Thursday, December 22, 2016


Before Thanksgiving, the newspaper asked for stories from the community about what people were thankful for. I noticed it for several days and finally decided to write a piece for them. They published some of the stories in the newspaper on Thanksgiving day, mine included, and posted all of them online. It was nice to see my words in print, but I was more grateful for the chance to share my thoughts on what I was thankful for. Here's my story: 

My husband and I received some staggering news just over six years ago. Five months into our first pregnancy I had to be induced to save my life. I had HELLP Syndrome and the baby and I would both have died if they had not induced labor. Our little boy was stillborn the night before my 26th birthday. It is a never ending road to deal with the loss of a child. But the love and support we received from family, friends, and neighbors was amazing. We were so grateful for monetary help, meals, cards, momentos, and prayers in our behalf.  

It seems in times of tragedy that love pours out in equal amounts to help assuage the pain.  
We went through two more difficult pregnancies. People we didn't even know were praying for us and keeping up to date on our progress. It was amazing to us, and we were thankful for every good thought sent our way.  

We had two beautiful girls and thought the worst was behind us. Life was going pretty well and we were excited about my husband's new job and moving to a new home soon.  

Then our younger daughter started falling. She was twenty months old and had been walking well. We took her to the doctor and he diagnosed a double ear infection. The infection cleared up but her walking got worse. She was to the point where she wouldn't walk and hardly wanted to crawl. After more doctor trips to her pediatrician, an ENT, a couple MRIs, and blood and urine tests, we learned she had neuroblastoma cancer along with OMA syndrome. The tumor had also grown into her lower spinal column complicating the situation.  

From the moment we found out, the doctors and nurses showed both us and our daughters such compassion and understanding. The staff at Primary Children's hospital has been amazing the last nine months. Generous donations to the hospital have helped make our daughter's multiple hospital stays better with handmade blankets, stuffed animals, toys, books, and more. The Ronald McDonald room and the groups who make meals for those away from home help relieve the burden of extended stays.   

From the moment we told our family and friends, we were overwhelmed with love and prayers. Our closest friends, as well as people we hadn't seen for years flooded us with support, mostly online. But we also received cards and meals, gift cards and care packages, and many offers of babysitting.  

Throughout this hard time we have been the recipients of much love and service, all due to the devastating diagnosis of the life altering disease our daughter has. Most of the support was at the initial time of diagnosis, but those who have supported us during this whole long journey are much loved by us. We are forever thankful to all those who take the time to look beyond their busy lives to help us in our time of great need.  

In the words of Fred Rogers, "Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me." 

1 comment:

  1. Your courage and good attitude make you a hero to me! Count me as one of many who pray for you regularly!