Bailey’s Journey at UPMC Children’s

Bailey Julian is avid hockey player at Hempfield Area High School where he had been playing since elementary school. A few times after a game or practice, his face was swollen and he had developed a little cough. After a chest x-ray showed fullness in the chest, he went in for an early morning CT scan to get another look. The scan revealed a very large mass in his chest that compromised his airway. It was lymphoma. Bailey and his mom were immediately sent by ambulance to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on Christmas Eve 2016.

Bailey spent Christmas, his 16th Birthday, New Year’s, and the next weeks in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Hematology/Oncology Unit where he received around the clock monitoring as the doctors tried to come to a diagnosis. Because he had a partially collapsed lung and the main tumor rested behind his heart and on many vessels, every invasive technique to obtain cells needed for diagnosis had to be done while he was awake. Very few patients have to go through what Bailey did, but with the care from Child Life Joe Bauer and his indomitable spirit, the doctors got what they needed. Bailey was diagnosed with Stage 3B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. There were tumors from his neck to his abdomen, and treatment was expected to be six to nine months.

As Bailey went through treatment and a second inpatient stay, his idea for helping others grew. Bailey founded his namesake charity, Bailey’s Bottoms & Random Acts of Kindness, a 501c3 non-profit organization. With the bond he made with his PA (Physician Assistant) Mike Talotta, they came up with ideas to help. This is where Bailey’s plan to become a PA was cemented. Bailey’s Bottoms provides each of UPMC Children’s Hospital’s 200 pediatric patients newly diagnosed with cancer each year with a pair of warm pajama bottoms, a parent organizational medical treatment bag, a meal or snack for every chemotherapy appointment, fresh fruit, and frozen meals. Several times a year, Bailey serves a hot catered meal to 9B, the inpatient hematology/oncology unit.

Today, Bailey is over one year cancer free, back on the ice as the captain of his hockey team, and an active high school senior. Next fall, he will attend college in an accelerated BS/MS Physician Assistant Program. Bailey and his family thank Dr. Scott Maurer and Dr. Allison Close for not only helping him gain remission, but also being great friends along the way.