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Without words

without words

I have to say that in almost four years of blogging, I have rarely been at a loss for words. I sat down to write the other day and there just wasn’t anything there. I mentioned this challenge at our family dinner table and my sons said, “You don’t have to write Mom, its ok if you take one day off.” A thought that truly had never occurred to me.

I had resigned myself to the fact that with two graduations next week and a very full plate at work, I would take today off.  However, the universe had different plans, no sooner had I made that decision, when a friend sent me this video…which of course I needed to share with you.

Tired or not, seeing compassion in action, simply never gets old. It is moments like these that inspire me to do more, give more and use my time showing the world that it is actions not words, that really matter.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2015 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally

If only for a moment

mimi foundationBeing carefree, something all of us remember in our youth and sadly long for, when our life’s responsibilities get in the way. A new video, from cancer survivor and founder of the Mimi Foundation, Myrian Ullens de Schooten, offers this gift of spontaneity to cancer patients. Myrian founded the Mimi Foundation, “Because of this experience my conviction has grown that cancer must be fought not only on the medical front, but on all fronts. Using this principle I want to ensure that all those who have to face this disease receive support, help and comfort.” This project accomplishes just that.

Just that moment of joy, silliness, freedom and the unpredictable. The video is in French with sub-titles, but the language of joy is universal. Take a moment and treat yourself to a small slice.

 

 

It simply doesn’t matter what language you speak or what you look like when you are suffering from cancer. What matters is the smiles, the fun, the joy and the moment that each of these people gave to another.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2014 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

A mother’s legacy of Hope

inheritance of hopeThe other day I received the sad news that a high school class mate of mine had died from cancer at the age of 47. She had battled the disease for almost half of her life. Stephanie, was an only child and a single mother. Upon reflection of her life, I began to wonder what the journey was really like for her and her beautiful daughter.

That lead me to uncover a fact that there are over 700,000 children each year who deal with a parent that has life-threatening cancer. In this discovery, I came across a remarkable woman named Kristen Milligan, who walked a similar path to my friend, as a parent who was ill, and looking for ways to help her family.

In 2003, when Kristen was diagnosed with a rare terminal illness her children were only four, two and seven months.  She wanted to find a great book that helped explain her illness, when she couldn’t find it, she wrote her own.The book was called  A Train’s Rust, A Toy Maker’s Love, the story of a train family whose mother begins to rust, prompting questions of the toy maker about what will happen next. Kristen and her husband Deric, then expanded their mission to help other families dealing with serious illness and in May 2007 began the non-profit Inheritance of Hope.

Their mission was to improve the well-being in the lives of children and families, dealing with a parent diagnosed with a life threatening illness.  They achieved that goal by providing books, family retreats and support that was spiritual, emotional and financial. The Milligans believed that the more the family is helped, the more it helps the ill parent.

Kristen endured her disease for nearly ten years, including six surgeries, twenty-two months of chemotherapy, two rounds of radiation, and two more books. She died on October 26, 2012 and her legacy of hope lives on in every life she continues to touch.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Big moments in small packages

jeffrey, loyolaThere are so many ways our lives touch others. It seems that the big moments that touch us often come from the littlest people. Last friday night my son’s football team had their first scrimmage. Lined up in crisp new uniforms were 86 big varsity high school football players and in the front of team stood a 9-year-old boy. The 9-year-old is our new team captain. His name is Jeffrey and he is teaching our football team about courage, toughness, perseverance, dedication and overcoming adversity.

Jeffrey knows about these traits because he has cancer.  Less than two years ago, he was a typical 8-year-old boy who loved playing baseball and flag football and then everything changed. Jeffrey was diagnosed with DSRCT (Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor), an extremely rare and aggressive cancer.  In just over a year he has completed about a dozen rounds of chemotherapy, five surgeries, numerous procedures and five weeks of radiation therapy.

In honor of our mighty new captain, the team will wear Jeffrey’s initials on their helmets this season in honor of his courage and tenacity, as well as to bring much-needed attention to the lack of funding for pediatric cancer research.  Jeffrey  received the signed game ball and his very own football jersey with the number 11, that represents the date of his diagnosis, 11/11/11.

This little package has already showed our sons how to be strong, courageous, and to face adversity with a smile and can do attitude. Jeffery’s family has a web-site and the quote on the site reads, “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.”

We have yet to play our first game but it is already a winning season.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.