Decking the halls with holiday socks

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A 12-year-old patient brings the bling every time she visits Riley, so for her last appointment, her care team brought their own Christmas cheer.


By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior journalist, mgilmer1@iuhealth.org

The burn clinic staff at Riley Hospital for Children were decked out in their most festive socks Wednesday to celebrate a young patient who always brings a smile – and some bling – to her appointments.

Adelyn Spahr, 12, has been coming to Riley for treatment of osteosarcoma and follow-up care since July of 2018. The bone cancer was removed from her left leg, but it resulted in a large wound that has taken its time to heal.

“It has been a running theme for her to always wear fun socks, so we wanted to do a little something fun for her,” said nurse Angela Seitz.

Adelyn, a seventh-grader from Nashville, Ind., was sporting her own Christmas socks, along with bright green fingernails and braces to match.

After a year and a half of being on and off crutches and dealing with rehab, the dancer and soccer player finds joy wherever she can.

“It’s just fun,” she said of her holiday bling. “It makes me happy and it makes other people happy.”

At every appointment for the past several months, Adelyn has shown up wearing fun socks, so her crew in the burn unit decided to play along by donning their own holiday socks for her last appointment. Mom Adrianne joined in, sporting Santa socks herself. Even Adelyn’s doctors, Joshua Adkinson and Todd Bertrand, came dressed for the occasion.

While she’s not sorry that she’s finished with treatment, Adelyn will miss her care team in the burn unit.

“It makes me happy to have these people supporting me,” she said. “They are really nice; I kind of fell in love with them.”

By the looks on the faces of those around her, the feeling was mutual.

Photos by Mike Dickbernd, IU Health visual journalist, mdickbernd@iuhealth.org

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