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Location: Athens, Ga, United States

Our son Ryan was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in 2004. In 2007, my wife Missy was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. On July 8th, 2009, Missy lost her battle to this horrible disease. 2 days later, on July 10th, Ryan also lost his. Together forever, they both watch over our family now from the heavens above. Below is our families journey through Ryan's treatments, along with the joy and laughter we tried to instill into our daily lives. Those days helped us all cope with the pain and suffering that comes with cancer and it's deadly treatments. Both Missy and Ryan endured high doses of chemo, radiation and surgeries. Over 150 nights spent in the hospital and many, many more days. More transfusions than I could count. Yet both Missy and Ryan took on each day with a positive attitude and warm smile for all their friends. We miss them terribly. They will always be a shining light in our lives.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

 

From Today's AJC


When ajcjobs and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution decided to honor nurses who go above and beyond the call of duty to take care of their patients, we had no idea that the response would be so great. We received 237 nominations for the first ajcjobs Nursing Excellence Awards. Because the nursing profession is filled with skilled, compassionate and caring people, it was hard for the independent panel of judges to narrow the nominees down to 10 finalists. From these finalists, three top honorees will be announced at a luncheon on Wednesday. All the nurses and the people who nominated them had great stories to tell.Celebrating Nurses Finalist
DAWN CARVER: CHILDREN'S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA
Ryan Morgan spent many days at the Aflac Cancer Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. As the 7-year-old from Winder awaited a tandem stem cell transplant to treat his cancer last year, Ryan and his parents got to know many of the nurses at the hospital, including Dawn Carver, RN, BSN
"Dawn was so compassionate to Ryan and to us," said Missy Morgan, Ryan's mom. "She always knew just what to say to make us feel hopeful that he would get better. When one medicine didn't provide him relief, she would find something else that would work. She knew how to encourage him and comfort us."
Carver, 33, works day in and day out with the young cancer patients at Children's.
She joined the hospital staff right after graduating from the Georgia State University School of Nursing and has worked there for 11 years.
"It's a blessing and an honor for me to help these kids and their families," Carver said. "I've never considered doing anything else but being a nurse."
Carver grew up in Duluth and attended the University of Georgia before getting her nursing degree from Georgia State. As a pediatric oncology nurse, she works closely with patients and families during their cancer treatments.
"The survival rate is quite high, especially with the improved treatment techniques and continuing research," she said.
Carver has volunteered for the last eight years as a camp counselor at Camp Sunshine, a summer program for youngsters with cancer.
"When I go there, I'm their camp counselor, not their nurse," Carver said. "I get to see these youngsters in a different light, and they get to see me outside the hospital."
Ryan has his own Internet blog to keep his friends and family up to date on his life. It includes photos and a journal.
"Dawn has sent him many messages on his Web site and sent us uplifting messages," Morgan said. "She greets every day with a smile and a positive, upbeat attitude. That's like a breath of fresh air for the fragile patients and parents on the Aflac cancer floor."
Dawn was our 7 year old son, Ryan's nurse while he was in Egleston for a tandem stem-cell transplant to treat his cancer. Dawn was so compassionate to Ryan and to us.
It seemed like she always knew just what to say to comfort us and make us feel hopeful that he would get better. She knew how to encourage him to get out the bed and walk his laps and do all of his exercises to get healthy and strong.
She came down to visit him while he was in ICU everyday to cheer him up. I remember it seemed like she always knew just when his medicines were done, and she would appear just before all the buzzers went off so he wouldn't wake up.
When one medicine didn't provide him relief, whether it was pain, itch, or nausea, she would find something else that would work.
We were so blessed to get to know Dawn, and will be eternally grateful for the care she gave all of us.
-- Pamela A. Keene -- Nominated By: Les and Missy Morgan
We will be cheering her on at the luncheon this Wednesday, we hope she wins!

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