“Three Strikes and You’re Out” - this is the motto, 11 ½ year-old Juliana Carver uses to fight her cancer. Juliana is cancer free – for the third time. Diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma when she was just five years old, she has fought through two relapses and is proud to be cancer free again. The youngest of six children, she has a positive spirit which has helped her to beat her cancer.
Her treatments and care for the last 6 ½ years have been at The Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai where Dr. Jason Fixler, Dr. Albert Aboulafia, Dr. Joseph Wiley and Dr. Yoram Unguru and all the nurses and staff have taken wonderful care of her and her family. One of her nurses, Joan, has been with her through it all, and came up to give Juliana a special hug after she was diagnosed with her second relapse.
She has been a part of the old children’s hospital, and now the brand new children’s hospital. Her parents, Tammy and John are grateful for the care she has received. The family loves the new facility – which they call a night and day difference. Most importantly they say, is the new hospital doesn’t “smell” like a hospital – Juliana isn’t scared to go there and get treatment. And Tammy and John are appreciative of the rooms where they can both sleep on couches while they are with their daughter. The new space took family-centered patient care to a whole new level. They enjoy the lounges where they meet other parents, and appreciate the time the staff takes with them every time they are there.
Juliana is an energetic 11 1/2 year-old who likes to swim, do arts and crafts and play games on her iPAD. She also enjoys her new puppy – a gift when she had her second relapse. She has become good friends with Sadie and Emily – two young girls she met through her treatment. The girls often get together because they each understand what the others are struggling with, and have been a constant source of support outside the hospital.
Tammy and John have shared her story with thousands and the tremendous support they have received from people around the world has helped to rally their spirits. They receive a lot of their strength from the comments, emails and cards people send. The Carver’s encourage people who are going through challenges in their lives to talk about it – don’t keep the emotions inside. Having many know what they are going through has helped them so much. People have helped them in ways they cannot imagine. And together the Carver’s work to keep their family intact – John taking over duties for Tammy at home while she is at the hospital with Juliana, and the other kids helping out around the house. The parents and the family take it day by day and stay positive throughout. And as Juliana says “Three Strikes and You’re Out Cancer!”
You can learn more about Juliana and her story on her youtube channel: