Many of you are new readers to my blog so I will do a
About 9 years ago, I lost my grandfather to lung cancer. This July will the 9th anniversary of his passing. He died three days after my birthday, so its not hard to forget. And I have said this a million times on this blog, but I'll say it again. My Grandfather, was THE MAN that set the bar on how every man I know and meet should be. He was loving, caring, a hard worker, and just a proud man all around. What I miss the most is how he loved me, just like a grandfather should. If you want you can read more old post about my grandpa HERE!
Anyway, I miss him terribly, and it was freakin CANCER that took him from me and my family.
So maybe that's why I have this thing inside me that somehow leads me to do anything I can for children with this horrible disease. I hate cancer and the fact that it affects children is just cruel! They are so innocent and do not deserve this.
The weird thing is, I don't go looking for these sweet babies. Cancer strikes them, some how I hear about it and then something in me takes over and I act. I have a strong feeling its the holy spirit and I have been told so, since I really have no personal connection to these children. Who else but God would stir this feeling in me, because to explain the feeling is difficult, its just something that comes over me, to do something, anything. The feeling is so strong that it really takes over my thoughts during the day and then at night I cant sleep and even in my dreams at night.
I almost don't like how conceited this sounds but, this is how I ended up doing something special and actually quite amazing (now that I look back on it. I also just realized that when I wrote a tiny bit about this a LONG time ago, I was supposed to come back and post a link to the video.... two years ago.... I never did, and a lot has happened to him and his family since then here is a link to his caringbridge page if you want to catch up on all the details.) for a dear friend of mine, who at the time I really didn't really know that well.
I honestly feel that God worked through me, because I knew this boy and his mom, but we were not close. Don't get me wrong, we were friends through our CMC group and said Hi in passing at the elementary school. But, we didn't hang out, we didn't have long phone calls chatting about our kids. We were getting a little closer because she was also a teacher at Mothers Day out and I absolutely adored her youngest baby girl who was in my class. I remember the day she found out her son had cancer like it was yesterday. She dropped her off in my class and told me she was taking her son to the doctor for a tummy ache. It was horrible, a terrible sadness took over the entire group of teachers , and the one teacher who was hit the hardest by this news aside from my friend was her sister.
Basically, after a brief conversation with her sweet sister ( who also became a dear friend of mine,) all I wanted was to get this sweet boy was a new John Deere t-shirt. Some how the calls I made to John Deere corporate and a local dealer, became a HUGE deal. The people at John Deere were amazing. They called me, I called them a few times and together with the elementary school this sweet boy attended, which also happened to be the school my daughter attended, a huge event was held at a local restaurant. On a side note; The school had their own fundraiser, selling GREEN shirts and encouraging everyone from the school to eat at a local restaurant that would be donating portion of their proceeds to this family. But they and I made sure to tell every one that would be eating at the restaurant to stay for a big surprise for Ethan afterwards.
By the way, Ethan's favorite color is green, which lead to the conversation I had with his aunt about his hand me down John Deere shirt, which lead to this event. OK, so, the event grew so large that when I told some of the ladies from the Catholic Mothers council group that my friend and I belong to they also stepped in and helped me.
They helped me create the cutest donations box in the shape of a green tractor, and posted secret emails to get all of our church involved. The line at the restaurant was long with people wearing Green, from all over our community. Then as if this wasn't enough, and after many nights of debating weather or not to, I decided to ask a sweet News Anchor friend (sounds kinda snooty, I know, I'll save the part about how she and I met for another post) of mine, if she would be willing to put this event on the news. She told her producers, she called me to tell me they would LOVE to. While the rest of us got ready for the event, the news station set up an interview with my friend (the little boys mom) who knew about the fundraiser, but not about the John Deere stuff. The excitement in me and all who did know was growing so big it was hard to contain.
Even as she was being interviewed she had no idea how big this thing was getting. At the end of the night, The guys at the local John Deere dealership came through hauling a HUGE ride on tractor and gave the sweet little boy and all of the kids at the event rides. Then they gave him an absolute wonderful gift of a child size ride on tractor. He LOVED it. His mom, who has gone through so much, has now become a dear friend of mine (that's the one good thing cancer can do, is bring people closer together) tells me how much that tractor has meant to them. And two years later he still rides it. It has helped him be a normal child even while he is too weak to walk.
I know that the event was not only of my doing. Somehow, with the help and cooperation of so many people and the GRACE OF GOD it was possible. Seriously, I'm still amazed at how a couple of phone calls to the school, restaurant and news station ended up becoming something that will now be a sweet memory for this sweet boy. My family and I will also never forget. So as I promised two years ago...sorry.. HERE IS THE LINK TO THE VIDEO of this event . And here is a link to the video that was recently shot, giving an update on Ethan and his family.
So now to address my disturbing title. Although Ethan will survive, the story is not always true for many many children fighting this difficult fight.
Another local news station aired another touching story about a Dallas Firefighter and his 4 year old baby boy who will certainly lose his battle with cancer. A movement was started by the news station asking the community and local businesses to post pictures of themselves with the little boys name to show support for this sweet child. When I heard the story I was in tears...again, and again, I wanted desperately to do something. But what? I wasn't sure, I didn't have a group of people with me to do this with, so I decided to contact other Firefighters. Knowing that the Dallas FD is doing this, perhaps other FD's would want to show their solidarity to their brother firefighter. So, I did what I figure anyone else would do. I contacted a few Fire departments around the country along with the New York Fire department. I guess I could have contacted the local FD, but I didn't (yet) Maybe its just because whats in me, likes that saying, go big or go home.
Well, lets just say facebook is an amazing tool. The FD of NY sent me a touching message
There is not much else that doctors or anyone can do for sweet baby Dyrk, but, if a picture can help give him and his family and most of all his father, a smile for a little while, then why shouldn't we all do what we can. I feel like I did my part. And I hope it really does bring a smile to their breaking hearts. And with this I end this long post.
Be strong Dyrk, God is with you and has a special place in his kingdom waiting for a sweet angel like you!