10 Apr The Lance Family
At almost 17 years old, Ian Lance of Salisbury, North Carolina, started experiencing headaches and extreme tiredness. Thinking it could be Mononucleosis, or Mono, Ian and his mom Angela scheduled a doctor’s appointment. After bloodwork, scans, and tests, Ian was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Ian immediately began treatment at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.
During his treatments at Hemby, Ian found comfort in having something cold to drink or eat. He enjoyed popsicles or ice cream, but mainly opted for a slushie when available. While at Hemby, he watched as other kids and teens spent their days and nights going through similar medical journeys. This inspired Ian to come up with an idea to have something special for patients just like him that would make their days a little brighter.
Ian has grown up in the Boy Scout program. Starting as a Cub Scout, and now going towards the highest honor, Eagle Scout, he decided to dedicate his final project to helping families who use the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Caroline’s Corner. This past spring, Ian donated a slushie machine for RMHC families to enjoy – because he knew firsthand that having a slushie adds a bit of joy to their healing process.
Angela describes Ian as “the most positive child, who never complains, and is always wanting to help others”. Ian and his family stumbled upon the Ronald McDonald Family Room during one of his hospital stays. He was overjoyed to have “a room full of free snacks”. Ian’s favorite items were the Moon Pies, Uncrustables, and now of course the Cheerwine slushies.
Ian stated that at each hospital visit clinical staff “checks your port, takes your temperature, and maybe takes a blood sample”. But he thought “wouldn’t it be nice if they asked, ‘hey would you want a slushie too?’” When he sees other kids with slushies from his slushie machine, it makes him feel like he really accomplished something and made a difference.
“The Family Room is a great place where families can relax and take a break from being in the hospital. It’s like a little getaway.” Ian said. His mother, Angela, described the Family Room as “an incredibly kind space full of wonderful volunteers and a large variety of snacks to help encourage Ian and fellow patients to eat and drink”.
Ian is currently in remission, but still requires another two years of treatment to ensure he is cancer free. The scouting program has encouraged Ian “to stick to something and finish it”. Ian enjoys canoeing and fly fishing in his free time as a part of the Eagle Scout program spending lots of time in the NC mountain region.