Survivor Heeds a Calling to Care

For one childhood cancer survivor, nursing is not a career, but a calling.

By Ashley McTyre, RN

Ashley Tyre adjusts equipment settings for patient Elizabeth in her hospital room.

Ashley McTyre, RN, takes care of St. Jude patient Elizabeth Wampler.

When the idea of a medical career first crossed my mind, I was a 10-year-old patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital receiving treatment for the bone cancer osteosarcoma. During the most fearful time of my life, my St. Jude nurses cared for me and for my entire family. That experience inspired me to do the same for others.

For the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of working among some of those same nurses and doctors.  

At St. Jude, I’ve learned to cherish every moment. Life is precious, and each day is truly a gift. I’ve learned to celebrate the milestones throughout treatment, no matter how big or small. I’ve also learned that patient care is not just about the patient, but about the entire family.

I want our patients and families to know that this is not just a career for me, but a calling. When you care for these families, they become a piece of your heart. I want to bring them joy even in their darkest hours.

I’m just a small part of an amazing team that works together for every child and family who enters the doors of St. Jude. These precious kids have taught me how to persevere. It’s wonderful to walk into their rooms and see their faces light up or to see a smile spread across a parent’s face. I want them to feel the love and concern I have for them. 

Ashley Tyre poses with patient Rylee for a portrait.

Ashley McTyre, RN, and Rylee Hale

At St. Jude, I work beside amazing co-workers as part of an incredible team united in a mission to save lives. Our nurses and doctors are exceptional in their pursuit of excellence. We work extremely hard, but we laugh together, we cry together and we share life together.

I’m blessed and honored to be a part of this wonderful hospital—the one that saved my life and now is giving me the great privilege and great responsibility to care for others walking the same path.

Ashley McTyre, RN, is a pediatric oncology nurse in the Solid Tumor/Neuro-Oncology Inpatient Unit at St. Jude.

From Promise, Summer 2017

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