The Dragonfly Foundation: Dragonfly Effect

The Dragonfly Foundation

Everybody knows somebody who has cancer. It's not quite as fun as the "six degrees of Kevin Bacon," but even if you have never heard of The Dragonfly Foundation, there is something in our podcast for everyone. Each episode offers comfort and joy during your daily commute or walk around your neighborhood.

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In this episode, Jamie shares more about her experience as a cancer survivor and Dragonfly volunteer and supporter. (She also makes a joyous surprise announcement!!) The unconditional love she received from her family, especially her mom who took on most of the burden as a caregiver, was so important to her recovery. She acknowledges the emotional strain her challenges had on the people around her, including her then boyfriend/now husband. This unconditional love is part of the recipe of survivorship. She encouraged those closest to her to journal as much as they could as a way to channel their emotions and to share with her their experiences. She believes that having a positive mind set helped her, her family and others believe she WOULD make it through the dark chapter she was going through. Reflecting back, Jamie suggests that patients create a bucket list of things they want to do after cancer treatment. Intentionally focusing on the future, both near-term and long-term and on the large and very small things, helps… even if it is just expressing the desire to shave your legs when your hair grows back. She had “cloudy snapshots” of what she wanted her life to be after treatment. Today, she is posting photos that show how she has made those dreams into reality. Some things on Jamie’s list: swimming after central venous catheter was removed, finish college, getting married and having a family. She says, Dragonfly helps with this idea of focusing on the future by talking to the families at the beginning of treatment about all that they have to offer and giving patients and families something to look forward too, like a going to a concert or baseball game. She believes having a vision for the future and maintaining hope are important coping strategies. This positive attitude continues to help anchor her today when the fear of recurrence reemerges or when she worries about her children’s health and wellness. Jamie also discusses her time volunteering and giving to Dragonfly. She and her fellow coworkers at GE Aviation in Dayton, OH volunteer for Dragonfly by filling care bags with essential items for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their caregivers to use in the hospital. Dragonfly delivers approximately 30-70 bags each month to patients at the beginning of their treatment. Jamie and Ria also discuss the Dragonfly Gala, celebrating The Dragonfly Foundation’s 10th Anniversary! Hope you are able to join in and be inspired! Dragonfly Effect Podcast Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of "The Dragonfly Effect" podcast.

Jan 2020

16 min 20 sec

Jamie, a longtime supporter of The Dragonfly Foundation and cancer survivor, sits down with Ria Davidson, co-founder of Dragonfly, to reflect on her battle with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) as a 21 years old. (Myelogenous leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The word "acute" in AML denotes the disease's rapid progression.) Now married with children, Jamie appreciates the programs, services and community Dragonfly offers to young patients and families enduring cancer. For Jamie and her family, having a positive attitude was so important. Jamie struggled with feelings of isolation during treatment. She craved interaction with friends, and had a desperate need to feel “normal.” She was unsure of her place in the world, especially while inpatient. Cancer also took a toll on those around her. At the time, Dragonfly wasn’t in existence. She believes it would have helped to have the opportunity to connect with other teens and young adults going through a similar experience. Having friends and even acquaintances acknowledge her struggle was powerful. Her family, her boyfriend (now husband), her friends, and her “village” were important sources of daily support. During treatment, Jamie lost her hair and experienced other side effects. Throughout it all, she was determined to remain optimistic for herself and those around her. Still, she had to prepare herself to be out in public. Her journey was not easy or portrayed in her online support community, she decided to “have pride,” to have people “see her” and to find comfort and inspiration in her attitude. Jamie recounts an encounter with a stranger at a department store after she had lost her hair. She mentally prepared herself for a possible interaction with a stranger seeing her without hair. She did not want to deal with people being awkward or mean. She took her hat off with pride, to show people cancer is not winning! Hope you listen to hear the outcome of her encounter! Dragonfly Effect Podcast Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of "The Dragonfly Effect" podcast.

