Meet Izzy

A Cook Children’s all-star ‘breaks out’ after one year in the hospital

At 11 years old, Isabel “Izzy” Bonilla has spent a lot of days and nights away from home. Her longest stint, more than 356 days, ends today. After a year of needle pokes, hospital rooms and being prodded by doctors and nurses, Izzy is “breaking free” from Cook Children’s.

And just in time because she has a date.

“Her goal was to go to homecoming. She went last year with a little boy, and they’re going again this year,” said Claudia, Izzy’s mother.

You may be thinking 11 is a little young for dating. Izzy’s mom agrees, but she says she couldn’t keep the two fourth graders apart. Especially since the boy has made the five-hour-trip (with his parents, of course) to Fort Worth, Texas from their hometown of Brownfield, Texas several times over the past year to see Izzy at Cook Children’s.

“She’s truly an inspiration. I’ve had adults tell me that Izzy has changed their lives and made them better people. I think that’s her purpose in life,” said Claudia.

It’s hard not to be changed by a kid like Izzy.

She’s been in and out of hospitals, battling leukemia, since she was 2 years old. And while she’s made friends during her various stays, she’s watched many of them leave through the swinging doors at the end of the hallway and never return.

“I feel bad for the families who have been here two weeks, but we’ve been in here for 12 months and Izzy hasn’t left once,” said Claudia.

Part of the holdup was the bone marrow transplant Izzy received at Cook Children’s, which can result in six months of recovery in the Transplant Unit.

All of that is behind her now. It’s finally Izzy’s turn to leave Cook Children’s Hematology/Oncology floor and get back home.

Two days before the big Homecoming game.

About our Hematology and Oncology department

Cook Children’s Hematology and Oncology Center works every day on medical treatments and research to help make the blood disorders and cancers that hurt children and teens, disappear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.