You’ll often see Michael Carr, 11, during his clinic visits to Lurie Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders donning his signature look- his shirt off and with the support of his two side-kicks and best friends, his brothers Frankie and Joey.
In October 2015, just five days before his his seventh birthday, Michael was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor that starts in the region of the brain at the base of the skull. He underwent brain surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and other procedures and in January 2017 proudly and exuding his jovial personality rang the End of Chemo Bell surrounded by his family and care team.
But shortly after Michael celebrated his end-of-treatment, he spent another birthday in the hospital as it was discovered he had a recurrent medulloblastoma. Throughout his course of treatments, the Carr family has leaned on the support of their friends and family and also the team they have formed at Lurie Children’s to fight Michael’s cancer. In particular, Michael has benefitted greatly from the services provided from Lurie Children’s child life specialists, social workers, art therapy and volunteers – all of which comprise part of the Family Services team at the hospital.
“Family services has been a blessing. We don’t know how we would have been able to make it this far without them,” Michael’s mom, Gia, shared. “The Family Services team provides so much comfort and compassion which is especially meaningful and helpful when you are faced with the fear of cancer.”
During his appointments, Michael, who loves to indulge in vanilla ice cream and play cards, often is kept distracted with games, crafts, special vists and toys that make treatment easier and more bearable. “You wouldn’t imagine coming for daily appointments would be enjoyable for an 11-year-old, but the Family Services team makes our time spent at the hospital as pleasant as it can be. Michael sometimes doesn’t even want to leave!”
On January 26, 2019, Michael will participate in Aon’s Step Up for Kids – climbing 1,643 steps for a brighter future for kids like him. The event raises vital funds to support Family Services at Lurie Children’s. This will be the fourth year the Carr family has participated with their team, “Miracles for Michael.”
“We know first-hand how invaluable the Family Services team is,” said Gia. “We could not imagine Micahel being treated anywhere else but Lurie Children’s. The hospital has become our second home and everyone we come in contact with a part of our family.”
“If Michael can climb 80 flights of stairs while in the midst of treatment, how can you not be inspired? He helps us all to keep going and our team at Lurie Children’s keeps him going.”
Aon Step Up for Kids presented by KMPG
All donations raised through Step Up for Kids support our Department of Family Services. From innovative education and recreational opportunities to crucial spiritual and social work support for patients and families in crisis, our multifaceted Family Services programs are a cornerstone of the comprehensive, compassionate care for which our institution has long been recognized. Register or donate today!