Friday, September 21, 2012

Taking Time to Celebrate Amazing Moms

Nicole Smith, gave a speech to her mom Anne Wayno at the Celebrating Amazing Moms event.

A mother’s selfless love and tireless support of her children is something to be honored. On September 9, a celebration in the Liberty Hotel honored a special group of mothers – moms of childhood cancer survivors and childhood cancer patients currently in treatment at the Center for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology clinic at MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

More than 30 women gathered for the third annual Celebrating Amazing Moms event, which coincides with September’s National Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

“Celebrating Amazing Moms is designed to build connections between parents and honor moms who often shoulder much of their child’s care,” says Elyse Levin-Russman, LICSW, social worker in the Center for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, and the event’s organizer. “It’s a small way to offer appreciation for all that mothers do for their children.”

The event included brunch and two speakers; an adult survivor of childhood cancer and a mother of a child treated at the clinic who honored her own mother. The first speaker, Stacy Truta Charat, MD, who was treated at MGHfC for osteosarcoma, is now a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a mother of a 20 month-old. Nicole Smith also spoke in front of the group to her mother, Anne Wayno, saying she would have never been able to endure her son’s treatment process without the support of her mom. After the two women spoke, the mothers were treated to a cooking demonstration hosted by the executive chef of the Liberty Hotel, as well as a raffle drawing.

“I was seated at a table with three other mothers of children with brain tumors,” says Michelle McKiernan, also a member of the MGHfC Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Family Advisory Committee. “Not all of us had met before this event, but we had an instant connection and understanding due to our experiences with our kids. It is so important for a mother to share the story of her child’s diagnosis and treatment with other mothers who ‘have been there.’”

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