September Time To Care Award winner has long time connection with kids
News 12 First at Five / September 8, 2016
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The September Time To Care award winner is a woman who has devoted her whole career to children. Specifically, the young patients at the Children's Hospital of Georgia.
Kym Allen is not a doctor, but she plays a huge role in helping sick and injured kids get better. The first think you should know is she loves to have fun. And she loves working with children. Lucky for Kym, her job lets her do both.
"Every day it's something new and something fun and you see kids that go through really hard things but you also see kids that do really great things," she said, sitting in a playroom designed specifically for the young patients.
Kym is a Child Life Specialist at The Children's Hospital of Georgia. She likes to avoid the spotlight, but we managed to surprise her during our telethon, presenting her with the Time To Care award for September, live on the air.
"Oh my gosh! Thank-you," she said, obviously taken by surprise.
Year after year, Kym has been an advocate for the young patients here.
How many years now?
"Too many," she said with a sigh. "I have been doing Child Life for over 30. So, yeah, I'm an old woman," she laughs.
She tries to bring a little fun and normalcy into what can be a frightening experience.
"We're here because kids are in the hospital. Our whole purpose is to help kids understand this crazy place," Kym said.
During the summer months that fun extends far beyond the hospital walls to summer camps. It's all part of the healing.
"We want to show them that kids can still be kids. We want to show them that even if you have your leg amputated because of your cancer, you can still go on the ropes course."
Of course, there's a serious side to all this too. Time can seem to stand still for families who find themselves at CHOG faced with something serious.
"She takes a really horrible experience, a nightmare actually that happens in your world, and she's able to spin it around and help you find the silver lining when you haven't got your legs underneath you," Kaci Johnson tells us.
Kaci knows that because her son was a patient here.
"Our son was diagnosed when he was three with Burkitts lymphoma, a rare but very curable cancer, and so blessed to be treated here in our backyard," she said.
Kaci says Kym has been a blessing for her family and for countless others.
"As a parent, she truly is a God-send. She is amazing- not only with the children, but she treats the families. She treats the parents. She doesn't really realize it," she said.
She's been doing that for local families for so long, Kym's first round of patients would be at least 30 years old now. That's a lot of success stories that remind Kym Allen how awesome her job really is.
Our Time To Care sponsors are Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Academy Sports and Outdoors and Great Deals On Furniture. If you would like to nominate someone for our monthly award, you can find a nomination form on this page.