My daughter, Elyssa donated her hair for children with cancer only months before she herself was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma. Upon her diagnosis, she had the rest of her hair put in ponytails and had it cut to her scalp so the rest could be donated.
Being diagnosed in her first year of college at University of Connecticut, she immediately went to the disabilities office and applied so she could continue with the semester.
She received treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital one week and stayed with her parents as a recovery week, then returned to her school for the next week to continue with her classes.
Elyssa alternated between treatment, home and school for the rest of the semester. Following her final chemotherapy treatment, she volunteered at The Double H Ranch as a counselor, and continued to volunteer at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut on weekends, all while she attended college.
In her Junior year of college, she went on a medical mission to Ghana, Africa to provide medical care to the people there. She volunteered at Shriners Hospital, and during the summer after her junior year, she volunteered at a hospital in Boston to sit with very ill patients.
Upon graduating from college, with a degree in Allied Health, she was hired by Massachusetts General Hospital, in their breast cancer research department.
Elyssa is currently studying for the MCATs. I know she finds support in following The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Instagram account. She has persevered through it all and her experience gave her incredible drive to help others.
Thank you, Michelle, Elyssa’s mom.