Just one month before starting her senior year of high school, Kim Sladek was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Despite the devastating diagnosis, Kim remained optimistic during 26 months of chemotherapy at CHOC Children’s. She also made plans.
Kim, now 27, has been cancer-free since receiving treatment over a decade ago. She’s working at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s while studying for a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She remembers how it felt to be a teen yearning for independence while receiving treatment at a children’s hospital.
“One of the wonderful things about CHOC is that I was always an important part of my treatment,” Kim said. “If I had concerns and questions, they listened to what I had to say and went forward from there. CHOC was an amazing place to be. They were the people I talked to about movies, television shows and boys. They became my friends and family, and they still are.”