Jan 2020

15 min

Kalonji, a cancer survivor, sits down with co-founder of The Dragonfly Foundation (Dragonfly), Ria Davidson, to share his insights on the importance of community and philanthropy. In 2019, Kalonji – and his young family – faced prostate cancer. He and his wife were determined to remain optimistic, especially for their two children. They also continued to find ways to laugh and experience joy. The support of Kalonji’s family and friends during his battle was key for him. As Kalonji grew stronger post-treatment, he and his family made a commitment to support others through Dragonfly. As a Dragonfly volunteer, Kalonji provides support at fundraisers and patient/family events and has dedicated time to two volunteer leadership teams that support Dragonfly’s Student Programs and External Relations Committee initiatives.  Dragonfly’s Student Ambassador program helps school-aged students develop important fundraising skills while encouraging kindness, compassion and empathy -- powerful life lessons. Kalonji and Ria talk about the impact Dragonfly volunteers and donors have on pediatric cancer patients and their families. They also talk about the change volunteering has on the person volunteering.  He mentions the importance of finding opportunities to laugh and make ourselves better. At 20:48, Don’t miss their review of the independent film, “Peanut Butter Falcon,” an American comedy-drama that in the most joyful way, promotes compassion and empathy towards others. Kalonji encourages everyone to support Dragonfly and to provide even the smallest gesture of kindness and generosity. Dragonfly Effect Podcast Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of "The Dragonfly Effect" podcast.

Jan 2020

26 min 50 sec

In this episode of The Dragonfly Effect, Christie shares her journey both before and after a miscarriage, a cancer battle, and the birth of her second son.  Getting to a cancer diagnosis after experiencing odd symptoms was a challenge for medical professionals. Christie's symptoms, which changed her appearance, affected her health and appearance, made her lose her hair, and created a "buffalo hump," led to the diagnosis of a more complicated form of Cushing's disease, a condition that causes the pituitary gland releases too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Her body continually reacted as if she was always being chased by a lion," producing too much stress hormone. Since most Cushing's patients have a tumor in the pituitary more tests had to happen. Two week's later they found an atypical carcinoid tumor in her lung and lymph nodes. The physical part of the disease and treatment was really hard for her. She also experienced hospitalizations, pain, spinal taps, and other tests and scans. She tried not to share her challenges widely, so people were later surprised to hear about her cancer journey. "You never know what people are going through," she said.  Thankfully, she had a very supportive husband, family and friends available to help her deal with the physical symptoms, the emotional trauma and anxiety, child care, and traveling challenges she was experiencing. She also found strength in her faith. To her, surgery was the easy part of her treatment; tapering off of medications was the worst. While she was weaning off of hormones and medications, she found out she was PREGNANT!  One year after her lung surgery, Christie's youngest son, Jack, was born.  Christie felt blessed by the support she received, saying she underestimated the importance of a call, text or email even from strangers and long lost friends. She is excited to be involved with Dragonfly and to help Dragonfly give families the support they need. She recognizes that the outpouring of support she received was unique.  As a former teacher, she appreciates how Dragonfly offers a program in schools that teaches kids about kindness, compassion and philanthropy with the goal of creating a more supportive community. She is very excited to be a part of Dragonfly's Student Ambassador Program's volunteer leadership team.  Dragonfly Effect Podcast Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of "The Dragonfly Effect" podcast.

Dec 2019

31 min 59 sec

In this episode, dragonfly parents, Stacy and Adam, reflect on the impact cancer and The Dragonfly Foundation have had on their family after their young daughter Kylie was diagnosed. They also share stories of the support they received from the community, their children's school, and others. Dragonfly has been with them from the beginning, starting with a bag of essentials they received at the hospital. Other programs and support services Dragonfly offers continue to play a vital in helping the family along their journey. Dragonfly's patient/family events have helped to distract the family. Thanks to the generosity of donors like Cincinnati Bell, the family was able to attend a Garth Brooks concert (Kylie's first!) and a Cyclones game, among others. Having access to Dragonfly's suite at a local arena was especially important during times when Kylie was immune compromised. To donate tickets/suites to give to patients/families, please contact The Dragonfly Foundation. Another event that brought them joy was when their children participated in Sycamore High School's Fashion For The Cure, a annual fundraiser for The Dragonfly Foundation in Cincinnati, OH. They were amazed at the event  For them, spending time doing things together as a family was huge. Dragonfly's Landing is a great place for them to get together, to relax and to connect with other families sharing similar experiences.  The family loves being a part of the Dragonfly family. They also appreciate the emotional support they receive from family, friends and associates. Texting or calls meant a lot to them, especially during the first year of treatment when they had extended hospital stays and multiple appointments and crises. Whether at home, the hospital or the landing, the family spent a lot of time together playing with Legos. It kept them busy and helped pass the time. They credit the toy with providing a lot of happiness. This has lead them to create an annual Lego Drive for Dragonfly!  Everyone at their children's school was incredibly supportive. One of the family's fondest memories is when the students, teachers and event the principal lined the halls to welcome Kylie's return to school after an extended absence during treatment. Treatment, surgeries, testing and maintenance visits cause a lot of stress, so Dragonfly is a welcome lifeline of support for not only the patient, but siblings/offspring and parents/caregivers. Dragonfly Effect Podcast Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of "The Dragonfly Effect" podcast.

