STORIES
September 30, 2017

From Childhood Cancer Survivor To Nurse At The Hospital Where She Was Treated

From Childhood Cancer Survivor To Nurse At The Hospital Where She Was Treated
Angelina Walker
By: Angelina Walker Director of Nursing Content and Social Media

By Angelina Gibson

Nurse Montana Brown has overcome cancer twice in her lifetime—at just 24 years of age. She spent years of her childhood at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) being treated for cancer, once when she was just 2 years old and again when she was 15.

Last week, she was back at the Pediatric Oncology Unit at CHOA, but this time, as a nurse. And just in time for childhood cancer awareness month.

The hospital posted the exciting news on their facebook page:

Montana told ABC News, "The nurses here, as great as they were when I was 2 -- from what my mom says -- they were extremely loving and caring and compassionate. And, just the love they showed me and my family in our time of need just really helped me. It helped me want to become as kind and as caring and as compassionate as they were for me.""I really wanted to be that person where when I said, 'Hey, I totally understand. This is where I was. This is where I am now.' That me and my patients would form a bond," she said. "I'm not walking through the doors as a patient anymore. I am walking through as a staff member."

Diagnosed With Cancer At Age 2

Brown first visited Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta when she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of the connective tissue. After being in remission for over a decade, she was back at CHOA for another bout of cancer during her freshman year of high school.

Many nurses become patients at some point in their careers and get a taste of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of care. For Brown, she was a patient first who then became a care provider. We can just imagine the level of care and empathy she’ll show her patients. She is truly an inspiration to us all.

While every nurse has their own reasons for becoming a nurse, inspiring stories like Montana’s really pull at our heartstrings. We’re excited to see all the lives she changes and the amazing things she accomplishes as a nurse. Nurse Montana, thank you for all you do and for being you! 

September Is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is a month to raise funding and spread awareness of childhood cancer - the number one disease killer of children in the U.S. 

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) budget is $4.9 billion. It is anticipated that childhood cancer will receive 4% of that sum or $195 million.

The incidence of childhood cancer is on the increase - averaging a 0.6% increase per year since mid-1970’s resulting in an overall increase of 24% over the last 40 years - the 4% budget simply is not enough. 

In the U.S., 15,780 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year; approximately 1/4 of them will not survive the disease - that means, one in five children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. will not survive.

Together, we can find a cure, for children like Nurse Montana Brown and her patients.  

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