Fifteen-year-old Sydney Mitchell could race anyone down the hallways of St. Jude if she wanted to. Not only is she a survivor, she will tell you cheating death gave her something–it opened her eyes about life.
“Before I was just a 12-year-old not thinking about school; none of that. Now I do care about school. I’m a lot closer to my family; me and my sister are a lot closer. We don’t argue as much, says Sydney.
Sydney also developed family ties to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It became her home away from home. She spent a year of her young life there waging a war against the cancer. It’s a time she does not regret.
“I’d rather be here. I like being at the hospital. I don’t know why, not inpatient, but I like being here with everybody I met here,” says Sydney. “The only bad part about St. Jude is being sick, and it’s not their fault.”
Sydney now dreams of a future where she will work alongside the people who helped her heal at St. Jude.
“Ever since I got cancer I matured a lot,” says Sydney.
She also credits the other patients who understand too well what it’s like to lose their hair, and have surgery after surgery and feel sick all the time.
“I guess it’s because we’re all going through the same thing; the patient, we’re all going through the same thing in a way you get so close with them,” says Sydney.
On this visit, Sydney gets to celebrate a milestone with her friends at St. Jude.
“As of right now, I’m in remission; I’ve been in remission for a year. It will be two years in April,” says Sydney.