With a deep fear of procedures and needles, Julie Metz hardly seemed like the type to go into the nursing field. But after receiving heartbreaking news about her son, Julie jumped into action—and discovered inspiration all around her.
In August 2003, her son Joshua was diagnosed with cancer—a tumor in the thalamus, a central section deep inside the brain responsible for processing messages from the body and stimulating a reaction.
He had just turned 3.
The diagnosis wasn’t easy on the family, but the news about what to do next was even harder. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan showed the tumor was inoperable.
The tumor had caused severe vision problems, from differently sized pupils to a wandering eye, and while eye surgery would not correct the tumor, it could counteract some of the effects. Joshua underwent eye surgery, but his tumor continued to grow.
In December 2004, Joshua began chemotherapy at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
A full-time mom to four kids, Julie soon found herself spending hours at Scottish Rite hospital. Her aversion to needles fell away as she watched Joshua’s healthcare team—particularly his nurses—care for him. She wanted to do anything she could to keep her sick child comfortable.