Birthday Week - Samiah

Posted: Feb 3, 2023

Happy birthday Samiah!

Just outside of Philly, Samiah celebrated her 11th birthday and is Casey Cares’ 80th birthday.

Casey Cares knows that for a critically ill child, each birthday is a special milestone celebrating life. For the children in our programs, it not only marks another year, but it also demonstrates a great achievement. Casey Cares staff and volunteers work hard to send out each of our kids a special birthday package through our Birthday Blast program - we send over 1,000 a year. This simple act of kindness delivers joy and hope to our kids who are undergoing treatment.

Samiah has been on treatments for her brain tumor since the age of two, when she was recommended by ophthalmology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for an MRI.

Now, Javon, Samiah’s mother, states, “The progress I had seen in Samiah since her initial diagnosis was her ability to thrive for food. Before Samiah’s initial diagnosis, she was diagnosed with failure to thrive.”

Her daughter’s care and treatment has been continuous and varied. “Though Samiah is seen frequently with oncology, she also has other specialists who she sees,” Javon continues.

Still, the mother admits that “I call CHOP my second home because I’m always there. There are unknown times when Samiah can be admitted to the hospital for an unexpected emergency.”

Challenges Arise

As a parent to a critically ill child, Hymon says that “The challenge that I face…is not being able to work a regularly scheduled job.”

Hymon has seen the challenges of Samiah’s care also affect her other children. “[It] affects my other children by my unavailability to spend as much individual time with them. They sometimes aren’t included in some of the things Samiah has or are unable to be at the hospital with her,” she states.

Activities For All

 Hymon states that the family’s favorite activity they have received was “tickets to Sesame Place…because it was our first time [seeing] the Christmas lights. We usually go to Sesame Place during the summer so we can enjoy the water fun.”

The family has completed 46 activities with Casey Cares since Samiah joined in 2019. The mother adores Casey Cares’ “genuine compassion and the love they put in for the fighting superheroes and their families.”

Samiah is a Superhero

Classifying her daughter’s strengths as her “determination” and “creativity,” Hymon’s love for her daughter is ever-present. “She is a stronger fighter and is very comfortable assisting the nurses and doctors during her visit.”

“Samiah’s favorite colors are purple and green and coloring along with arts and crafts. She also loves Jojo Siwa,” she concludes.