Dec 2019

13 min 44 sec

Rick, age 32, is a 5-time survivor and a Dragonfly. Since age 8, Rick has diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer. He endured numerous surgeries and aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments (including cranial and spinal radiation). Numerous side effects compromised his immune system and resulted in other medical concerns, including bacterial meningitis and shingles. He conquered his original cancer, but was diagnosed with a different cancer -- colon cancer -- and Barrett Syndrome (a precursor to esophageal cancer). More surgeries and more treatments were in store. After graduating from Wright State University in the fall of 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a Minor in History, doctors discovered his colon cancer came back; it was Stage 3. Additional surgeries, hospitalizations, and complications resulted in more trips from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to Cleveland Clinic. Genetic tests identified Lynch Syndrome, an inherited disorder that increases the risk of many types of cancer, particularly cancers of the colon (large intestine) and rectum, which are collectively referred to as colorectal cancer. He has to be screened every 3-4 months. A mass on his adrenal gland required an additional surgery. In 2010, after Cincinnati Children's Hospital discovered the second round of colon cancer, he found The Dragonfly Foundation. In 2012, he came to the realization that no matter what he did the cancer was likely to come back… and, unfortunately, it did… In 2013, a brain MRI found a tumor growing in his sinus cavity impacting the frontal lobe of his brain. Following the brain surgery, he developed a blood clot in right calf. He has also had skin and lip cancer, several times. Despite these challenges, Rick’s has continued to “keep taking baby steps at a time.” He encourages people to live life each and every day the best they can. Realizing you have no control of life going forward is also important, as is finding something that you are passionate about. He realized that in having the courage and determination to beat cancer, he also has the courage and determination to create and take advantage of opportunities in his life. The more you focus on the present and what you enjoy doing, the less you have to worry about. He shares that because there may not be any sign of cancer, there are still appointments, fear, and concerns. Life remains a challenge for families. He has been fortunate to have support from his parents and Godparents. They have all been a huge source of support. The positivity and support (time in the room, video games, activities, communication and love) he received from them really distracted him during his tough times. Rick and his parents enjoy being part of our Dragonfly family. He appreciates the role Dragonfly plays in helping connect patients, siblings/offspring and parents/caregivers to each other and to the community. He is grateful for the distractions Dragonfly provides, especially in times of crisis. He has benefited from attending Dragonfly events, such as Reds games in CBTS’ Pilot House, Dragonfly’s holiday party, a Dragonfly softball game (organized by the Clark family in honor of their daughter, Jenna) and other activities. Rick is a huge fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Marty Brennaman, Dragonfly’s board member/spokesman and Broadcasting Hall of Fame and Reds on Radio announcer. Recently, Rick, along with countless other fans, watched the Reds celebrate Marty’s retirement. The Reds involved several dragonfly families in the celebration -- and Rick loved watching every second of it. He encourages individuals and organizations to support Dragonfly by donating, providing tickets and suites and by being a part of Dragonfly’s supportive community. Note: Suites, with their limited access and private restroom facilities, enable those with compromised immune systems, sensitivities (sounds, crowds, etc.) to attend events. To donate tickets/suites to give to patients/families, please contact The Dragonfly Foundation. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of "The Dragonfly Effect" podcast.

