The Little Lion Behind the Glass

6 years old
Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT)/Cancer

The Once Upon a Room volunteers and I were headed to the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit to decorate a room for a little girl who was turning 6 years old that day. The BMT unit’s protocol is handled slightly differently than the other units. It requires more attention to materials and items that go into the room because of the lack of immune system the patients have. As we arrived on the unit, sanitized all the items we were bringing in and were beginning the process of scrubbing down, I looked to the last room.

Peeking through the glass was this inquisitive, bald, wide eye little girl. She was pacing behind the glass like a lion at the zoo trying to see what our wagons were filled with. The sweet face that can’t leave the cold, dark room quickly tugged at my heart. I asked the child life specialist about her. She commented that she was post transplant and doing fairly well. She was stuck in that room with nothing much to do all day. Our team gathered together and realized we had more than enough things to take to our originally scheduled patient. We took everything back out to the cleaning area, resterilized everything and pulled out a makeup vanity equipped with lights that turned on, chair and full makeup kit. Placing these things in the other wagon, we were headed to sweet little Michelle’s room. She watched us as we approached. She paced even harder when we made hand gestures through the window asking if we could bring the things into her room. She started beaming the biggest smile from ear to ear. She could hardly wait for us all to scrub, gown, mask and glove to walk into her room.

We set up the vanity and the chair, opened the huge makeup case and taught her to turn on the lights on the vanity. We also turned on the lights to her room so the once cold, dark room was full of light. The happiness radiating from Michelle provided light and joy to our hearts. We vowed to return in a few days to do her whole room, which we did. That is another story, which is as happy as this one. It ended with our Diva Michelle singing on her microphone for us.

For now, our sweet little pacing lion wasn’t looking out the window in boredom anymore. In fact, when I spoke with the hospital the next day I was informed that every nurse on the unit got their make up done that day…including the male nurses too!! Keep fighting hard, little lion. You are our hero!!