About someone’s (anyone’s) cancer diagnosis breaks my heart. But hearing about the diagnosis being given to an infant or child shatters my heart even more. I hope I’ll one day be able to see on the headlines, “Affordable, effective cure for all cancers found,” but that seems like a distant dream. For now, the best thing we can do for those who have been diagnosed with cancer is be a positive support while they go through treatment.
That’s what the Nguyen family did when little Adelaide was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a rare form of cancer, on her third birthday. But as much as they wanted to give the toddler her best life while she was being treated, her family was forced to keep her isolated for a bit. It broke their hearts as much as it broke Adelaide’s.
In fact, Adelaide’s mother, Vanlam, recalls how hard the isolation has been. Her daughter had to spend New Year’s in the hospital and Halloween at home. She even had to decline invitations to several friends’ birthday parties. Being in and out of the hospital for seven months and generally being unable to get out in public like she once had was difficult for everyone involved. But it was best for her safety. If she contaminated germs from someone, she could get even sicker.
“The isolation is very hard, not just for the kid themselves but a lot of your family functions you do come to a halt,” Mrs. Nguyen admitted.
But nothing hurt more than when Mr. Nguyen was driving the family through an intersection, and Adelaide recognized the J Wilson’s restaurant sign. It’s always been her favorite restaurant. Her family would always take her there for brunch, that is, before her cancer diagnosis.
“Daddy, can we go eat there?” she asked.
Vanlam had no choice but to tell her no.
Not long later, Vanlam’s friend learned about the disheartening situation. She then reached out to General manager Paula Breaux, who opened the restaurant an hour early on January 26, so Adelaide and her family could eat in private.
The restaurant made Adelaide’s favorite food: warm, buttery biscuits. J Wilson’s even went as far as to decorate a table for Nguyen family in Adelaide’s favorite color, pink!
“It just validated, this is what we’re here for. We’re here to take care of our customers,” Breaux said. “Just the fact that we got to be a part of this means a lot to us. Always makes me happy to see the little ones enjoy our restaurant.”
Both Adelaide and her family were thankful for the experience.
Even though Adelaide hopes to return back to J Wilson’s for brunch soon, she must remain isolated for now. However, in about two months while she goes through a maintenance period, doctors will give her the okay to go back out in public. I just hope Adelaide keeps her spirits up while she waits to be able to dine at her favorite eatery again.
But there’s even better news: doctors predict that in September 2021, Adelaide will be completely cancer-free!