Oct 2019

21 min 3 sec

Alecia Lipton, Assistant Interim Director with Hoxworth Blood Center at the University of Cincinnati sits down for an interview with Ria Davidson, co-founder of The Dragonfly Foundation, to share information about Hoxworth, the process of donating blood and blood products and the Dragonfly effect. Alecia shared that 40% of Hoxworth's blood supply goes to pediatric cancer patients in Greater Cincinnati.  Since 1938, Hoxworth has grown to support more than 31 hospitals in 18 counties in the Tri-State area. After completing a questionnaire, blood donors will submit to a mini physical and then donate, a process that takes approximately 10 minutes. Donors will be out the door in 30-45 minute on average. Those donating plasma may take longer. Once they take the blood, it gets broken down & divided into 3 components: plasma, platelets, and red cells. Then they test it further. One blood donation can save three lives. Donating blood is critical to our community. Out of every 10 people, only 3 are eligible to donate, statistically less than 1% actually come in to donate.  Listen to Alecia dispel myths and provide information to alleviate concerns. Included in the conversation with Dragonfly co-founder, Ria Davidson, is a brief mention about saving helium for MRI’s, due to its limited supply.  For more information about Hoxworth, please visit www.hoxworth.org Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of "The Dragonfly Effect" podcast.  

Oct 2019

25 min 23 sec

In this podcast, Dragonfly mom, Aimee, shares what happened after they moved to Cincinnati, OH in the hope of finding a cure for her teen-aged son Ian's health issues. After being misinformed by doctors in her former town, a Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center endocrinologist diagnosed Ian with a rare form of cancer: Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). This form of cancer that can damage tissue, especially the nervous system, or cause lesions to form in one or more places in the body. At the time, there was no treatment available for LCH... Hoping to extend his life, doctors started Ian, at 17, on chemotherapy. That’s when hospital social workers gave Aimee a "blue bag" from The Dragonfly Foundation. Aimee could not believe how much she and Ian needed items included in the bag, and how much they would appreciate being members of Dragonfly.  "The Dragonfly Foundation was a beautiful thing to happen to us in a time that was very dark," Aimee said. Dragonfly's "second-family" approach, along with their events really brought Aimee and Ian joy. One event Ian particularly enjoyed was the Dragonfly Day on the Field at Great American Ball Park. Thanks to the support of CBTS and the Cincinnati Reds, Ian and other Dragonflies had the opportunity to play "baseball" on the same field where the Cincinnati Reds play, receive a custom Reds jersey, visit the visitors' dugout, have their name/photo on the Jumbotron and eat lunch in the Lexus Diamond Club Lounge. Ian was also able call the game over the loud speaker. This day, along with other days (including events in the Dragonfly suite), was the silver lining in the dark cloud that seemed to follow them. Aimee shares that Dragonfly meant "love" for their family.   Aimee encourages people to donate seats and suites to The Dragonfly Foundation to give to dragonfly patients/families. Suites enable immune suppressed kids and young adults access to private restrooms. The suites also provide gathering and socializing opportunities.  Going to visit The Landing, Dragonfly's headquarters and program space also help dragonflies feel normal when they are going through pain and uncertainty.   Ian's prognosis is still not clear, but they know there are people in their lives to help them get through. She also knows Dragonfly will be there, too.   Aimee feels this is her time to volunteer and give back to Dragonfly. Both she and Ian want to do what they can to help bring smiles to other dragonfly faces by raising money, welcoming new families and helping build community among and around the Dragonfly families. Giving back is very important to Aimee since she understands how important The Dragonfly Foundation is to other families. Aimee is reminded of The Dragonfly Foundation everyday when she is driving home from work and she sees the Lamar Advertising of Cincinnati "dragonfly" billboard. Aimee knows the organization is so much more than a "non-profit." When Aimee sees the billboard, she is reminded how blessed they are to be so close to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and to have The Dragonfly Foundation.  Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of "The Dragonfly Effect" podcast.

