Childhood Cancer Survivor Pays It Forward at the Same Hospital She Received Treatment

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A childhood cancer survivor now works raising funds for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the same hospital where she received treatment for Ewing sarcoma at 12 years old.

Since Megan Piotrowicz was treated for Ewing sarcoma in 2003, she knew she wanted to help others at a children’s hospital in some capacity by using her own personal experience with childhood cancer.

When Piotrowicz was 12, she had the typical concerns of any middle schooler including doing well in school and making the school’s basketball team. What she wasn’t expecting was a rare cancer diagnosis to upend these plans. Piotrowicz, who was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in her skull (a rare place for the cancer to occur), immediately underwent three rounds of chemotherapy at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and started on a clinical trial. After three months, her tumor shrunk enough for her a neurosurgeon to be able to remove it and she was able to go back to school.

Throughout the entire experience, Piotrowicz took great comfort in the resources at CHOP. She decided she wanted to be just like the staff at the hospital who took care of her when she grew up. Nineteen years later, she is doing just that. Inspired by her parents’ philanthropic tendencies and her own roots at CHOP, she now works as a major gift officer for their neuroscience center, raising funds for the hospital to help take care of other children with cancer.

In today’s episode of the “Cancer Horizons” podcast, the now 31-year-old Philadelphia native explains what it was like to navigate a cancer diagnosis as a 12-year-old, how she found support from her family and faith, the joy she takes in giving back to CHOP as an adult, how the pediatric cancer space has evolved in the past 20 years, advice to other children with cancer and more.

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