When Jenny and Chris Sage learned their daughter, Gracie, had cancer, they turned to the experts at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital for care. Ranked among the nation’s best hospitals for pediatric cancer care by U.S. News & World Report, Levine Children’s could offer Gracie leading-edge treatments that would give her the best chance to survive and thrive. There, the Sage family quickly made connections with the nurses and care teams, including Alli Krivanek, a pediatric oncology nurse who cared for Gracie through all stages of treatment.

“Alli’s exceptional empathy, her ability to truly listen and understand her patients’ needs and her dedication for providing compassionate care made her one of our family’s favorite nurses,” said Gracie’s mom, Jenny. “Her dedication to creating a comforting environment filled with love and understanding helped us navigate some of our darkest days with strength and resilience. She truly goes above and beyond to ensure her patients feel supported and valued.”

Although Alli is always appreciative of hearing positive comments, she is reflective about what it means to be an oncology nurse at Levine Children’s Hospital, Often when I tell someone I’m a pediatric oncology nurse, I am instantly met with, ‘I can’t imagine how hard and depressing that job must be!’ While there are days and moments of heartbreak and pain, what no one realizes is the amount of joy these kids and their families bring us. What people don’t understand is what a privilege it is to be invited into a family during their darkest, hardest, and most vulnerable times.”

Alli and her fellow care team members are grateful to witness the triumph of the human spirit within the hospital, “You see, on the outside, people see ‘sick cancer kids’, but behind these walls…I see tiny warriors who despite circumstances, choose to smile day in and day out. I see tiny, frail bodies that refuse to let any diagnosis dim their light. And most importantly, I see families trust us, an incredibly humbling feeling, with their most prized possessions. Working with our kids and getting to be a part of their journey is something that has and always will fuel my zeal for life and living every single day!”

Through her compassion and commitment to her patients, Alli exemplifies what it means to be an Atrium Health Nursing Star. To learn more about the Atrium Health Nursing Stars program or to honor an outstanding nurse, visit: AtriumHealthFoundation.org/Nurses.