The Iroquois Steeplechase and its beneficiary, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, have selected Brooklyn Morley—a second grader at Chapman’s Retreat Elementary School in Spring Hill, Tenn.—as the Child Ambassador for the May 14th event.
Brooklyn, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was just two years old, is currently in remission from the childhood cancer. After receiving two years of treatment from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Brooklyn visits the clinic every three months for checkups and lab work. Her mother, Katherine Morley, says that Brooklyn sees her nurses and doctors more as family members than healthcare professionals.
“Five and a half years later, Brooklyn is as healthy as she can be and still loves going to the hospital. She gets excited to see her people,” Morley said. “Honestly, the way the staff treats their young patients, it can be a Disneyland for sick kids like her.”
Morley, who serves on the Family Advisory Council of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, has unique insight into its daily operations and procedures.
“Everyone who works at the hospital is extremely passionate about what they do. And we continue to see first-hand how the oncology department—from the doctors and the technicians to the janitors—has created a culture of dignity, respect and compassion that extends to each family,” she said. “Serving on the council has shown me that this hospital strives for perfection, and truly listens for changes that need to be made. It’s rewarding to work with them.”
Nearly four years into Brooklyn’s remission, her mother says Brooklyn’s personality hasn’t changed much since her first trip to the hospital in 2010: she’s still very much a girly-girl, with a bubbly nature and an empathetic heart that indicates a wisdom beyond her years.
“Everything’s parties, rainbows and butterflies with Brooklyn. I can’t think of a better way to explain her,” Morley said. “She wakes up happy, and it’s always a wonderful, beautiful day. She’s a rockstar, and a joy to be around.”
Brooklyn’s special traits will only add to the energy surrounding the 75th anniversary of the Iroquois Steeplechase, says Iroquois Steeplechase Executive Director Libby Cheek.
“We are so appreciative that the Morley family has given their time to support and represent the hospital through the efforts of our organization,” Cheek said. “Brooklyn is an amazing little girl, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with her in the years to come.”
For more information about the Iroquois Steeplechase, its 75th anniversary and its relationship with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, go to www.iroquoissteeplechase.org.
To purchase tickets to the event, go to Iroquois Steeplechase website.
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