So often, kids wind up in our care for things that seem small at the time. For Galen, it was high school football try-outs. Symptoms surfaced on the field in July 2012 that would result in a leukemia diagnosis.
He spent 14 months with us, and, as is the case with most of our long-term kids, he became a student in our school. He spent hours every day in the classroom. When he didn’t feel up to attending class, teachers went to his room.
On September 17 we talked to him about this music video as part of a contest for high schools. He was so excited! The next morning, he received test results we didn’t expect. Science had run out of options for treating Galen’s disease.
He insisted he still wanted to make the video. He told us he wanted his parents and sister to have something to remember him.
We filmed it just before he went home on Thursday. We completed and shared it with Galen on Monday. He died on Tuesday.
We are, first and foremost, a hospital. But we’re also a school. We may not have a football team, but we have more team spirit on this campus than you’ll find at any other high school in America. Galen didn’t have the chance to play, but he hit the field every day for 14 months, surrounded by more cheerleaders than you could count.
We watch these kids fight every day. It’s time everyone else has the chance to hear them ROAR!