Oct 2019

18 min 16 sec

Sherie was first introduced to The Dragonfly Foundation through her work at Miami University in Oxford, OH. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Dragonfly often held patient/family events at the school (e.g., ice skating and tickets to hockey, football and baseball games, etc.). As a skater, Sherie’s daughter Karia often volunteered at Dragonfly events. Little did she know that one day doctors would diagnose her daughter with an inoperable brain tumor. Being familiar with the organization, Sherie knew she needed Dragonfly. At the hospital, she was very thankful to receive Dragonfly’s “blue bag,” a large bag of essential items, paper and personal care items and office-type supplies patients/caregivers need most during the first week as inpatients.  “I’ve always been on the other side. I was the one who was the giver. So it was a hard thing for me to accept things from others. I let myself and my family start receiving and what a huge burden that was lifted.” Sherie said.  Karia is determined to beat cancer, which has been a huge inspiration to everyone around her. She has plans to write a book to encourage others to fight against cancer.  Dragonfly gifts, especially those received in the early days after diagnosis, and the quality of life enhancements the organization provide mean so much to Sherie and her family. Opening gift cards and receiving tickets to events continue to bring joy at a very scary and overwhelming time.  Karia and Sherie are so thankful for everything The Dragonfly Foundation has done. They feel like they are part of a family.  Sherie shared, “When I see the ‘dragonfly’ billboard, it makes us happy to know we are a part of that, that we are a Dragonfly. When Karia she saw a younger girl at the hospital, also in a Dragonfly shirt they hugged each other and said, ‘you’re my sister.’” They are all part of the Dragonfly Family. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of "The Dragonfly Effect" podcast.  

Sep 2019

18 min

In this podcast, Dragonfly mom, Brittany, recounts her daughter’s journey from what she thought was an attack of appendicitis to having Kylie’s kidney removed and what The Dragonfly Foundation means to her and her family. Kylie was four-years-old when she was diagnosed with cancer. Brittany talks with host and Dragonfly co-founder, Ria Davidson, about how she went from “my stomach hurts” to having surgery and a cancer diagnosis. Brittany shares that the family was excited to connect with Dragonfly “so that Kylie could feel like a kid.” She also shared that it “felt good knowing that (Kylie) meant something to other people.”  Brittany’s journey isn’t unique but her story about how Kylie met with Livvy Stubenrauch, the voice of Young Anna in Frozen(TM), to a visit from the Hair Fairy(R) and a heart full of comfort and joy is one you don’t want to miss.  She tells of struggles with her daughter’s feeding tube, with financial hardships, and with relationships. She shares how she and her husband found the key to a successful relationship through times when “the stress of feeling like we were missing part of our family.”  She tells Ria that now that she’s a Dragonfly (for a lot longer than they thought - so listen for Ria’s special comment about this) “it feels great to be the one who can be the support and say, ‘I know where you can go.’”  Brittany reminds us to “be happy in the moment.  Enjoy all the good that surrounds you.  And, don’t be afraid to admit you need help.” Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of "The Dragonfly Effect" podcast.

Aug 2019

45 min 23 sec

In this episode of The Dragonfly Effect Podcast, board member Dr. Jennifer Chung discusses why she became involved with The Dragonfly Foundation. Dr. Chung was drawn to Dragonfly because of its mission to provide holistic support to pediatric cancer patients and their families. While Dr. Chung appreciates how advances in research can save lives, she also recognizes the importance of emotional, relational and practical support. As one of the Cincinnati, Ohio's top physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, she has focused her career on helping people with physical impairments, disabilities and pain issues. Her mission is to provide the most thorough and optimal care to improve the quality life of her patients, taking into consideration the entire patient as a whole rather than the diagnosis alone. Dr. Chung earned her medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine and completed residency training at New York University Langone Medical Center, where she served as chief resident. She is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Currently, she is working at The Christ Hospital, which has been recognized as "The Most Preferred Hospital in the Region" for 21 consecutive years.  Dr. Chung hopes to help grow The Dragonfly Foundation, locally and nationally, to help more families affected by pediatric cancer.  Listen to Dr. Jennifer Chung tell her personal story and share her understanding of the Dragonfly effect. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of our podcast.

