Bridgette West sparkled last fall in the “Fight Song” music video, created by patients at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. But before the 2-year-old became a social media standout with her dancing, she and her family faced challenges that went far beyond a cancer diagnosis.
In the summer of 2015, after struggling for a year with misdiagnosed illnesses, Bridgette and her parents traveled from their Albany, New York, home to Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s. There, tests confirmed she had neuroblastoma, and while Bridgette started treatment, her parents, Roger and Beth, took turns driving 175 miles to take care of Bridgette’s 5-year-old sister Trinity and see other family members back home.
It was a difficult period, as Roger was taking time off from his job, and the family continued to pay rent on an empty Albany apartment, while expenses piled up in Boston.
“That was a hectic, crazy time,” recalls Roger. “Once we realized what we were facing with Bridgette’s cancer — including surgery — we looked around at the incredible people taking care of us here and decided to move and be here all the time.” …