PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - When you’re a child and have cancer, it’s the little things that can make life a bit more comfortable.
And a little device inspired by a 12-year-old girl is making a bigger difference than her family could have ever imagined.
Amanda Hope's home became the hospital when she was just 9 years old.
“She wasn’t feeling good, took her to the pediatrician. They said the flu,” said her mom, Lorraine Tallman. “An hour later, they called me and told me that she had leukemia and we needed to get down to the hospital as soon as possible."
For three years Amanda fought and fought.
They thought she was cancer free at 12 years old. And then she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Tallman said the hardest part was getting painful injections of chemotherapy.
“And you’d have to get it right in the center of the port, and they would miss,” said Tallman.
And every time they'd miss, her daughter would cry out in pain.
“Holding my daughter down was a nightmare. I’m the one that’s supposed to protect her, not hold her down. So it was hard,” said Tallman.
So Amanda and her mom knew they had to find a way to make these injections better for kids with cancer. It was Amanda’s last wish in 2012. She was just 12 years old when she died.
“Before she closed her eyes and passed away she made me promise. She said, ‘Mommy look at me with both eyes. Listening? Promise me,'” recalled Tallman.
And mom never backed down on her promise.
“This little stabilizer right here fits over the port so it holds it steady,” said Tallman as she showed us her groundbreaking device.
She teamed up with a tech company and engineers to create a port stabilizer, so injections go in smoothly the first time. It took years for the FDA to approve it, but they did. And now kids at Phoenix Children's Hospital, where Amanda called home for years, are excited to get the new "Amanda Needle."
Cancer never really won. Amanda did.
“I know she’s up in heaven just smiling down on us going, ‘Good job, Mom,'” said Tallman. “Never give up, right? You can always make a difference. Never give up,” she said.
To learn more about the Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels Foundation you can visit this link.