead. Walking up to the Bass Center with my 4-year-old and almost-2-year-old and reading the words on the wall: Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases. It was like a punch in the gut. I remember figuring out our diagnoses, planning our treatment, the chaos of arranging our schedule, imaging, x-rays, port placement—it was all a whirlwind. I will always remember the kind faces, the individuals who smiled at us and comforted both my daughters and I. Those days were a blur and my head was in a fog. But slowly I started to see the light. Life was more meaningful. It was delicate and could change at a moment’s notice. That was when I knew I wanted to return to pediatric oncology and work at Packard Children’s. Today we get to bring the memories with us. As we leave the old walls behind and embrace the new, we will bring the passion, the good times, the sad times, and all that we have endured here—we’ll bring it all with us.”—Kristin Cosner, RN, CPNP

“I think about how many people’s journeys have taken them through these doors. Their spirits are with us today. I’m really struck by the strength of humanity when I walk in here. How strong people can be for themselves and their children. It’s such a special place. There’s no place like this. To think of all the people I’ve met who have touched me so deeply, the staff, patients, and families. I will remember them forever. I feel grateful that I get to be a part of this move where that presence will continue.”—Monica Hanle, RN

“I was thinking about one of my patients today. I remember seeing the patient for the first time and being overwhelmed by the amount of love I felt in that room. I mentioned that to the family, that it was such an honor to be in there and feel it with them. I saw them again recently and still felt so much love in the room.”—Molly Williams, RN

“This is not just a space but a refuge, a home for healing, a sanctuary for joy and fear, hope and tears, triumph and sorrow, comfort and peace. May the spirit of compassion journey with us as we transition to our new home. May that new space be a refuge, a sanctuary for all who hope, a home for hearts to heal.”—Edgar Burgara, chaplain


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