Jul 2019

18 min 35 sec

In this episode, Ria Davidson, the co-founder of The Dragonfly Foundation, interviews John Thomas, Burke Healthcare's Senior Vice President and Managing Director.With skills such as statistics, data analysis, and questionnaire design, he started in the healthcare industry more than 25 years ago. As a market researcher, he learns how people feel, why people do what they do and shares findings to help healthcare professionals provide better service. Although he’s not a doctor, John firmly believes he’s part of a process that makes a difference for patients and caregivers "during the roughest times of their lives." He shares that providing service and support, particularly related to quality of life, is just one area that stresses hospitals most. "There are more than 15 million people in the healthcare industry," he said. "It’s filled with people who want to do good, want to help.” However, he analyzes that professionals pursuing the purest of intentions are often challenged by a combination of limited resources, regulations and stretched schedules. "What you do for one, you must do for all and it's a struggle," he continues. Through data analysis (quantitative) and learning about experiences during one-to-one and group listening sessions (qualitative) he identified a common theme that most people are unaware of the wide-ranging needs families have in situations involving during healthcare crises   “Patients and caregivers have shared their life stories, expressing that ‘people don't get it’ and don't support them in the way they need. They share that most people don't understand the both the overall depth of need and the services that are not being provided (on a non-clinical basis),” Thomas deduces.When relating those findings to cancer... It's just hard to imagine.Cancer is a "frightening word," he continues. "Overlay pediatric cancer and you go from frightening to the real nightmare.” His work with pediatric cancer families reveals families crave normalcy. They need and want to get away, not to hide, just to recharge and reconnect. “Families need support, they need community,” John says. “Most families know where to find medical care, but finding emotional support is much harder. Dragonfly is a place where they can just ‘be,’ just breathe, and experience a little of the life they had before they had cancer.”  “The support Dragonfly creates for patients, siblings/offspring, parents and caregivers fills a systemic void by allowing families to experience life’s special and everyday moments they thought they would never have again.” When John walked into The Dragonfly Foundation's previous headquarters his first thoughts were "this is special; this is different; this is a vision of meeting the unfulfilled needs expressed during in-home visits. This is what they need." He shares that he was in awe when he visited Dragonfly’s permanent “Landing” in an historic home just five blocks from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.   “The Landing’s architecture is warm, welcoming and relaxing, a perfect location where families can give and receive support while creating a unique, strong community of caring,” John says.He and Dragonfly thrive through two impactful questions: "What do you need? How can I help?"Burke Marketing has supported Dragonfly with donated market research and support services for six years and counting.   The company’s dedication to helping customers become better, more innovative and more customer-centric leads them to make really good decisions. Burke’s focus on valuing humanity in service leads to a better understanding of needs and wants. Ultimately, that combination has formed a perfect partnership forwarding Dragonfly’s mission of delivering strength, courage and joy to patients and families. "At the end of the day, with all the technology and all the data we have around us, we are still a bunch of humans running around, sometimes not knowing what we are doing. We have to help each other, we have to come together and support each other, and that is what (Dragonfly) is doing. I am thrilled to be a part of it." Burke Inc. will further support Dragonfly when incoming their President & CEO Diane Surette joins The Dragonfly Foundation's board. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast and to Joe Strecker for his production talents. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of our podcast.

Jul 2019

24 min 9 sec

Six years ago, Johanne’s young son was rushed to the hospital with a kidney cancer. Unprepared for the news and from that point forward, Johanne found comfort in The Dragonfly Foundation. While every family affected by cancer has a unique story and circumstance, Johanne found a welcoming, understanding community among other Dragonfly families.  She describes procedures and how that made her feel like “wrapping him in a bubble.” She is grateful for Dragonfly’s support at diagnosis, during treatment and throughout survivorship. Dragonfly was a “comfort blanket” to her and her family. Johanne also expressed her gratitude for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center's efforts to educate her child's classmates about the challenges her son was experiencing. With this preparation and deeper understanding, students became protective and supportive at a time when he needed them most. For example, students created a human shield around her son so that he would be protected from people bumping into him in the school hallways.  More than a village... it takes a community to help patients and families. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast and to Joe Strecker for his production talents. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of our podcast.

Jul 2019

17 min 34 sec

In this episode of The Dragonfly Effect Podcast, Dragonfly mom Kassi shares her family’s cancer journey after her young daughter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2015. Even though her daughter is in remission, Kassi knows that her family is changed forever, and the stressors of cancer treatment—like scans and testing—continue to this day.  Kassi and her family still attend Dragonfly events to bond with families who share similar experiences and to support new Dragonflies currently undergoing treatment. Like many Dragonfly families, Kassi found that talking to others with similar experiences provided support that she couldn’t find anywhere else. Despite her family’s cancer battle, Kassi maintains a joyful approach to life, understanding that every moment with her family is precious. She shares her advice on how families can cherish every moment, even during the difficult and traumatic times. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this and other episodes of our podcast.

Jun 2019

39 min 15 sec

This episode of The Dragonfly Effect podcast focuses on how Dragonfly provides emotional, relational and practical support for its families in critical times during and after treatment. Devon shares how Dragonfly supported her family in a way no one else could, becoming a beacon of light in dark times while her family struggled with isolation and financial pressure throughout her son’s cancer treatment.  While her youngest son Brady was undergoing treatment for leukemia at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Devon struggled with severe depression. However, once she discovered Dragonfly, Devon found immediate benefit and clicked with others who just “got it." She is grateful her three children had an opportunity to act like kids—playing games and making friends where they didn’t have to worry about Brady’s illness or the challenges of treatment and recovery. She credits Dragonfly with pulling her out of those and other dark times. Devon’s family has been with Dragonfly for nearly a decade since Dragonfly was founded in 2010, making her one of the “OG Dragonfly moms.” Now that her son has been out of treatment for more than six years, Devon is giving back by helping welcome and support new Dragonfly families. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. Please share this podcast episode.

Jun 2019

37 min 40 sec

This episode focuses on how The Dragonfly Foundation helps provide a community and support system of others who understand what it’s like to undergo pediatric cancer treatment. Brittany discusses how hospital stays and infection control protocols made her family feel isolated and alone, even while surrounded by loving family and friends in their community As a mom of three young children, Brittany often felt overwhelmed after her young son, Elijah, was diagnosed. However, Dragonfly’s initial care bag, including a binder with premade tabs, a calendar, highlighters, pens and more, helped Brittany organize all of Elijah’s materials when she was overwhelmed in the hospital following his initial diagnosis. The many items in the bag, and the other gift packages that followed, were an enormous source of joy for Brittany, Elijah and their family, especially during difficult times. Dragonfly programs—like those at Dragonfly's Landing and US Bank Arena—allowed Brittany’s family to connect with other Dragonfly families who shared similar experiences. It also provided an opportunity for Elijah and his sister to interact with other children who looked like him at various stages of treatment, something they didn’t see in their day-to-day lives. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker. The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777.  

Jun 2019

33 min 30 sec

This episode of The Dragonfly Effect illustrates the impact a community of caring creates in the lives of pediatric cancer patients and their families. As a legal guardian, grandmother, and caregiver guiding two Dragonflies, a patient and sibling, through treatment and long-term recovery, Tammy describes her/her family's pre-Dragonfly experience, as if they were living life in a dark box, feeling alone, isolated, and "empty inside," thinking "you are the only one." The delivery of The Dragonfly Foundation’s essentials care bag and gifts proved to important first steps towards “peeling away a layer of tape.” Gifts, patient/family event opportunities, times at the The Landing, Dragonfly's patient/family space, and other programs and services brought rays of "sunshine" into the days, months, and years that followed her young daughter being diagnosed with a bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in 2011. Tammy's granddaughter enjoys drawing/coloring, creating designs, reading and writing; her grandson loves music, dancing and playing games. Much to Tammy's delight, Dragonfly took to heart the family's individual and collective interests and passions, helping distract them from treatment, surgeries, and fear of the unknown. Dragonfly's unique approach to emotional, relational, and practical support continues to profoundly impact their lives, even to this day. While they continue to experience cancer-related challenges, they are are grateful for how they have been embraced by a welcoming, inclusive Dragonfly community of families, staff, volunteers and supporters.  The Dragonfly Effect continues to grow with the organization's efforts to spread kindness, love and compassion. Tammy encourages everyone to support Dragonfly by making contributions, donating tickets and suites for patient/family event opportunities, and sponsoring programs and services.  Listen now as Tammy shares her Dragonfly Foundation experience in a heartfelt conversation with co-founder, Ria Davidson. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the closing of this podcast, and to executive producer Joe Strecker for his time and talents.  To donate or to learn more about how Dragonfly provides ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences, please visit Dragonfly.org. 

May 2019

21 min 37 sec

Ria Davidson, co-founder of The Dragonfly Foundation, interviews a 21-year-old Dragonfly patient, Briana, explores her Dragonfly experience and her journey overcoming the challenges of pediatric cancer. Topics discussed include:  The registration process to engage with Dragonfly Dragonfly programs, including patient/family events, the Landing, the Dragonfly suite at US Bank Arena, New Diagnosis Care Bags, and our "I Am Still Me"(R) Program The support she received from family and friends, Dragonfly, her professor from Thomas More University, hospital staff, etc. The emotional, relational, practical, physical and financial challenges she/her family experienced Tips, advice, and the importance of asking for and accepting help The welcoming, open hearts of Dragonfly families Dragonfly's mission, vision and Lamar Advertising billboards Things to say/not say to someone with cancer Processing her experience and the after-journey Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker.  The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. 

