Accentuating the Positive

Posted on Aug 31, 2018

Niall McCourt
Child Life volunteer Niall McCourt

The girl sits in the hospital on the seventh floor, the cancer unit.

She has requested a craft activity from Child Life, but as staff hands materials over to volunteer Niall McCourt, they express skepticism about whether she’ll see anyone today. On the edge of her tween years, the chemotherapy causes her hair to fall out. She is self-conscious.

Niall stops by the room anyway, just in case. Her dad is there and is grateful for someone to talk to. She is shy but listens closely–curiosity piqued by her visitor’s accent. They talk for a time about England in general, but eventually it turns more fantastical.

Castles. Princesses. The girl loves fairy tales.

Soon, in the shimmering afternoon sunlight, she is smiling, laughing, talking as they cover medical gloves in yarn to create colorful bowls.

Just like in fairy tales, the day is saved by a kind heart and a little bit of patience.


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