'One thing I learned is to really appreciate the little things in life': Two-time cancer survivor shares her story

Jacksonville, FL — Getting diagnosed with cancer is something most people consider one of the scariest things to imagine, but for Kathleen Patti, she went through it twice.

She was diagnosed the first time at 7-years-old with Rhabdomyosarcoma and underwent treatment at Nemour's and Wolfson Children's Hospital.

Patti says at the age, you don't really understand what's happening

"Being like a 7-year-old with cancer was, actually, pretty fun for the most part. You just don't have any idea of what's going, so everything was more like, 'Oh, we're painting today,' or, 'Oh, there's someone here with a bag of stuffed animals'," explains Patti.

But she says when she was re-diagnosed at 14-years-old, with the same cancer, it was more advanced, and a lot harder to go through.

"I was just kind of angry at everybody and didn't want to talk to anyone," says Patti.

She says it's truly her parents and the Child Life Specialist at Nemours-- Miss Joli-- that helped get her through that time in her life.

"Miss Joli was the one who went in there and was like, 'I know we're angry, but we're going to keep having fun and we're going to do this greatly, and have an awesome time.' So, she was always there to kind of just talk to you," explains Patti.

Patti says her experience with cancer has really shaped her entire outlook on life.

"One thing I learned is to really appreciate the little things in life. It's really made me grateful in my life, that I can see things from a different perspective from most kids or even most adults," Patti shares.

She says while most people view cancer patients and cancer survivors as inspirational, she says Miss Joli is the true hero, with the cape in the background, encouraging you to enjoy life.

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