Since I was diagnosed last year with lymphangiomatosis, a rare form of cancer, my life has been a whirlwind of hospital stays and medical talk. I started to believe normality would never be something I would feel again. I am only 14. Instead of juggling medication, diagnoses and doctors, I was supposed to be juggling after school activities, outings with friends and preparing for high school.
Since becoming a patient at Texas Children’s Hospital, there was always something I knew I could look forward to. Something that was the bright (and glittery) spot of my week. Something that let me escape for just 2 hours each Terrific Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday and Thrilling Thursday. That shining light was Radio Lollipop!
Three nights a week the studio on the 16th floor of West Tower goes on the air, lighting up with volunteer DJs, current and old music hits on the airwaves, microphones with singing patients planted in front of them, crafts, stickers, crayons, call-in contests and more glitter than you can imagine! Even the kids that can’t leave their rooms can watch on television, participate by calling in and get visited by the roaming volunteers in goofy hats on their floor.
It’s my favorite thing to visit the studio and put on the headphones and sing my heart out to my favorite song! It’s so much fun – I feel so carefree. I have made friends with several of the DJs like Cowboy Kelly, Johnny Fantastic, Fabulous Faye and Queen Lollie herself! They have even given me my own official radio name when I’m on the air, Snoopy! When I can’t visit the studio, the DJs sometimes even take the time to come down to my room. The volunteers always go the extra mile – they’re so fantastic and special to me.
I love the way Radio Lollipop makes me feel. When it’s on the air, I’m no longer a sick patient. I’m just a teenager. At the end of the day, despite our illnesses, we are all just kids and we can be just that within the studio walls. I am so grateful to Radio Lollipop for keeping my head held high throughout my hospital stay.
Read more about Radio Lollipop on the Texas Children’s Hospital website.