Never-Ending Generosity: An Extraordinary Pediatric Oncology Nurse, Patient Advocate and Spiritual Healer
May 06, 2019 – James LaBelle, M.D., Ph.D.
Always Ready to Volunteer
April 15, 2019 – Dianne Rohald
Going the Extra Mile
April 16, 2019 – Cora Beth Hartfield
Currently Viewing
Part of the Family
April 17, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
The Embodiment of Caring and Support
April 24, 2019 – Shelley Fess, M.S., RN-BC, AOCN, CRNI, VA-BC
Born to Love and Serve
April 21, 2019 – Mellisa Wheeler, M.H.A., B.S.W.
Healing With Compassion and Grace
April 20, 2019 – Carolina Fasola, M.D., M.P.H.
Forming Lifelong Bonds
April 18, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
Making a Dream Come True
April 18, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
A Great Nurse and Friend
May 04, 2019 – Lois Adelman
Making Wishes Come True: Fairy Godmothers of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
May 05, 2019 – Andrea Kabacinski, M.S., RN
A Beautiful Soul: An Oncology Nurse with Love, Compassion and Knowledge
May 11, 2019 – Teresa Corso
Two Lost People and an Angel
May 19, 2019 – Maria Campos
Taking Things One Day at a Time
May 18, 2019 – Alvin David, B.S.N., RN-BC
Healing Close to Home
May 25, 2019 – Carol Schumacher
A Calming Spirit
May 27, 2019 – Stephanie Fraser, M.S.W.
Healing Close to Home
May 25, 2019 – Carol Schumacher
Encouraging Fitness and Fellowship
June 23, 2019 – Honora R. Miller
A Dynamic Problem Solver
June 22, 2019 – Karen Leary
An Oncology Nurse at Heart
June 16, 2019 – Jeanine Gordon and Jaclyn Andronico
Dedicated to Oncology
June 15, 2019 – Tracey M. Hopkins
Unshakable Loyalty
June 02, 2019 – Peggy Hufty
Making Everyone Better
June 08, 2019 – Meaghan Connors
The Compassion Gene
June 01, 2019 – Sandy Allten, RN, OCN, CCRP
Sharing Her Gifts and Talents: A Breast Cancer Survivor and Registered Nurse
July 04, 2019 – Patricia Campbell, B.S.N., RN
Pediatric Oncology Nurse Always Thinking of 'Her Kids'
July 14, 2019 – Alice Cockerel, M.S.N., M.S.M./HM, RN, ONC, CNL
Tirelessly Committed to Nursing: An Extraordinary Oncology Nurse
July 14, 2019 – Margaret M. Coursen, RN, OCN

Part of the Family

An interview with Caitlin Cohen, M.S.N., RN, CPNP-AC, CPHON, winner of the CURE® Extraordinary Healer® Award.
BY Kathy LaTour
PUBLISHED April 17, 2019
Caitlin Cohen, M.S.N., RN, CPNP-AC, CPHON, grew up hearing stories about her grandmother, a nurse.

In college, Cohen shadowed her roommate’s mother, a pediatric oncology nurse — an experience that confirmed her desire to be a pediatric oncology nurse practitioner. She has never looked back.

“Children are amazing,” she says. “They have strength that constantly inspires me. Each patient changes me, and I feel so fortunate to care for these incredible children.” She is attracted by their honesty, she adds, and their ability to take things in stride.

Cohen worked as a pediatric oncology nurse from 2007 to 2013. In 2013, at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, she moved into the role of nurse practitioner for children facing bone marrow transplants. This work brings her into the family as she consults with the child and parents before the transplant and then for years after.

The transplant team also functions as a whole to provide support and backup for patients, families and each other, according to Cohen. “When we first go into a room, we are going to go through a lot of information,” she says. “We tell them we don’t know all the answers, but we will find out.” She shares her cell phone number and tells them that they should call her with any question or concern.

“You are a part of their family,” she says. “I tell them to call me with any questions. If you stub your toe, I want to know about it.”

When talking with Cohen, you can hear in her voice the concern and caring that, when she was a week overdue for the delivery of her first child, took her to the bedside of a longtime patient.

When the patient needed to have an MRI, he asked her to stay with him. She did.

The patient, who had received a diagnosis of leukemia as a teenager, inspired every person he met, and his quick wit always made his care team laugh, Cohen says. “His mother was also a constant inspiration and unwavering advocate,” she says. Unfortunately, the young man suffered from debilitating graft-versus-host disease that caused significant pain.

The day after Cohen saw him through his MRI, the young man died with his family at his side. That night, Cohen delivered her daughter. Although she could not be with the patient as he died, Cohen says, his mother felt at peace as she looked at new life after the loss of her son.
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