Moffitt Nurse Delivers Holiday Cheer to Patients in the Hospital

By Amy McSweeney - December 22, 2023

Moffitt patient James Barker and his wife proudly show off their new Battle Pup.
Moffitt patient James Barker and his wife proudly show off their new Battle Pup.

As the holiday season was approaching in 2022, Moffitt Cancer Center registered nurse Diana Ponce felt compelled to do something special for her patients on 3 North. She knew many of them did not receive visitors and often felt very lonely.

“I contacted my son’s school to see if the students could write cards for the patients at Moffitt,” Ponce said. “They loved the idea.”

Ponce later connected with a teacher at Carrollwood Day School who led her to the nonprofit organization Way to Battle, started by a family whose son was diagnosed with a rare leukemia mutation. The organization spreads the message that no one battles alone and they offered to donate special stuffed animal Battle Pups to support the cause.

“Last year, we delivered about 100 Battle Pups, Christmas cards and keychains to all the inpatients at the Magnolia hospital,” Ponce said. “This year, I wanted to do the same thing but bigger so we could reach more people.”

The nonprofit organization Way to Battle donated Battle Pups to the cause.
The nonprofit organization Way to Battle donated Battle Pups to the cause.

Ponce collected 300 Battle Pups and greeting cards. She recruited several co-workers and family members to join her mission to spread holiday cheer.

“This effort would not be possible if it wasn’t for so many willing people to help bring Christmas cheer to those who are alone,” Ponce shared. “We want to remind them that no one has to battle alone.”

This year, more than a dozen students, teachers and parents from Carrollwood Day School visited Moffitt McKinley Hospital and Moffitt’s Magnolia Campus to sing carols and distribute inspirational gifts. Ponce and her colleagues lead the group through the halls delivering hope along the way.

“This effort would not be possible if it wasn’t for so many willing people to help bring Christmas cheer to those who are alone,” Moffitt registered nurse Diana Ponce said.
“This effort would not be possible if it wasn’t for so many willing people to help bring Christmas cheer to those who are alone,” Moffitt registered nurse Diana Ponce said.

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Amy McSweeney Community Relations Coordinator 813-745-3862 More Articles

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