jump to navigation

Amazing spirits January 8, 2009

Posted by Amanda Kern in Uncategorized.

For the first time in close to two months I got the opportunity to meet with Talia and her mother, Desiree. Just before Thanksgiving she had taken a trip to New York where she underwent more tests and treatments, including chemo, as well as visiting family. She was pretty sick for a while and has recently started to make another turn around. This morning I got the opportunity to visit her at the clinic where she routinely undergoes tests to check on various levels in her body, such as her level of platelets. Instantly when I arrived in the room I was greeted by Talia’s amazing spirit, and her wonderful smile – something I was glad to see so much of this morning.

posing for the camera

As they waited for test results to return it was nice to catch up with Desiree and Talia. She’s gained 3 pounds – which is a great sign! Her hair is also starting to grow back. While I was there she showed me her access line, which makes it easier for her to receive medication or treatments.

Talia's access line

I imagine one of the challenges of having so many treatments and appointments such as the one at the clinic today is playing the waiting game. As they waited about an hour for lab results, Talia brought out countless bottles of nail polish and set up her own little nail salon. She offered to paint any one’s nails who wanted to take a moment with her.


One of the things that moved me today was seeing how amazingly awesome the staff was at the clinic. Several nurses, nurse practioners, and even a volunteer stopped by to spend some time with Talia. The spirit of those who are surrounded by many children who are also battling cancer was certainly touching to see. I can only imagine how it must wear on the emotions to see so many young children suffering, so to see how they were able to make Talia feel special today certainly was a moment which touched me personally. In the case of Jenny, she’s a volunteer who has been volunteering with the clinic for over 19 years (since 1989!) – she was the first to step into Talia’s make shift clinic nail shop. It didn’t take long before others were in line to have their nails painted.


painting nails

I was also moved by moments I never captured on camera. In the best interest of the privacy of other patients I chose to just save these moments in my mind. It was so reassuring to see Talia in such great spirits today. She happened to be one of many children at the clinic this morning – all of which are battling various forms of cancer. It broke my heart to see so many of them challenged, just as Talia is. But I was amazed to see how resilient the spirit of each child was. Although I’ve already determined that Talia is a special individual, seeing her today reminded me of what an amazing spirit she has. Though she’s fighting her own battles, she took time today to spend with another patient to paint her nails. It was a great moment seeing how she was able to make this little girl’s day. She even loaned some nail polish to a mother of another little girl who was in quarantine due to her own illness.

Another smile

Talia found out today that many of her counts were on the rise, which is an excellent sign. It means that soon she’ll be able to have another round of chemo, which she needs to fight the cancer. It also means that she will likely get to return to school next week, something I’m sure she’s looking forward to. Though her platelets have dropped since the last test earlier this week, they are hopeful they’ll rise by early next week in order for her to start her next round of chemo. So she’ll get a bit of a break from any treatments for a little longer. Because of this they removed the access line, which can only be in place for seven days. Though I’m sure the line was a little uncomfortable, I have this feeling that removing the tape was more discomforting.

Removing the access line & tape

Removing the access line & tape

As we left the clinic I asked if I could take a few photos of Desiree and Talia.

Desiree & Talia

After taking the first photo, Talia asked me if I wanted her to take her hat off. I told her it was up to her. Today she was willing to show off her adorable head which is finally starting to grow hair again.

Desiree & Talia

Of course I also had to capture a few more shots outside which reflected her amazing spirit today.


Talia, in great spirits

Before we finally left, I asked for one last photo of her & I to include in my 365 photo challenge.

Amanda & Talia

I hope to be in touch with Talia & Desiree next week, which is when she’ll likely begin chemo again. My fingers are crossed for you Talia! Stay strong – and NEVER lose that amazing spirit!



1. Cheri Capuano - January 8, 2009


I’m amazed by this website. I wanted you to know that even
though we are parted by miles, you and Talia are always close
to my heart.

Please tell her that she can paint my nails the next time I’m in
Florida which hopefully will be July.

I’m looking forward to dancing at her wedding! Please give
her a hug and kiss from me.

Friends Forever,


2. Lois Anderson - January 10, 2009

Talia, Desiree, and Amanda,

What an awesome project! Amanda, you have captured the spirit and energy of Talia in these lovely photos. Her zest for life is expressed beautifully in the flow of your writing. Thank you for sharing…

May 2009 bring health and healing and joy…

My love always…


3. Rosie Wilder - January 12, 2009

Dear Desiree, Talia and Amanda,

Thank you for sharing your story and your smile. I remember visiting Talia, and she showed me the modern dances she’d learned. Talia, you are an amazing young lady. I pray every day will bring you closer to recovery. After all, you still have a horse back home that’s waiting for you.

Best Wishes,

4. Greta uschock - July 21, 2013

R.i.p talia we all loved u

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: