Meet S.N.

 

When S.N.'s family learned their daughter had a rare childhood cancer and would most likely not make it, they turned to Coastal Kids Home Care.

 

 

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”  Although she was only 12 years old when she died from a rare childhood cancer, S.N. embraced her own challenges and sought to spread compassion to others.

Diagnosed at age four with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue, S.N. and her family battled through almost two years of treatment.  After her initial diagnosis and treatment, S.N. had a wonderful time exploring all kinds of art, participating in sports (basketball being her favorite), dance, music (she played piano very well) and everything else that life had to offer until she relapsed at the age of 10.  After two more years of emotional turmoil and painful treatment, in 2020 it became evident that S.N. would not make it to her 13th birthday.  It was at this time that S.N. was connected with the Coastal Kids Home Care Palliative Care team.  

“Once a patient is sent home for hospice care, it's more a waiting game,” recalls S.N.’s mother.  “For a child and unfortunate families that are in this “waiting” state, Coastal Kids provided the best resources.  Their amazing team of professionals were available anytime--day or night--and their priority was always patient and the family.”

Coastal Kids Palliative Care team coordinates with pediatric specialists to ensure continuity of care from hospital to home. Nurses are experts in pain and symptom management, while social workers, expressive therapists and counselors step in to support the emotional and practical needs of the child and their whole family.  Without Coastal Kids Home Care, children and families affected by cancer in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey Counties, would have no option for in-home palliative or end-of-life care services.  No one understands this better than a family experiencing it first hand.

“Coastal Kids is the ONLY pediatric organization in the Bay Area that offers these services and the medical expertise they bring, along with the counseling services, are exceptional. ” says S.N.’s mother.  “The team helped us navigate through the unimaginable situations no parent should ever have to face and they took care of everything while we were focused on spending time with our beautiful girl.”

Today, nearly six months after S.N,’s passing, Coastal Kids Director of Palliative Care and Bereavement,  Ruth Shapiro, LCSW continues to support S.N.’s family.  Whether it is just a text to check-in or a scheduled appointment, Ruth and the whole team continues to be there for the family.  In honor of S.N., her mother has reached out to find ways that she and her family can continue to support Coastal Kids Home Care and the children they serve.  “We couldn’t have asked for a better team to take care of us during the darkest hours of our lives,” S.N.’s mother says.  “Coastal Kids was there every step of the way to guide us and to provide the support we needed.  They are angels in human form and will forever be a part of our family.”

As for S.N., her compassion and empathy for others fighting difficult battles is remembered in her beautiful artwork. This September in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, one of S.N.’s handwritten quotes is featured on t-shirts and sweatshirts in our online store.  Purchase a shirt today (see below), in memory of S.N. and support in-home palliative and end-of-life care for children living with cancer and other serious-illness in our community.

Purchase shirts here > > > >

Below you will find the most beautiful words written from a mother who has lost her daughter.  Thank you for sharing this with us.

"Thank you for choosing me to be your MOM ….I miss you very very much my dearest….rest in peace beautiful….mom can’t wait to be with you in a better place and better circumstances.  Love you and miss you FOREVER!!!!"

--S.N.'s Mother

Dearest S.N.

Your smile is enchanting,

Your spirit unwavering,

No matter what you are dealing with,

You stood TALL and STRONG.

 

Your humor is un-parallel,

Your sarcasm un-hurtful,

No matter what your pain is,

Your smile hid it all.

 

Your kindness is contagious,

Your wisdom sought after,

No matter what the situation was,

Your strength covered it well.

 

The monster couldn’t break your confidence,

It returned with vigor,

You faced it with renewed enthusiasm,

It had no choice but to give-in,

Guess it couldn’t accept defeat,

It returned without any mercy,

It couldn’t still break you,

So, it took you with it,

Little does it know – it never WON,

Not now, not earlier --- NEVER

She was all of 12 years old...

She was all of 12 years old…

She enjoyed every moment, even if it was in very unpleasant places

She looked at the brighter side of everything, even during darkest days

She found humor even during the worst of times

She accepted everything life threw at her with a smile

She never complained even during the worse moments

She stood strong and tall ---- ALL ALONE

 

She was all of 12 years old…

When she left this world for a beautiful place

When she left all her pain and suffering here

When she left all her aspirations unfulfilled

When she left her dreams un-accomplished

When she left even before she experienced life…

 

She was all of 12 years old…

Half of which was spent in clinics, hospitals, with machines

Discussing what the prospects are

Discussing what medicines to take, what the side effects are

Talking about all the restrictions she has, places she cannot go

Not even once did she express her displeasure

Not once did she complain of all the things she wanted to do but cannot

Not once did she throw a tantrum to come to a doctor…

 

She was all of 12 years old…

For being so mature beyond her age

For being so co-operative in every situation

For being so strong

For being my strength and providing me courage

For being so resilient

For being my support

“Coastal Kids is the ONLY pediatric organization in the Bay Area that offers these services and the medical expertise they bring, along with the counseling services, are exceptional. ” says S.N.’s mother. “The team helped us navigate through the unimaginable situations no parent should ever have to face and they took care of everything while we were focused on spending time with our beautiful girl.”

--S.N.'s Mom

TOP