For Serena Bonneville, when she needed help, BC Children’s Hospital was home.
“When I was diagnosed at the age of 16, I didn’t see it coming at all,” she said, now 21 years old, during an interview with Sonia Sunger on Global BC’s Morning Show in March. “It was essentially the hospital that became my home after that. It was where I lost my hair, it was where I studied, and it was where I overcame the biggest trauma of my life.
“It was my home.”
WATCH: Serena Bonneville on Global BC – Fighting Leukemia with the help of BC Children’s Hospital
Diagnosed with Leukemia when she was still a teenager, while her friends were preparing to graduate high school, Serena was able to beat her diagnosis and – five years later – is now a Communications student at Simon Fraser University.
Serena spent her entire Grade 12 year at BC Children’s Hospital. She lived there through her 17th birthday and, as an aspiring, talented writer, started her own blog and website where she could share her emotions and experiences.
“I started a blog called Breeding Optimism… as an outlet for myself, to kinda keep myself sane through it all,” she told Sonia. “And it really just turned into a way of connecting with other young cancer patients and helping each other and supporting us through the journey.”
She’s thankful that, in that turbulent year, she had the support of the hospital and its incredible staff:
“The nurses essentially were replacing my friends back at home. They were in school and continuing on with their life. Whereas my life was essentially put on hold. The hospital was where I continued on with what little of my old life I had. It was where I had my birthday and the nurses were the ones that were there every day and by my side and I couldn’t have gone through it without them.”
The Grand Prize Draw for this year’s Choices Lottery will be held on Global BC’s Noon at Noon on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018. Tune in, and best of luck!