Living Hope

Madeline Hric

"Living Hope"

I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2006 when I was 10 years old. My parents picked me up from school during a math test and drove me to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (my hometown). I can remember the tears in my moms eyes, and how strong my dad looked being the rock in our family. My grandma and aunt visited me in the ED while my parents were talking with the oncologist. I was admitted for 1 week - the week during the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Detroit Lions Super Bowl. My dad was supposed to go but obviously stayed home with me; we threw a Super Bowl party of our own in my hospital room! After I was discharged, I went back to the hospital weekly for spinal taps and chemo. Weekly treatments slowly turned to monthly treatments. I remember more of the good times than the bad times during my treatments, maybe because my brain just doesn’t want to remember all the pain I was in. Friends and family were always by my side; my older brother would always make me laugh, my nana would take me on local field trips, and my parents would spend time with me any way they could. In fact, my career as a dietitian was inspired by watching Food Network with my mom! After 1.5 years of treatment I was finally in remission. And after 5 years I was pronounced cancer free! It was the best birthday present EVER.