At 15, Jany knows not to sweat the small stuff. In the months since she was diagnosed with cancer, the Westwood Christian School sophomore has gained a rare perspective on life.
“When you’ve been in the cancer unit with sick children, you realize how silly most of the things we worry about are,” said Jany, offering remarkably sage commentary for one so young.
Jany’s path to such wisdom began in July 2006. She was enjoying her summer break when the appearance of a lump on her neck landed her in the doctor’s office. After an ultrasound, the family was referred to the Cancer Center at Miami Children’s, where she entered the care of Dr. Enrique Escalon, Director of the program.
“Cancer was the furthest thing from my mind,” Jany recalled. “I had never been to a hospital before and only went to the doctor for checkups.” Suddenly, the family was dealing with a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and within a week, the unflappable teen was undergoing chemotherapy, followed later by a course of radiation therapy.
Jany took all of this in stride, refusing to be ruffled even when her hair began to tumble out during the chemotherapy. Her strong faith kept worries in check.
“I knew I was in God’s care and that everything would be all right,” she said. She also drew strength from the confidence she felt in the doctors and staff of the Cancer Center, forming a particular bond with the nurses in the Living Room Infusion Center where she spent considerable time undergoing chemotherapy.
Today, Jany is cancer-free and pursuing her education at home while waiting for her immune system to regain strength. She enjoys attending church on Sundays and regular visits from schoolmates, while looking ahead to beginning her junior year back on the Westwood Christian campus.
“I can’t wait to get back.” said Jany. “Then everything will be back to normal.”