Driscoll’s Lead Hospital Teacher, Marie Soza, was honored and recognized as the 2022 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals US Impact Award recipient.
After accepting the award during Children’s Hospitals Week in Orlando, Florida, Marie shared her story and experience with Driscoll on the mainstage at the general session with more than 1,200 in attendance.
The theme: The Circle of Life
For those unfamiliar with Marie’s story – it’s a beautiful and inspirational one that began with her personal experience as a mother of a cancer patient. Marie’s son, Blaise, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Throughout his time as a Driscoll patient, he became a CMN Hospitals champion and was recognized at the annual Telethon. Marie shared that her and Blaise would listen to the Lion King song “Circle of Life” during each car ride to and from treatments. It became a special song that they bonded over.
Blaise passed away at age six after 16 months of treatment. His journey motivated Marie to create the hospital school program at Driscoll, and continues to be the inspiration behind her every day work with the patients she teaches.
Now, 27 years later, Marie is sharing Blaise’s legacy and inspiring other children’s hospitals across the country to create their own hospital schools.
She ended her speech with “I know Blaise is smiling down on me now saying ‘Mom, we chose the right song,’” drawing an audible gasp in the room and bringing tears to many.
Thank you, Marie, for all that you do for Driscoll and the kids we serve. You are a special part of our mission and we could not be more proud and honored to have you as the 2022 CMN Hospitals Impact Award recipient.