DaVita Stories

Pint Size Hero Helps Others

On Aug. 4, 2014, my life changed forever. This was the day my husband and I had to accept that our daughter had cancer. My world was shattered. Nothing made sense that day. The only thing we did know was that Chloe (pictured above, third from the left) would beat Leukemia and grow up to be amazing woman with a remarkable story to tell.

During this journey I’ve seen my daughter get poked with needles, had to catch her as she falls asleep for sedation, taught her how to swallow pills, put chemo into her little body, hold her hair while she vomits, hold her hand when she was scared, change her clothes during the middle of the night from night sweats, drove many miles for appointments, had many sleepless nights, and even shaved my head when she had to shave hers. Being a Cancer Mom is a title I never thought I would be given.

Everyday Chloe’s bravery and determination impressed me more and more. Chloe was always smiling, dancing and making people laugh. Her spirit, sass and spunk is beyond a blessing to see day in and day out. On Monday Dec. 19, 2016, Chloe took her last dose of oral chemo and had completed 867 days in treatment.

Throughout Chloe’s journey we attempted to give back to others as much as we could. I can only pray that our efforts help to spread ripples across our community. Here are a few highlights on Team Chloe’s accomplishments over the past two years:

  • We collected $8,792 for CureSearch researching to cure childhood cancer
  • We organized seven blood drives, collecting 484 units of blood
  • We raised $520 for Children’s Miracle Network UVA
  • We raised $275 for Hopecam
  • We collected 716 lbs of Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House
  • We collected 5,245 coloring books and crayons that were donated to UVA Children’s Hospital.

Team Chloe’s efforts have made local news broadcasts, newspapers and magazines, and have also appeared on National Headline News with Michaela Pereira. Chloe was selected as one of the “Three who made a difference in 2016,” which was awarded by Page News and Couriers.

Cancer is all around us—from our family and friends to people within our community. Childhood cancer is especially popping up around us more and more every day.  There are so many families we have met on this journey. The children and their families are nothing more than strong. These kids never stop fighting. Not only are they brave for themselves, but they are also brave for their families. Caregivers of children with cancer and all the caregivers of someone with an illness take unconditional love to a whole new meaning.

Ten short days after completing cancer treatment, Chloe was faced with a three-week stay at the Children’s Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a rare fungal infection. Chloe will have a year of treatment, but this does not compare to what she has already faced. Chloe will also have follow-up blood work for five years to ensure the Leukemia stays in remission. With this strength, our family can tackle any obstacle. We’ve started planning our fundraising events for CureSearch and blood drives.

You can follow Chloe’s story and events on Facebook at ChloeCaresVA.

Katie Gochenour

Katie Gochenour

Katie Gochenour joined the Village in November 2015 as a Senior Clinical Recruiter. She came to DaVita with a passion to help others and to be a member of the DaVita community. In her words, “I knew at DaVita I could continue to be an amazing mother, active volunteer and advocate for childhood cancer research, while being more than fulfilled in my career.”