Former cancer patient inspired to pursue nursing degree – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Former cancer patient MacKenzie Spangler expresses his gratitude to the nurses and hospital program staff at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital this holiday season.
Spangler had leukemia and spent more than four years in treatment between her initial diagnosis at age 8 and her relapse at age 17. She was educated through the hospital school program at the hospital. The program is funded by the St. Vincent Foundation.
The Children’s Hospital has a full-time teacher and liaison available year-round for patients to continue their education in the face of a new or recurring diagnosis.
Spangler graduated from high school on time and now attends Indiana State University to earn a nursing degree. She told News 8 that she was so inspired by her medical struggle and the pediatric oncology workers who saved her life, that she wants to help others too.
“She stayed positive, she kept her mindset on her ultimate goals and her dreams,” hospital teacher and contact person Heather Wiselogle said of Spangler. “That’s really beautiful, when you see kids and families fighting in their lives, but it can also help them stay a little bit normal and for kids, school is a very normal part of life.”
“If you try to stay positive and be nice, people will answer that. I think being nice is always a good thing,” Spangler said.
Spangler says she has fond memories of the friendly and encouraging nurses and staff. She remembers spending her 17th birthday in the hospital playing the card game UNO with Wiselogle.
Wiselogle added jokingly that she will miss Spangler in the game.
Spangler says going to college is fun and it’s refreshing to be alone away from home and the hospital.