From Receiving to Giving Care
New Beginnings: From Receiving to Giving Care
January marks a new year, filled with refreshed hope, new goals and new beginnings. Those themes are well-represented by all patients here at BC Children’s. Each day is a new start and the caregivers here at BC Children's do everything in their power to ensure the kids they treat receive the best change at a healthy future. Perhaps few knows this better than Monica Gozzola.
When Monica Gozzola looks back at her life, she recalls the time her life was turned upside down. But she found the strength to get everything back on track and start anew. She has been on both sides of care at BC Children’s Hospital, as a patient and a nurse.
At 14 years old, Monica was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a serious illness that forced her to go through six rounds of chemotherapy and 20 sessions of radiation.
“The nurses who took care of me were amazing; they definitively influenced the direction that I took,” says Monica.
It was at those times in the hospital, when the nurses did everything they could to make her smile, that she knew she wanted to be one of them. She knew she wanted to do something to provide people with care--something involving helping children. She concluded she wanted to be a pediatric nurse.
Monica graduated from high school and then attended UBC for her undergraduate program in nursing. Once she had a Bachelor’s degree, she did her final practicum at BC Children’s Hospital in Oncology. She was hired right away.
It’s been nearly 25 years since Monica overcame Hodgkin’s disease. She’s found happiness and fulfillment as a nurse in BC Children’s Oncology and Hematology Department.
Although it’s hard work, Monica treasures those special moments that have made it all worthwhile.
“One of the most rewarding things to see is when you have a patient who is really, really sick, and you’re not sure if they are going to do well or not. Then, not only do they do well, they also get out of the hospital, and you see them three or four years later doing what they are supposed to be doing in life.”
Though Monica sees so many of these victories in the children she’s treated, she can count her own story as yet another success story.