The past 10 days marked the first time in my life that I was at a loss for words
So let’s get it out there…
Last week, my daughter was diagnosed with childhood leukemia.
It will be a two year healing journey of chemotherapy, steroids, and massive amounts of tender love… as we get her back to perfect health.
As you can imagine, our lives have completely changed.
We are living out a parent’s worst fear, in a pandemic no less.
Let me talk you through it.
A week ago Friday, the pediatrician called us with my daughter’s blood work.
He told us we needed to get her checked into the hospital that night.
She and my wife spent the next five days at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
When you live in Phoenix, you drive by the tall, modern Children’s Hospital every time you’re on the freeway headed to the airport.
My wife said whenever she would drive past that building, she would always feel for the people inside those walls.
Last week, my wife and daughter were inside those walls, and they were the ones looking out at the cars driving by.
But one thing we have learned over the past few days, when you move into your fears, they are not as scary anymore.
So many people have reached out to us with “we are so sorry,” “we are so sad,” “we feel terribly.”
I would have said the very same thing.
But “sorry” and “sad” is NOT how we feel, and that’s NOT where we’re at.
We feel incredibly fortunate that we caught the leukemia early.
We feel beyond lucky that the type of leukemia she has is treatable.
We feel blessed to be 12 minutes from this amazing Children’s Hospital and have the resources to get our daughter healthy.
We feel grateful to whoever donated the platelets and blood that my daughter received in her first few nights in the hospital.
We feel like we’re on the right side of the aging spectrum. That my daughter, Cooper, is only three makes her more resilient, more adaptable, and more willing to understand that when she loses her hair from the chemo, it will be just like when she loses her teeth.
It’s all coming back!
Most of the day, those are our prevailing emotions.
Of course, we have moments that are difficult.
When my daughter is feeling the pain in her body and all the discomforts that came with chemo, we also feel the pain and the discomfort.
In these moments, it helps to share…with each other…and with you.
Over the days and months to come, my wife and I want to share with you everything we are learning along the way.
No doubt this is our ultimate challenge. And we are wondering if you too will accept this challenge:
If we are able to get through this and find gratitude, peace, and joy (most of the time)…
…can you too embrace your challenges and find gratitude, peace, and joy (most of the time)
So many of you have asked us what you can do, how you can help, how in some small way you can make this better?
1. GIVE BLOOD
Because of some stranger we will never know, my daughter took the first steps on her healing journey.
2. SPREAD POSITIVITY…not negativity
We are thriving on positive energy.
When you are healing a 3 year-old, it’s all about positive energy, love, and anything that has to do with princesses (or Peppa Pig, or PBS Kids, or whatever her steroids have her craving at the moment).
3. PRAY WITH…not for
So many people have reached out and said they are praying for us.
It is so kind to hear and we appreciate it.
But there are so many people worse off right now who could use those prayers.
So instead of praying for us, pray with us.
Let’s get EVERYBODY feeling stronger, better, healthier.
One last thing.
I’d like to plant a seed in your mind and heart.
Some would call this seed: health.
Others would call this seed: love.
As I’m learning day by day…they are one in the same.