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A Voice Rises Up against Cancer

Kennedy's priorities as a 10-year-old are pretending to be a famous singer in the mirror, reading her favorite books and playing dress-up.

She didn't let cancer take their place.

Kennedy's chronic headaches had the family worried, so her mother Shelly took her to ProMedica Toledo Children's Hospital. January 2006 would be the year doctors told them Kennedy had a brain tumor. She was scheduled for surgery and chemotherapy – a process Shelly said was made easier by a doctor who dropped everything just to do her surgery and the treatment staff at Hickman Cancer Center at ProMedica Flower Hospital.

Kennedy thought the best part of her treatment was the playroom. She even liked the chemotherapy room, which was covered in frog wallpaper that reminded her of a frog from a cartoon. Shelly tells a story of how Kennedy would get tired of wearing her hat after losing her hair during chemo, so she got the idea to put butterfly temporary tattoos on her head to keep the focus off her hair loss.

It was easy for Kennedy and her mom to agree the staff was a large part of their positive experience, especially after they spoiled her and let her sit with them at the nurses station. In fact, the last day of her treatment the nurses gave her a basket full of chocolates, a build-a-bear kit and a stuffed frog. It was clear the staff would miss the bright, bubbly girl with the butterfly tattoos.

Shelly said going through something like cancer has brought their family extremely close together and they can appreciate the little things in life. Kennedy’s dad is so thankful for every day, and just loves his little girl.

"Just hearing her voice every day, good or bad, is just a blessing."

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