May 2019

17 min 51 sec

Ria Davidson, co-founder of The Dragonfly Foundation, and Dragonfly dad, Jeremy, continue their discussion about how families endure and overcome challenges, particularly of cancer.  Topics included in Part 2 of the interview: Tips for families, with specific advice for fathers, enduring a life-threatening ordeal Dragonfly mission, programs/services and billboards Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center & the miracle workers who work there The "peace of mind" and support Dragonfly offers A message of thanks to Dragonfly supporters Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker.  The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. 

May 2019

10 min 3 sec

Dragonfly co-founder Ria Davidson interviews a Dragonfly dad named Jeremy, whose 6-year old was diagnosed with Leukemia. In the interview, Jeremy discusses how Dragonfly helped his family endure and overcome a variety of challenges related to pediatric cancer, especially at times when his son was immune-compromised. The interview includes information about how Dragonfly families, including Jeremy's family, benefit from emotional, relational and practical support and numerous patient/family events. Recently, Jeremy's family and other Dragonflies participated in the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade with Stonelick Township Fire Department's Dragonfly Truck and the Dragonfly Train created by Todd Stine, and Fluke Skywalker. Jeremy helped coordinate his employer's support of Dragonfly, and with the help of Oggo arrange transportation of families to/from the parade. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction/closing of the podcast. The executive producer of Dragonfly's podcast is Joe Strecker.  The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences. To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777. 

Apr 2019

21 min 26 sec

Christine Neitzke & Ria Davidson, co-founders of The Dragonfly Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit founded in Cincinnati to help pediatric cancer patients from birth to age 40 find strength, courage and joy before, through and beyond treatments, discuss the genesis of the name "Dragonfly" and the story of Cincinnati Reds Baseball Hall of Fame broadcasting legend, Marty Brennaman, bringing the foundation to a citywide stage by publicly shaving his head on the field prior to a 2012 game at Great American Ballpark. They also discuss: Dragonfly programs and services that help patients and families overcome traumatic stress and challenges; Expressions of love shown to Dragonflies by Greater Cincinnatians and in Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Many who have found purpose in forwarding Dragonfly’s mission To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text TDF to 91999.  Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction and closing of the podcast.  Dragonfly's podcast was edited by executive producer Joe Strecker in 2019.  NOTE: The recording was created by StoryCorps in 2017 and was edited for brevity in 2019. (Note: The age range served by Dragonfly changed to age 40 in 2017.) StoryCorps' original recording is housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. To learn more, please visit StoryCorps.org.   Photo: Jeff Swinger, Swingman Photo (c) 2012  

Apr 2019

14 min 49 sec

Download Here This podcast features the history and early milestone moments of The Dragonfly Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit founded in Cincinnati to help pediatric cancer patients from birth to age 40 find strength, courage and joy before, through and beyond treatments.  Dragonfly co-founders Christine Neitzke & Ria Davidson discuss their personal and professional histories, their families, the reasons they formed Dragonfly as well as the foundation’s programs that help patients and families overcome traumatic stress and challenges. They also share the journey of the first Dragonfly, Christine's son, Matt, and how they were able to bring him joy through his love of the television show, "Pawn Stars." To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text TDF to 91999. Dragonfly is grateful to iHeart Radio host, Scott Sloan, for recording the introduction and closing of this podcast. Dragonfly's podcast of the recording was edited by executive producer Joe Strecker in 2019.  We thank StoryCorps for recording, preserving, and sharing Dragonfly's history and earliest milestone moments.  StoryCorps original recording is housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. StoryCorps’ archive comprises one of the first and largest born-digital collections of human voices, featuring tens of thousands of facilitated and recorded interviews from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. To learn more, please visit StoryCorps.org. NOTE: The recording was created by StoryCorps in 2017 and was edited for brevity in 2019. (Note: The age range served by Dragonfly changed to age 40 in 2017.) Photo: Hartong Digital Media

Apr 2019

30 min 20 sec