"You will increase my honor and comfort me once more."
We received word recently that the article appeared on the KU Med Center web site. Several friends who work for the hospital have told us that they saw the article on their intranet site. We haven't been able to find it to paste the link here, but below you'll see the article itself.
We feel quite honored that the hospital feels the way they do about us. Tammy called the clinic today to give one of the nurses an update. She had to leave a message. When the nurse called back, all she wanted to talk about was the article and Tammy's impact on the doctors and nurses at the clinic.
Fight club: BMT patient urges others to be strong
The T-shirts say it all.
"Fight like a girl," demands the women's shirt. The guys' shirt is equally forceful: "I fight like Chuck Norris."
Tammy Smale knows tough. She's fighting her second battle against leukemia with everything she's got, and now the Merriam woman and her family are helping other patients at The University of Kansas Hospital do the same.
Smale received her peripheral blood stem cell transplant, commonly referred to as a stem cell transplant, on May 16. She and others called it her "cell birthday."
Lindsey Miles, RN, her primary day nurse on BMT-Unit 41/42, on that day presented Smale with a handmade poster that read: "Happy Birthday, Tammy, from one tough chick to another!"
The poster was based on Smale's favorite T-shirt, which features an image of Rosie the Riveter and the encouraging slogan to "fight like a girl."
Miles' poster gave Smale's family an idea. They decided every BMT patient deserves a T-shirt on their cell birthday. And over the span of just three weeks they organized a 5K run/walk at Roe Park in Overland Park.
They received enough donations from the June 16 event to buy 200 shirts. Our staff will give them to patients when they receive their stem cell transplants.
David Smale, Tammy's husband, said his family and supporters plan to host the 5K – dubbed "For Shirts and Giggles" – every year to ensure a constant supply of shirts.
(For the men's shirt, tough-guy Chuck Norris was so pleased with the idea that he waived the normal royalties to use his name. "Don't tell anyone this," David Smale said, "but he's really a nice guy.")
BMT staff were amazed at the family's efforts when they showed up Aug. 2 week with boxes of the shirts.
Program Director Joseph McGuirk, DO, said the shirts' positive message will help keep patients upbeat – especially considering what Smale and her family have faced.
"Coming from someone who's walked the walk," McGuirk said, "a gift like this couldn't be more meaningful."