Story by: Henry Winkelhake on September 1, 2023
Dixie Robertson is like other kids you may know. She’s playful, funny, and full of personality. Dixie cares deeply for her family — which is now officially bigger after her longtime wish of being adopted by her stepfather, Thomas, has come true. She’s incredibly strong, in fact stronger than any 10-year-old, any child or any person, for that matter, should have to be, because a cancer diagnosis means Dixie celebrated her adoption while hospitalized at Norton Children’s Hospital.
Visit NortonChildrens.com/Cancer to learn more about treatment, patient support and a skilled, multidisciplinary team entirely focused on the needs of your child and family.
Dixie is being treated with the help of her care team at Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. Her treatment has been a long and challenging journey.
Taryn Johnson, a certified child life specialist with Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, works with Dixie and her family to provide emotional support and education on her diagnosis.
Taryn remembers that when Dixie first arrived at Norton Children’s Hospital months ago, the young patient shared how happy she would be to be adopted by her stepdad — already a father to Dixie as far as she was concerned. Dixie also shared that she would want a slime party to celebrate beating cancer.
Dixie’s cancer has progressed in recent weeks, making it clear that her dreams shouldn’t wait. The Robertson family took quick action to accelerate the adoption process. Meanwhile, Taryn sprang into action to begin organizing a celebration for Dixie.
On a hot August morning, members of Dixie’s care team joined with employees throughout Norton Children’s Hospital to throw the slime party the young patient had wished for. A large group of doctors, nurses, child life specialists, music therapists, administrators, engineers and facility dogs gathered to cheer on Dixie as she arrived to the hospital’s Healing Garden.
Dixie listened to her favorite songs and flashed a big smile as staff lined up to be soaked in slime. For the patient, family and employees alike, it was evident this party was a much-needed opportunity to enjoy a kid just being a kid.
“Throughout everything, Norton Children’s has been family to us,” Thomas said. “She’s beaten the odds before, and she’s going to keep fighting,” Visit NortonChildrens.com/Cancer to learn more about treatment, patient support and a skilled, multidisciplinary team entirely focused on the needs of your child and family.