Published: Nov 07, 2017
When two-year-old Georgianna Cherry’s parents noticed their daughter’s stomach swelling, they originally weren’t concerned, but made a visit to the family doctor to be sure. The family’s world quickly turned upside down when they received a series of unexpected news.
First, they learned there was a tumor on Georgie’s liver. Doctors assured them it was likely benign, but after numerous tests at different hospitals, they learned the tumor was not benign as thought, but was a rare form of liver cancer, angiosarcoma. As a third shock, they learned that Georgie would need a liver transplant to survive.
Georgie was admitted to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington on October 26, 2016 to begin chemotherapy and the process of a liver transplant. Overwhelmed by the news about their daughter, the Cherrys were relieved to discover that Georgie’s aunt was a match and was able to donate a portion of her liver to save her.
Soon after Georgie was admitted, the Cherrys found it hard to stay near her as much as they needed to. Two hundred miles from home, and also caring for their two other children, one a newborn, the family struggled.
One day, a Doctor and a Social Worker at the hospital told Seanese, Georgie’s mom, about the Ronald McDonald House. At first, she didn’t understand exactly what the House was, but they went ahead and placed a room request to stay.
Immediately, the family found a place of comfort and support. They found a cozy place to rest, away from the often-stressful hospital environment. But more importantly, they made friends with other families staying at the House, and found an incredible support system. “It’s nice to get away from the hospital at times and to have people to lean on,” Seanese says, “When you are here, you see people going through the good and the bad. It is great to know you are not alone. You can walk down the hallway crying and know that no one will judge you.”
Seanese says that without being able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, she would have had to choose between caring for her newborn, or being with her sick daughter. “The House made it possible for me to do both, Georgie never had to be alone,” she shared.
On October 26 of this year (exactly one year after she was admitted!), Georgie was discharged from the hospital to the Ronald McDonald House. Less than two weeks later, she was cleared to go home, and checked out on November 6. She will be back for follow-up treatments and check-ups.
We asked Georgie herself what she’s most excited to do when she gets home. “See my puppies!” she told us “all FIVE of them!”
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