4 things every parent should know about MD Anderson

As the parent of a cancer patient, when you first step through the doors of MD Anderson, you’re terrified. You’re not supposed to be here. Much less for your child. But when our daughter Elise was diagnosed with osteosarcoma — a type of bone cancer — in 2014, we quickly realized that all of the people who work there are gentle and compassionate. And I’m not just talking about the doctors and nurses. I’m talking about the parking attendants, security guards, cafeteria workers and cleaning staff. They all seem to have a full understanding that if you’re at MD Anderson, you may quite possibly be having the worst day of your life. That’s just one of the reasons I encourage anyone whose child has been diagnosed with cancer to go there first. Here are four more things every parent should know. MD Anderson treats children The first thing to know about MD Anderson is that it treats children. I run into a surprising number of people who don’t realize that. In fact, children have their own hospital within a hospital at the Texas Medical Center location: MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital. It’s on its own floor there. And it’s not just an adult-size facility downsized to fit children. It was designed specifically for kids. If your child has cancer, you want them to go to a cancer hospital, not necessarily a children’s hospital. The MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital is both, so it’s a great place to be. MD Anderson has child life specialists MD Anderson also has child life specialists. These are people who are dedicated exclusively to...