In October of 2022, to meet a sudden need in the community, Parkview Health opened a new Pediatric Support Specialty, the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Center. In such a difficult time of need, families can now save precious time by not having to travel over 130 miles to receive weekly/monthly treatment.
Helping local families
Since opening, Parkview averages over 180 patients a month for treatment. Arlo Ochoa is one of these young people.
In May of 2022, Arlo was diagnosed with B-cell leukemia. “I really didn't know exactly what leukemia was other than it was cancer,” his mother, Samantha, said. “The first month we spent learning a lot from doctors, nurses and other families in the hospital.” Arlo received his initial treatment in Indianapolis at Riley Children’s Health. ”When he was well enough to go home, we started his treatment plan in Fort Wayne in June, with the Parkview oncology team.”
With so much happening so quickly, it was only natural that Samantha was experiencing some anxiety. “Obviously, going into it is such a scary thing,” she said. “I was worried that I was sharing such a personal experience with strangers. I soon realized that these weren't just regular nurses and doctors. These people become your family and they really do care. I also learned that, not just Arlo needed them, but as a mother with a hundred questions, I needed them!”
Having access to experts who care so much and can deliver the care pediatric cancer patients need, is a gift these families don’t take lightly. “I look forward to going to the hospital for treatment just because they are family to me now. I'm so grateful to have these amazing people in Fort Wayne and that we don’t have to drive two hours to get care. The oncology team really has no idea how much their patients love them! They do everything in their power to save your child's life and they will never understand the depths of love will forever hold for them.”
The Parkview Foundation wants to eliminate the burden of financial stress on the families of our littlest patients by assisting them in their most basic need. Gifts to the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Center through the Parkview Foundation will impact the lives of our patients and their families at a time when they need it the most. This fund will help cover the cost of travel, food, medication and bereavement care.
“The generosity of people who contribute to this world of kids with cancer, are like no other people I've ever known. Not just the doctors and nurses, but complete strangers who give all kinds of donations. Anything from toys to handmade gifts and handmade blankets,” Samantha said. “These things really do make a humongous impact when you're going through cancer. If all you have to look forward to is being able to snuggle with that blanket that someone made for you, then that person is your hero for that day! When you're going through something so difficult, it's hard to see the positive side of things. Yet every time I turn around there's someone proving to me that I still have faith in our community because they give me hope that the future will be better for us.”
To give support to these young patients and vital services through the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fund, visit parkview.com/foundations.
For additional information about the Parkview Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Center, or any of our other pediatric specialties, call 260-266-5400.