I have had the fortune to follow the journey of a very special 5yr old boy who was diagnosed with a Wilms' tumor on his kidney. He had his kidney removed and went through months of chemo. I know this boy's dad professionally. It was tough reading through every Caring Bridge update knowing he and his family were facing this tragedy. Well, I was given the opportunity to meet this amazing little "warrior" (as his parents called him) at his "cancer free" celebration and I was amazed. This kid did NOT have an ounce of brat in him. I watched him play. He included the other kids and shared with them. When adults spoke to him he smiled and gave them his attention. He was still a 5yr old that would rather be playing than talking to a boring grown up, but he stood there smiling while I introduced myself and he nodded yes or no to questions I had asked him. The coolest thing about this sweet kid is that he is probably the biggest Star Wars fan EVER! I wanted to hug him. I wanted to hug his dad and his mom who I briefly met once about 3 years ago. I was really impressed with this skinny little bald kid (who actually did have some peach fuzz growing on his head). As I followed his journey I would be filled with sadness, amazement and shame. Shame? During the same time I was going through recovery of both a knee and back injury. I often cried and hated everyone and everything and felt like this was all going to last forever. Then my thoughts would go to this little warrior who had to endure being poked and prodded and drugged to the point of being sick and losing his motor skills. I felt so ashamed for whining about having to use crutches and not being able to leave the house due to the pain I was in. What my colleague was going through with his son is the sort of thing that puts life into perspective and makes you realize how very strong we can be.
Next I want to mention a special little 14mo. old baby. She is the niece of one of my best friends who I have known since high school. In the same week that I celebrated with the little jedi warrior, I received the terrible news of this little peanut. She’s got Neuroblastoma and her journey is just beginning. Her family is holding a benefit to raise funds for her care. There is a facebook event for those who would like to attend the benefit or learn how to help. There is also information on how to donate by checking out Julia's Journey. This hard working farming family is one of the kindest families I have the honor of knowing and it breaks my heart to know their sweet little daughter/niece/granddaughter is going to have to endure these surgeries and cancer treatments. My thoughts and prayers go out to Julia and her family.
Finally, I came across an amazing story because I follow Vernon’s local news on facebook,This Is Somerset. I read about a sweet little boy who is 1 of 500 in the world with a very rare disease called Lymphangiomatosis. I guess from reading up
on it, it is very fatal and very painful. Why does it have to reach such a beautiful little boy? To raise funds for his care and raise awareness of this terrible disease, his dad is walking around the UK. YES! He’s walking around the UK! What an amazing task. You can follow the walk on their facebook page,Walk-For Lymphangiomatosis and they also have a website which includes detailed information about the walk and how to donate. He started his walk on Sunday, July 24 and is doing well. If you are in the UK, check out the map, he may end up walking through a town near you. I have never met this family, but I now think of them every day and have been keeping them in my prayers.
I have really been touched by these three Sweethearts and their families. Please keep these children in your thoughts and prayers. If you can donate or send them encouraging words I'm sure it would be appreciated. I like to be optimistic and hopeful and feel that this is just temporary for all three of these kids and they will grow up to be incredible amazing adults who will make a difference in this world, mainly because they come from such loving parents and incredible families who live in supportive communities.