Meet Kealy: A Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Champion

Meet Kealy: A Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Champion

During Family Advocacy Day, Kealy and her family will discuss her health journey, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital’s role in providing her with necessary care, and why we must invest in the future of patients like Kealy.

At 9 months old, Kealy was having a bath in the sink when her parents found a small bump on her skull. They went to the pediatrician and were told to keep an eye on it for any changes.

Kealy, a Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
champion, is participating in Family Advocacy
Day 2023.

At her next visit, the bump had changed, and they were referred to a neurosurgeon at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. After an evaluation, it was identified as a tumor and it was removed the next day. The results determined it was a stage 4 neuroblastoma.

“Immediately after the surgery we had a feeling the outcome was not good,” says Kellie, Kealy’s mother. “The entire family was affected. I was pregnant with Kealy's brother. There were many emotions and concerns to deal with.”

The first treatment was the removal of the lesion, and then a Broviac line was placed for five rounds of chemotherapy, two rounds of high dose chemotherapy and 14 days of radiation therapy. She also had a mass removed from her abdomen and an additional surgery to drain the lesion for healing purposes.

Today, Kealy is doing well. She is a healthy 5-year-old child, back to normal everyday activities. She loves playing dress up and putting on makeup. Kealy also participated in Family Advocacy Day in 2022.

Family Advocacy Day

Elevating patient stories and educating lawmakers remains critical to increase awareness about the essential care provided by children's hospitals.