Originally posted August 17, 2015.
Sarah is a childhood cancer SURVIVOR and now a Child Life Specialist helping other children and families battling cancer! She is a hero is so many ways! Sarah was diagnosed at eight years old with Stage IV (four) Wilms Tumor (origin; kidney) that metastasized, September 1992 to 1993. She entered remission at 9 years old. She had a broviac, 3 abdominal surgeries; right kidney and gaul bladder removal, 1 year of chemotherapy, and 6 weeks of radiation therapy. She was feisty then and still is! Losing her hair wasn’t such a big deal at the time, as she was pretty much a “tom-boy,” loved basketball, and had an idol by the name of ‘Sir Charles Barkley’ #34 of the Phoenix Suns. Sarah’s experience has impacted and inspired her family as well. Her sister Jamie was 6 years old at the time and is now a PCT (NA) and hoping to go to nursing school, and her mom was inspired to go to nursing school. Sarah shares with us what made/makes her strong. In her words: 1) My Faith in God and what He did for me personally, my family, and ultimately the whole world. Without Him, I wouldn’t be here today. 2) My Family: there is none out there quite like the Maurer’s (Maurer Power!) We don’t take life too seriously, laugh and love a lot. I have never met a family (immediate and extended) who is more serving, loving, caring, thoughtful, and kind as mine. We like to say; “go big or go home.” 3) My Friends: old and new, near and far, they know who they are. I/we couldn’t do life without them. My newest best friend is my husband of 1 year and 6 months; Francis Okot. We may be complete opposites in every way, but we sure to compliment each other and make a great team. Sarah’s favorite superhero have already graduated from this earth and earned their angel wings in heaven: both of her Grandmother’s: Ann (‘Mimi’) Brown-Cooper and Dorothy (‘Dort’) Eileen Maurer. They were both cancer survivors who taught Sarah: manners, respect for both others and nature, responsibility, perseverance, how to be a hard worker, and what it means to be a working woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Sarah’s mom Laura and sister Jamie share the middle name ‘Ann’ and Sarah’s middle name is ‘Eileen.’ If Sarah could have a super power, it would be: To be able to provide shelter, clothing, food, clean water, and quality medical care to every person all over the world. Along with that, she would like the super power to cure cancer and completely wipe it off the planet so it doesn’t even exist. Sarah loves spending quality time with her husband, family, and friends during meals, being active, watching movies, and going on vacations. She decided to become a Certified Child Life Specialist because she has a passion for health care, hospitals, children, and the psycho, social, and emotional effects that different diagnosis, procedures, and hospitalizations can have on patients and their families. Sarah explains that she has 2 important jobs in the hospital; one is to make sure that patients and their families have as many positive experience as possible while there, and the second is that she is like a teacher, but instead of teaching children and teens about school stuff, she gets to teach them about medical things; equipment, diagnosis, procedures, etc. Sarah’s favorite part about her job is that she gets to be a little, but special, part of the medical team; a voice and advocate for the patient and their family. She gets to look at the environment, situation, or procedure from a child’s point of view, and work together as a team to make the experience as child and family-friendly as possible. Sarah loves empowering patients and their families by teaching them different coping skills.