11.26.2012

A Call For Help


Above are pictures from our Thanksgiving Day.
A day full of food, family gathered around the table (or in our case, couch), little girls with the most edible faces ever, notes of gratitude, leaf shaped salt and pepper shakers, and an aunt who accidentally fed her two year old niece pieces of wine infused fruit.

It was a great day..that day of thankfulness.

And then Monday came.
The Monday after the day of celebrating how good we have it....what we are thankful for...how blessed we really are.

Today, my heart was shattered.

Back story--Thursday (on that great day of thankfulness) I overheard my parents talking about a six  year old boy in our small town who just learned he was dying of cancer.


The same boy who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor last year.
The one who was now a cancer survivor.
The one who was healed....back in school, going to Disney with his family, riding the bus with his friends...he was all better. Until now.
Suddenly, the cancer was back.
Not just back....but back with vengeance...all over his spine and brain.

Today, as I settled back into reality....I decided to read his parent's online journal.

I only have three words to sum it up--Hell on Earth.

That is all I can keep thinking. While we were celebrating.....his parents were having conversations with him about Heaven. His siblings sobbing in bed. A confused, beautiful, child....staring at his parents with intense pain.

I don't understand. I don't.
All day I have been consumed with the utmost sadness.
I just can't freaking fathom. We shouldn't have to fathom.
Six year olds shouldn't die of cancer. They shouldn't be paralyzed by the waist down like he is now (when just weeks before he was playing on the playground with his other six year old friends).
His parents shouldn't have to be praying for just one more day....one more day.

I don't even know why I am sharing with you all this.
I don't know this family personally.....but it has shaken me to the core.
I have shed more tears about this little boy than I ever thought possible.
I have no lessons to share about "how to remain grateful in the most ungrateful times".
There is nothing gratifying about this situation.

He needs a miracle.

I wanted to come to all of you with a call to action...how we could help.
But I am left dumbfounded.

How do you help a family when the only thing they want is their son to live?

Money? Gifts? Prayers? Cards?

I don't know.

If any of you want to rally together to do something....anything...email me at livinginyellow@gmail.com with the subject line ISAAC and I am just going to trust that we can come up with an idea.

This week as you return back to your reality....be really, truly, thankful.
Be thankful that you are here....that your children are alive and well....that the only thing you had to "tend to" after you ate your Thanksgiving dinner was a nap....
Not a child who is hanging on to every thread of life that he has left.

If you have time (and aren't afraid to shed a few tears) please read through a few journal entries from Isaac's parents. They need you. He needs you.

I wish I had some great way to wrap this all up, but for once..I am speechless.

F U Cancer.
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56 comments:

  1. A five year old kid I helped take care of was diagnosed with a brain tumor, healed, then it came back and took him last year. It was heartbreaking. I would love to come up with something to do for Isaac.

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  2. This is horrible. Totally and completely unfair. I'm racking my brain for ideas. This little boy is in my prayers.

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  3. This is terrible. My heart goes out to him and his family. I would love to help anyway I can.

    Mika

    http://shutterblossoms.blogspot.com

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  4. Thank you for sharing. Tears and a lump in my throat. Off to do some reading.

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  5. This breaks my heart. I don't understand it, and the death of children in general. Maybe it is because children are so innocent and handle it better than adults sometimes. I don't know, I wish there was an answer. Very sad for this little boy...

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  6. great thanksgiving pics, sad story about the sweet boy I just emailed you

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  7. Whatever you come up with we'll be there to help! So tragic and heartbreaking.

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  8. Your pictures from Thanksgiving are just beautiful. They're exactly how Thanksgiving should be. Warm, lots of good food, family, people goofing off/having fun and football.

    How incredibly sad. I'll definitely be thinking about him and his family.

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  9. I intern for a local non-profit in Fredericksburg,VA: The Fairy Godmother Project, we help families who have a child with cancer. (fairygodmotherproject.org)
    While we are not a national organization, yet. I can tell you what we do and how you can help.

    First off, this family needs to know that there are people supporting, loving, and praying for them.

    One thing FGP does is give meals 2xs per week to our families. I'm not sure how close you live to them Erin, or your parents. But organize meal making/delivery. The family can leave a cooler on their front steps and people can drop meals off.

    Ask them how you or others can help. IE: Clean their home, rake their yard, etc. Find ways to help ease their burden with everyday "life" tasks.

    Raise money to provided them with gas gift cards. This is something else FGP does. Gas is expensive. if they hospital little Issac is at is far way, trips from home to the hospital and back can add up real quick.
    Also, raise money for simple American Express/Visa gift cards. So the family can go grab dinner out really quickly.

    Will any of this save their child from this horrible,disgusting disease? Unfortunately it will not. But what these ideas can do is help lighten the families burden on everyday tasks. These ideas can help the family spend every moment with their precious son and brother.

    My heart is bleeding for this family. I hope this has helped somewhat. If you have any questions, please email me!

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  10. I love all of Kaitlyns ideas, I would love to help! Maybe make an early Xmas for the family so they can have memories of their joy with them? Send Santa to their home?

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  11. As a nurse I see the pain, suffering and downright heartache that cancer causes each and everyday. I've prayed with so many patients, held their hands as they heard the news and felt their tears on my shoulders. Cancer is evil, unkind and ruthless and it breaks my heart. It's even more saddening, unfair and heartbreaking when it's a child. My heart, prayers and thoughts are with this adorable little boy and his family.

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  12. This is so sad! I am praying for him and his family!

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  13. So terrifying, so sad, so heartbreaking and excruciatingly painful. It's the worst nightmare immaginable. My heart cries out for them...

