Carolyn's Story

Carolyn's Story


My name is Carolyn and I am proud to be a patient of Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

At age 15, I had a simple blood draw that led to a surprising and painful discovery; I had half the amount of blood circulating in my body than the average person. I was admitted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital immediately where it was discovered that I had myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), which is a failure of the bone marrow.  And a transplant is the only cure.

Carolyn during hospitalization

On December 22, 2009, I was blessed with the greatest Christmas present you could ever imagine -- a second chance at life. With special thanks to the Ottosen Family Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, I received a life-saving stem cell transplant while spending 30 days inpatient at Phoenix Children’s. Over the past two years, I’ve spent more than four months inpatient at Phoenix Children’s, and I continue to have follow up visits two-to-three times each week.

I may have been thrown into a world of heartbreak and struggle but, more importantly, I was thrown into it with hope and faith. I received an outpouring of love and was surrounded by nurses and doctors who genuinely cared for me. I beat MDS, and I experienced the true spirit of the holidays.

Carolyn at PCH tree-lighting ceremony

On December 3, 2010, I took part in the lighting ceremony of the brand new 11-story patient tower of Phoenix Children’s. The experience made me realize how far I've come. In one year, I went from the girl in the hospital bed, to the girl on stage lighting up a hospital that will change people’s lives forever – just like the current Hospital (and the people inside of it) changed mine. I was grateful to be part of something much bigger than myself.

Please consider making a gift to Phoenix Children’s. It’s because of them that I sit here today writing to you…a miracle. Your donation will help ensure that each and every patient will receive the same life-saving care that I did, in a place many of us consider a second home where miracles really do happen every day.


Carolyn Christenson

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