WAUKEE, Iowa — We often follow children’s cancer journeys as they’re going through treatment and then shortly after, but we don’t always hear what happens when they grow up. A metro woman is now sharing her story of survival.
Veronica Girard has lots of pictures from growing up in the 1980’s, but her photo album features a story many would never guess. “I was diagnosed at 18 months with neuroblastoma,” she said.
“I went through two and a half years of chemo and radiation. It was aggressive to get the tumor out of my body, and they had to remove my left kidney,” Girard added.
She doesn’t remember much from that time, but her mom kept all her medical records, which are typed out and handwritten from nurses and doctors at the Omaha Hospital where she was treated. “I remember going to the hospital and getting my finger poked and hiding my hands from the doctors, but then I loved them because it was home away from home,” she said.
Girard wanted to share her story and her recipes. She recently published her book “Cooking for Family: From My Nana to Your Table.”
She said, “I’m just really proud of it, and I just think, maybe it will give other people hope.”
The book features about fifty family recipes with a focus on nutrition and what it was like surviving childhood cancer. “It doesn’t care what your nationality is, what your sex is, whether you’re tall or short, or whatever the case may be. I’m just glad I’m here,” she said.
Girard is now married with two kids. She said she doesn’t have any health problems related to the childhood cancer, and she’s thankful to be able to share her story of survival. “My battle is done, and I hope I can help other people.”
The book was published in Des Moines and is available on Amazon.