In a heartwarming tale of triumph over adversity, cancer survivor Caitlyn Mortus, once a cancer patient at MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital returned a decade later, not as a patient but as a compassionate pediatric nurse.
Caitlyn's journey began as a vibrant student at WoodCreek Junior High, her life forever changed by a soccer injury that revealed a devastating diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma cancer. Enduring six months of rigorous treatment at MD Anderson, Caitlyn emerged victorious in 2009, marking the beginning of her inspiring story.
"Her soccer injury was a blessing in disguise since it led to her diagnosis and early treatment," stated a Katy, Texas Magazine reporter.
Keep Kids Connected Organization
During her challenging treatment, Caitlyn felt the pangs of loneliness and isolation. Turning her adversity into an opportunity, she founded the "Keep Kids Connected" nonprofit organization. Motivated by the use of her parents' laptops, Caitlyn sought donations to provide small computer tablets for children battling cancer. The initiative aimed to help them stay connected with family, friends, and schoolmates during their challenging journey.
MD Anderson's in-house newsletter highlighted the impact of Keep Kids Connected, revealing that the organization had purchased 631 computers and tablets for patients aged 3-18. The devices facilitated communication and connection during hospital stays, making a significant difference in the lives of young patients like Jennifer Gutierrez, who overcame leukemia.
Caitlyn's philanthropic spirit and dedication to supporting others reflected her resilience and determination to make a positive impact in the lives of those facing similar struggles.
Cancer Survivor to Pediatric Nurse at MD Anderson
Caitlyn's deep-seated gratitude for the care she received during her cancer treatment led her to pursue a career in nursing. A feisty young lady with a lion's heart, Caitlyn fulfilled her dream of becoming a pediatric oncology nurse at MD Anderson.
"My journey with cancer is 100% of the reason I became a nurse. After they helped me through a bad patch, I felt compelled to return the favor," Caitlyn expressed with unwavering determination.
Having participated in programs like the MD Anderson Children's Art Project during her treatment, Caitlyn found solace in creative endeavors. Her artwork, particularly her ladybug illustrations, became a source of inspiration and joy for both herself and fellow patients.
As a pediatric oncology nurse, Caitlyn brought a unique perspective to her role, having experienced the highs and lows of cancer treatment herself. She emphasized the importance of building personal connections with patients, understanding their struggles, and providing hope.
Every day at MD Anderson, Caitlyn's compassionate care echoed the sentiment that had been extended to her during her own challenging days. Her story serves as a testament to the transformative power of resilience, empathy, and the enduring human spirit.
In the halls of MD Anderson, Caitlyn Mortus not only conquered cancer but returned as a beacon of hope for the young souls battling their own medical challenges. Her inspiring journey from cancer survivor continues to illuminate the path for others, embodying the hospital's commitment to healing, compassion, and unwavering support.