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Insights Learned Through Cancer Experience Now Help Others

Tristan Elsener and his mother, Paula Elsener

Tristan Elsener and his mother, Paula Elsener


In December of 2018, Tristan Elsener lay in a hospital bed, breathing with a ventilator and fighting for his life. Tristan, who had beaten cancer a year earlier, now had a second type of cancer: acute myeloid leukemia. For 25 long days, his mom, Paula, sat by his side in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She watched and waited, as her son’s condition gradually improved. But the ordeal was difficult for everyone in the family. 

“When my child was in the ICU, I rarely left the room for food, relying on others to bring it to me,” Paula recalls.  

Tristan Elsener

With the help of St. Jude, Tristan Elsener has survived multiple bouts of cancer. He and his family have gained insights that can help others.

After many years of treatment, Tristan, now age 22, and his family have tips and insights that could help others. His mom recently shared Tristan’s story on Caregivers SHARE, a St. Jude podcast. Caregivers SHARE offers support and encouragement for families worldwide who deal with childhood illness.  

Caregivers SHARE is a convenient way for caregivers to connect with others and to know that they are not alone.  

“This podcast supports caregivers when and where they need it,” Paula says.  

The podcast also offers hope and the reminder to live in the moment.  

“As part of the podcast, I wanted to give a message of hope and presence.” Paula says. “It is overwhelming to receive your child’s life-altering diagnosis. You need to know that it is doable, one step at a time.” 

Tristan Elsener and his mother, Paula Elsener

Paula Elsener enjoys spending time with her son, cancer survivor Tristan Elsener. In the Caregivers SHARE podcast, Paula encourages other families of children with serious illnesses.

Listen to Caregivers SHARE today


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