Hazel’s Glow Story

אבחון: רטינובלסטומה

Recently, Co-Founder Megan Webber had the opportunity to catch up with Melisa Goss Farke, author of the article entitled A Sight to Behold https://www.agupdate.com/tristateneighbor/a-sight-to-behold/article_592c08c2-5acf-11ed-93f2-432f3957d02d.html detailing the journey of Melisa’s daughter, Hazel, with Retinoblastoma.    Megan was so touched by the wording of the article and the beautiful way Melisa shared her story that engaged the reader, while educating all those who encountered this sweet story.  Melisa was able to take the reader through Hazel’s journey, while also highlighting the gifts that came from her speedy diagnosis, her phenomenal team of experts, and her daughter’s brilliant response to treatment.  Melisa also intimately shared her family’s path to healing with both humor and levity, as well as education and action to help lead the way for the Hazel’s of tomorrow. 

Megan was delighted to find that not only is Melisa a beautiful writer but that she has a passion for journalism with a long history of interest in global education.  Melisa was the beneficiary of a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting fellowship while at South Dakota State University and was able to travel to areas of Southeast Asia including Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea.  Teaching English in Korea for nearly a year and spending a summer in Cambodia, Melisa learned to appreciate the unique cultural norms and sensitivities regarding sharing their family stories. 

Previously a copywriter for a PR firm, Melisa is currently an Assistant Editor as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Sioux Falls teaching Composition.  Megan was delighted to learn that not only has Melisa written her family story, but she has also maintained a beautifully written blog entitled The Hazelnut Chronicles, https://thehazelnutchronicles.wordpress.com/, detailing her family’s journey in greater detail.  We hope that Melisa and Hazel will continue to pave the way to help us encourage more families to find a positive pathway through a scary diagnosis as well as to find the humor and the joy in the gift of answers and options. May she continue to recognize that through sharing their stories they can, in turn, help inspire others to take action knowing that the path, while initially unclear, will ultimately lead the way forward. 

We are honored to share about the tremendous Farke family and their work in guiding sweet Hazel on her journey.   It’s our hope that Melisa will also help guide KTG forward via her gift with words. We hope to have her help us spread the KTG message even further by editing or developing stories on future topics for KTG.  It was an honor to speak to this amazing mother and it was a joy to get to see just how beautifully this family has managed through such a difficult time thanks to the help of the phenomenal doctors in her region who took the glow in Hazel’s eye seriously.  It is with gratitude to doctors Dr. Tiffany Brink, D.r Geoffrey Tuffy, and Dr. Jill Anderson that Hazel has such a bright future ahead of her!