I'm riding: Big Hitter

Team: St. Louis Children's Hospital Team Ziyra

ID: 79859

Lifetime total: $1,650.00

Start time: 8:15 AM - Wave 3


When I was in elementary school every year I did the Math-A-Thon to raise money for St. Jude's. At that time, I found so much joy in wanting to learn more about how I could help children affected by cancer. At one point, it led me to tell people, "When I grow up I want to be a pediatric oncology nurse!" When I moved into middle school, I began reading these Lurlene McDaniel books about adolescents dealing with chronic diseases like cancer and in a couple of books they had mentioned working with a Child Life Specialist. I definitely kept it in the back of my mind and then when I got to high school, my cheerleading coach suggested this career to me and knew someone who had gone to Mizzou to pursue Child Life...it was meant to be!

Fast forward to starting my job at St. Louis Children's Hospital as a Certified Child Life Specialist, I immediately was drawn to working with the hem/onc population. For several years I helped plan weekly activity groups until a full time position opened up on the 9th floor working with inpatient hematology/oncology. I dedicated 4 years to working with this population full time and I learned so much during that time. Almost every day on 9, I learned something new and fascinating that our amazing physicians and staff were doing to make treatments better for our patients. All of them are so extremely invested and devoted to finding a cure and healing these kids...kids that oftentimes consider their doctor as part of their family by the completion of their treatment. I also felt so honored to work alongside such dedicated nurses and psychosocial team members that go above and beyond to make hospitalizations as positive as possible and help kids cope with their "new normal" as scary as it can be. I've also called many of these people my friends and "my rocks" when things got tough on the floor. But most of all, I learned the most from the incredible patients and families, who of course do not have choice when it comes to spending time at the hospital, but still manage to open their lives to us and show such extraordinary love and grace. I loved getting to know the patients and families and guiding them through their treatment journey, while at the same time they were guiding me through my Child Life journey and teaching me little lessons along the way that ultimately have made me both a better Child Life Specialist and overall human.

This past March, I made a decision to take on a new Child Life position on another floor as well as become our Special Events Coordinator. This was a difficult decision, but ultimately it was time for me to try something new and take a break from hem/onc. I am still as passionate as ever though to participate in Pedal the Cause as I have the past 4 years. This year my goal is to raise $500 and I need YOUR help!

So long story short...

I ride for the kids I've known, the kids I've lost, the kids still fighting, and the kids that inevitably will be diagnosed in the future.
I ride for the families that do literally whatever it takes (lose a job, house, friends, etc.) to support their child 110%
I ride for the St. Louis Children's Hospital staff for their continued strength and passion to do what's right for kids
I ride for the physicians who can literally turn dollars into cutting edge treatments to cure these kids AND adults!
I ride because I'm sick of cancer and it's something I can actually do to try to rid the world of it's ugliness!

If you're tired of cancer too and want to see change, please consider donating to my ride.

Thank you also for taking the time to come and read my page, it means A LOT to me to have such amazing supporters! Love, Melody