The 55th annual Variety Kids telethon, in support of Women and Children’s Hospital, takes place on Sunday, April 2.
For a year, the hospital has been Jamie and Isabella Phelan’s home away from home. It is a place for weekly checks and procedures as the 5-year-old fights to rid her body of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Bella was diagnosed on April 23 2016. She had been sick with pneumonia, and was constantly exhausted. She went into Children’s Hospital for testing.
Her mom remembers the doctor’s phone call like it was yesterday.
"He said there's something going on, you need to get her into Children's hospital right away, go to the emergency room I'm calling you in now. So life stopped. Everything just stopped," said Jamie, Bella’s mom.
The Phelan family was rocked.
"It was really hard as a parent to be able to sit there and see that she has to go through that, getting the chemos and everything else that she needs to get and knowing that you can't protect her."
They relied on their faith and their trust in the team at Children’s.
“We do a really great job of treating leukemia. We have had advancements over the past 10 years where we are successful at curing most of these patients,” said Dr. Laura Wiltsie, Women and Children’s Hospital Oncology fellow.
Bella is now in remission and is regaining that energy she once had.
She loves to play with her sister and the family dog. Bella loves dogs and the team at Children’s knows that.
"The support that we received from all the teams here at the hospital were just, we couldn't ask for better," said Jamie.
As Bella gets older, she may not remember walking the halls every week, but she and her family will always know and appreciate the lifesaving work done at the hospital.