LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – The money raised this year Norton Children’s Hospital Raffle and Snowball will benefit the Norton Children’s Cancer Institute. It is one of the oldest oncology programs in the United States.
Together with UdeL doctor suppliers, they are helping to save lives like that of 17-year-old Jennah Blair.
Jennah just completed radiation therapy on September 10 after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
“I was scared, but I knew I was in good hands,” Jennah said.
This followed four rounds of chemotherapy, all done at Norton Children’s Cancer Institute.
Her cancer story begins just five months earlier. Jennah had migraines. Her mother, a nurse, took her to Norton Children’s Hospital where the medical team did an MRI.
“They said you had to put her in an ambulance,” Jennah’s mother, Jill Blair, said. “Go downtown for emergency surgery. It was scary.”
The surgery relieved the pressure in his brain, but three tumors were discovered. A biopsy determined it was cancer.
“When this happens to your child, you go out of nursing mode and you’re just a mom,” Blair said.
After the operation on April 12, Jennah remained in the hospital for ten days. She had short-term memory loss and temporary left-sided paralysis.
The preoccupation of this lifelong dancer was an upcoming production of Peter Pan at the Louisville Academy of Fine Arts. She had been chosen for the role of Wendy.
The medical staff did what they could to help.
“They connected me with physical therapists who were dancers,” Jennah said. “So they knew they would talk to me about dancing and I would teach them things just to connect.”
The production’s opening night took place less than a month after the operation.
“But we had masks on,” Jennah said. “The girl who played Peter Pan was on stage with me the whole time. She was able to give me clues as we went along.
Jenna performed beautifully on stage.
“I have never been so proud of all the students and how they have helped her,” said Julie McWilliams, owner of the Louisville Academy of Fine Arts. “They would come to me and be like, ‘We’re going to change this and do this. “”
Now Jennah is back to practicing in the studio. She is cured of cancer with the help of Norton Children’s Hospital.
“I will be forever grateful to them,” Jennah said.
Jennah has been cast as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Louisville Academy of Fine Arts’ upcoming Nutcracker production. She said it was her dream come true. Some of her doctors and nurses plan to be there to watch her.
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