Hi! My name is Sarah Laszlo and I am the newest case manager at Chai Lifeline Canada’s Toronto office. As a case manager, I work with our families to ensure that each member is getting the support they need, connecting them to the various services we offer, and spending lots of time with families in the hospital. As I reflect on my first three months at Chai Lifeline, there are so many amazing experiences that I could share with you. There is one in particular that has been the highlight of my time at Chai Lifeline so far.
On my very first day, I had the chance to meet Sammy, one of our Chai Warriors. Sammy is 14 and a freshman in high school. She loves dancing and all things EMOJI! Even on her hardest days throughout treatment, I was always greeted with a smile!
About a month ago, I had the incredible opportunity to be at Sammy’s last day of chemotherapy. It was the New Years long weekend and one of the coldest days this winter. The day-patient ward of the oncology floor was dark, deserted, and the nurses’ station boarded up with only a couple nurses floating around.
What I found when I entered Sammy’s room was the exact opposite. It was full of laughter, light, warmth and love.
The room was filled with Sammy’s family; they’re her biggest supporters and cheering squad. I brought balloons (emoji ones, of course!) and cupcakes to celebrate the day. We spent the morning talking about all the things she would be allowed to do now, laughing at jokes, and just making it a great day.
There are definitely some days that are more difficult than others. However, it is days like the one I described above and attitudes like Sammy’s that make me so thankful to be working in this field. Sammy’s courage gives me courage, her positivity spreads to all those she knows, and her smile can make anyone smile. I can’t wait to have more experiences like these at Chai Lifeline.