22 episodes

Everybody knows somebody who has cancer. 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. We feature special guests and stories from our Dragonfly families about their experience helping loved ones affected by pediatric cancer. We also include interviews with members of our supportive community who each have their own story to tell.

The Dragonfly Effect Podcast The Dragonfly Foundation

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Everybody knows somebody who has cancer. 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. We feature special guests and stories from our Dragonfly families about their experience helping loved ones affected by pediatric cancer. We also include interviews with members of our supportive community who each have their own story to tell.

    Jamie's Story (Part 2)

    Jamie's Story (Part 2)

    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.

    • 16 min
    Jamie's Story (Part 1)

    Jamie's Story (Part 1)

    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.

    • 15 min
    Kalonji's Story

    Kalonji's Story

    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.

    • 26 min
    Christie's Story

    Christie's Story

    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.

    • 32 min
    Stacy & Adam's Story: "It's A Long Process"

    Stacy & Adam's Story: "It's A Long Process"

    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.

    • 13 min
    Rick's Story

    Rick's Story

    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 at

    • 21 min

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