Joli Craver doesn't crave the spotlight. But she certainly knows how to create a light show. It's one of several 'distraction techniques' Joli uses to help the children in cancer treatment at Nemours Children's Specialty Care.
Joli is the Child Life Specialist, working with a team of people in the oncology pediatric oncology program at Nemours. The team has been together for many years, and that comradary is evident the moment you walk through the doors.
Joli greets the kids, their siblings, and their parents with a big smile and a warm hug. Her energy is off the charts. If Joli is having a bad day she leaves it behind before she steps foot into the elevator.
Joli grew up in Orlando, Florida. Her family house was on a lake, and Joli spent a lot of time swimming, water skiing, and watching tadpoles turn into frogs.
She's a diehard Noles fan, graduating Florida State University with a BS degree. Joli worked as Child Life Coordinator at Wolfson Children’s Hospital from 1979-1982.
Since 1992 Joli has been the Child Life Specialist at Nemours. She has two grown children and two grandchildren. But the relationship she has built with the kids who have been treated at Nemours has extended her family by the hundreds.
Talking to several kids and parents in the weeks leading up to the WOKV Care-A-Thon, I am struck by how quickly a smile comes to their faces when I begin asking questions about Miss Joli.
While the doctors and nurses played a critical role during their cancer treatment, they all tell me that Joli's support and encouragement through the rough times is what meant the most.