Sunday, February 17, 2008

Parents=Amazing Heroes

This evening, I had the unique experience to spend time with some of the incredible, amazing oncology parents that have been served by Heroes for Children. Honoring the parents and their own battles with childhood cancer, we hosted a Valentine's Dinner with catered dinner and FREE childcare providing by Mom's Best Friend.

Anyone who has children would agree that it is difficult to get out for a date. Between the cost of childcare and the cost of a nice dinner, it gets expensive. I'm one of the lucky ones that has the support of my mohter who lives ten minutes away. She watches my daughter almost every weekend for us. But what about those parents that don't have that kind of support? It's hard. But add the stress of having a child with cancer? A date is practically a word out of their vocabulary.

Twenty families joined us. Andie Hamilton Photography was set up to photograph each family (something several of them told me they had never had!). Every mother was presented with a rose. The children were settled into a different room with more than 13 certified nannies (volunteering their time for free for Heroes for Children). Dinner was delicious--herb chicken, risotto, vegetables, chocolate mousse cake. Each family left with a centerpiece, a goodie bag, and at least one raffle prize. Thanks to our volunteers from HFC Friends, our women's auxiliary group, all items were donated.

Larissa and I had the opportunity to enjoy a dinner with a sweet woman and hear more of her story. Her gorgeous daughter, who captured the hearts of all in the room tonight, has Neuroblastoma. In the past year, she has undergone five surgeries, months of chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant. She has maintained her smile, shining personality, and sparkling eyes. At only three, this sweet little girl has been through so much. And yet, there she was this evening with her beautiful smile, with her tubes in her nose and her central line hanging from her body.

Every parent there tonight had a story. We had two couples that had recently lost their children to cancer. We had a family who not only went through a child with cancer but a father undergoing a kidney transplant at one time. The child was in the children's hospital and the father in a different hospital in Fort Worth. Oh, and the mom is pregnant with their third child. Seriously? How do they go through all that? I left astounded by the strength of these parents and inspired by the unconditional love they have for their children.


Shannon said...

what a beautiful post!

Keep up the wonderful work you are doing.

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