Name: Sherry Bayliff
Job title: Clinic Physician
Years at clinic: 17 ½
Why did you choose your profession?
I loved absolutely every clinical rotation in med school . . . but on the first day of my Pediatrics rotation–which just so happened to be Inpatient Pediatric Hematology/Oncology–I met a little girl who was admitted for treatment of recurrent Retinoblastoma (a tumor of the eye). One eye had been removed already and the cancer was back in the other eye and the pineal gland. She was in foster care (her story broke my heart) and absolutely would NOT interact with males. As the token female on the team, we got along great. She inspired me to start a respite program for kids with cancer and their families called “Reaching Out to Kids” (R.O.K.) . . . somewhat selfishly started so I could continue to spend time with her after my rotation ended. It snowballed from there . . . if there was an oncology patient who needed to be seen, I was first in line.
How has the DanceBlue Clinic and the patients impacted you?
I have the greatest job you could ever imagine–I work with amazing people, who do amazing things, for the most amazing and resilient little (and big) people and their families ever!!! And we do it AS A TEAM!!!! Sure–there is that “CANCER” thing . . . but working together “we” can handle anything! I count my blessings every day.
How has DanceBlue helped you with your job?
DanceBlue has had a major impact on “what” we are able to provide for our patients and their families. Sure, we’ve always had the diagnosis and chemotherapy (sometimes radiation therapy) part of the treatment plan covered. But DanceBlue has allowed us to do SO MUCH more for our patients–distraction while in the clinic waiting on us doctors or their chemotherapy infusions, figuring out school while on therapy and how to transition back to class after therapy ends, helping parents figure out how to minimize the impact cancer has on every day living, what to expect and how to manage late effects of therapy . . . DanceBlue makes EVERY part of my job easier. WE LOVE OUR DANCEBLUE VOLUNTEERS!!!!!!
What do you love most about your job?
The PEOPLE . . . my colleagues have HUGE HEARTS and everyday they give their all to our patients and their families . . . BUT–it’s the amazing strength and star power that our patients fight their cancer with that truly makes every day great!
What is the hardest part of your job?
When I don’t have all the answers and things don’t go as planned. That’s when the DanceBlue family is most powerful . . . no one has to face the tough times alone.
What is your favorite story from the clinic?
I can’t pick just one . . . everytime someone rings the bell–it’s an amazing day in clinic . . . everytime a Long Term Follow Up patient comes in with their new baby–it’s an amazing day in the clinic . . . hearing that a little one was able to have their central line accessed without crying–it’s an amazing day in the clinic. I guess you could say it’s too hard for me to pick one story, every day has “favorite” potential!
What impact do you see DB having on the patients?
HUGE!!!! Of course, the volunteers who we see in the clinic are the most visible to our patients and their families . . . but having had the opportunity to be on the dance floor for 24 hrs, to witness the year round planning and to hear the “buzz” as the marathon approaches . . . DB tells our patients’ story in a way that EVERYBODY LISTENS. With DanceBlue behind us . . . we can DO ANYTHING–FOR THE KIDS!!!!!!
What would you like for the University of Kentucky campus to know about the DanceBlue clinic?
Just google or search for DanceBlue on Facebook . . . see for yourself . . . I guarantee that if you come check out the marathon for even a short time . . . you will be forever changed.