When Jillian Peters was 4 years old, doctors discovered the scary reason why her belly was distended – Jillian was harboring an 8-pound Wilms' tumor, about a quarter of her 36-pound body weight.
Throughout her two-month hospitalization for kidney cancer at American Family Children's Hospital, Jillian fell in love with the wagons used to transport kids from place to place.
"She was obsessed with the wagons," said Jillian's mom, Patricia. "She refused to walk for two months."
For Jillian, the wagons were her safe place. She'd sleep in them. She'd get procedures done while sitting in her wagon. She'd outfit the wagons with comfy blankets and pillows.
"The wonderful nurses even made a spot outside her room and put up a sign: Reserved for Jillian's Wagon," Patricia said.
Whenever the Peters family would walk into the children's hospital and there were no wagons waiting at the main entrance, "she would literally have a breakdown," said Jillian's dad, Michael, adding that valet staff would then go on the hunt for one.
Hoping to give back, the Peters family has since donated a small fleet of new wagons to the children's hospital. "We just wanted to pay it forward," Michael said.
Pay it forward like the Peters family, and help Jillian and the 600 kids fighting cancer under UW's care: Donate to UW's Campaign to End Childhood Cancer