IOWA, LA (KPLC) - Pediatric cancer care closer to home: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is an eight-hour drive or plane ride away for families in Southwest Louisiana, but an affiliate clinic in Baton Rouge is offering a seamless transition in care.
Six-year-old Hadlee Henry of Iowa was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2015.
Her mom, Corren, made the decision to travel to St. Jude in Memphis, Tennessee, because of its state-of-the-art cancer care at no charge to a patient's family.
St. Jude has been a home away from home for the Henrys.
"I've probably lived there for six months total since this started," said Corren.
Hadlee has celebrated a birthday there, her first day of kindergarten, and undergone dozens of treatments to bring her to pre-remission in this nearly three year treatment plan. She just completed week 79, with 41 more to go.
Check-ups are every three months in Memphis and once a week in Baton Rouge, at the St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.
"They're able to do everything that Memphis does, you're just closer to home and they give you that reassurance that you need when you can't always go to Memphis," said Corren.
It is a much easier trip, with medical staff like registered nurse, Joan Walters, who has become like family.