That's what it's like when your 4-year-old little boy gets diagnosed with cancer, says Jill Rickert of Madison.
When Jill and Kevin's son Blake had a fever that wouldn't quit and his stomach began to enlarge, the Rickerts went to American Family Children's Hospital for testing. Doctors quickly discovered that Blake had Burkitt's lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that is a cancer of the body’s lymphatic system that fights disease and infections.
For the next 6 months, the Rickert family called American Family Children's Hospital "home" with repeated admissions and treatments. They were grateful for the opportunity to participate in the daily "rounds" of the medical staff, helping to make decisions each day about Blake's care plan.
"They're the best of the best here," Jill said of Dr. Paul Sondel and the pediatric cancer team. "They're the people that you want taking care of your child."
Now a healthy, curious first grader, what does Blake remember most about his time at the children's hospital?
The floor sweeper machine, of course.
"They would come by special for Blake, three or four times," Jill remembers. "This is such a wonderful place."
Help Blake and the 600 kids fighting cancer under UW's care: Donate to UW's Campaign to End Childhood Cancer