(CNN) — One day in the hospital, Vladimir Atryzek overheard a nurse mention that his daughter, Molly, needed to have some bone marrow extracted. The nurse said she would be preparing Molly immediately for the potentially painful procedure

Don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers and speak up for a sick loved one, one advocate says.

There was just one problem. Atryzek knew Molly didn’t need to have her bone marrow taken; she’d just had it done recently. So for what wasn’t the first time — and wouldn’t be the last — Atryzek stepped in as an advocate for his daughter.

“I told the nurse we weren’t doing bone marrow today, and she pointed to the chart and said, ‘No, it says right here we’re doing bone marrow,’ ” recalled Atryzek, whose 17-year-old daughter is in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, fighting leukemia. “I asked the nurse to check it, and she came back and said, ‘Oh, you’re right, no bone marrow.’ “

Atryzek and his wife, Suzanne, said in the year since Molly’s leukemia diagnosis that they’ve learned much about how crucial it is to speak up for someone who’s too sick to advocate for him or herself.

Here, according to the Atryzeks and others who’ve been there, are ways to fight for a sick loved one:

1: Don’t be afraid to intervene

2: Ask questions until you understand the answer

3: Remember that you know things the doctors don’t

4: Temper your loved one’s enthusiasm for quick fixes

5: Scope out the nurses

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