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  14. Its funny you posted this. I've been following on instagram @punkfictionv4 and blog at www.thisyearslovewilllast.com a precious 2 year old battling brain cancer after having part of the tumor removed. One day she was trick or treating the next day hospital. It kills me! My 2 year old was born with a heart condition and I thought we had it bad nothing compares to this precious 2 and 6 year old.

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  15. As I sit here in tears after reading your entry, I am thankful that you've shared this with us. I am always thankful for what I have but at times, I feel as though I forget to show just appreciative that I am. Your heart is huge and you should be proud of yourself for passing this along so that we not only realize just how precious life can be but how beautiful it can be to reach out and help people, whether that be with comfort, monetary donations or in other ways.

    God bless you, Isaac and his family.

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  16. We have a family in our neighborhood that has a 2 year old little girl that is fighting cancer. She has had one eye removed and replaced with a prosthetic and they are currently fighting to save the other eye. Last year, when she was diagnosed, we did a breakfast with Santa at the school and all money earned was used to purchase Christmas presents for the kids and gas cards. We normally use this event for families in need and added them to the list when we found out what they were going through. Every little bit helps! Let me know what is decides and I would love to help!!
    Kristin
    http://rarenonsense.blogspot.com

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  17. This puts the speeding ticket I got today into such perspective. I am so lucky and yet always find something so dumb to bitch about.

    Put one of those "donate a dollar" gadgets onto your blog for a day. Think if everyone gave just a buck... or a few. Could be very successful. Or maybe have people donate a dollar and prayer? Just a thought.

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  18. oh my gosh. My 'problems' don't even matter right now. If you can even call them that. What a cute little boy. I will def be praying hard for them!!

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  19. Crying, what a precious boy and my heart breaks for that family. Cancer has no business with children, I mean, it is heartbreaking enough in adults but children, no. Should not happen :( I love the above ideas, gas cards, and the early christmas idea, maybe raise money for a photographer to go capture some moments for the family. Oh, so sad.

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  20. I'd love to help. I think the meals, a gift card or the gas cards could help. Our family lost Kalyn from cancer after remission...it was the hardest thing we ever went through...emailing you now.

    Kaitlyn

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  21. My very best friend had cancer and has been in remission for quite some time now! She went through so many rounds of chemo, multiple bone marrow transplants, and even a few stem cell transplants too.

    Isaac will beat all the odds. Just have faith Erin. As for doing something for him and his family, we found that organizing meals was the best thing we could do for them. MealBaby.com is a great website to use and everyone can sign up the dishes they're bringing etc.

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  22. I agree with the meals ideas. That's a wonderful way to help. Maybe help with babysitting the siblings as well? I'm not sure how old they are.

    I truly believe in the power of prayer (and fasting)! So that's the biggest thing to help, I'm sure.

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  23. F U Cancer is right!!! Will b praying and lifting them up. Thank you for sharing their story.

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  24. I know I have already commented, but I am writing a blog post now to help spread the word of this strong family. The power of prayer can do wonders!

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  25. Cancer is totally hell on earth. It isn't fair for anyone to have to go through that, let alone children. My heart is breaking for this family...I will be sending up prayers for him and his family starting tonight. I am here to help in any way possible!

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  26. This is just horrible. And so sad. And terrible. I don't even know what to say. I feel so awful. If you figure out some way to help out, please keep us all posted. I would love to do anything I can.

    Alexa
    44thandlex.com

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  27. This kills me. I feel like this family needs time, and how do you give that? I know one of the above comments mentioned taking the burden of cooking and cleaning off of the family... what if also there were a way to raise money so that the family could take an unpaid medical leave, but not be financially burdened?

    Thank you for being such a caring person, and for wanting to help those in need!

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  28. that's the horrible thing with cancer - it's never truly gone, only hiding to come back later.

    this poor booy. i don't know why so many children are getting cancer, but it's beyond awful. breaks my heart.

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  29. This is truly heart breaking I haven't stopped reading Sarah's posts and tears are rolling down my face.
    I would be more than willing to help out.

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  30. Ugh... I am sharing this with Ellen.... although she might not ready it, if enough of us did maybe she would notice and could help in some way!

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  31. A friend of mine lost her daughter last week and buried her the day before Thanksgiving. It's so hard to understand things like this sometimes. I find comfort knowing that it pains God to see His children suffer and He, too, knows what it is like to lose a Son. Humanity sucks: looking forward to the eventual eternity, when there will be no more sorrow or pain.

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  32. F U, cancer is right. My heart breaks....

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  33. This is absolutely gut wrenching. It really puts the petty little things that we seem to complain about into perspective. It makes me sick at any of the times that I felt "unhappy" over something that was so minor. This absolutely breaks my heart. Please let me know if you come up with something. I'd love to donate whatever I can. Prayers to this sweet family & little Isaac.

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  34. Oh, Erin...this post brought me to tears and I haven't even read Isaac's story yet. I am truly touched and want to help. I lost my father to a brain tumor and cannot even imagine seeing a child suffer through such an awful illness. Especially now, as a parent. Utterly devastating.

    You have a strong voice here on your blog. People listen to you. With over 3,000 followers, if each of us donated a freaking dollar or gave up a Starbucks and instead gave that $5 to you in support of Isaac, I'm sure you'd be able to raise a pretty penny.

    Of course money will not cure Isaac. It will not heal the growing hole in his parents' hearts. But it will help the family. In whatever capacity they need financial help...be it for gas, meals, bills, cleaning services...money for them to use at their discretion to lighten their burden.

    You've done a good thing here, girl. I'd really like to be a part of it. I'll be sleeping on this and trying to come up with some other ideas.

    xo-Katie

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  35. Praying for a miracle! What a sweet little boy <3 Bless that family.

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  36. I don't have any ideas but after reading this I would like to help. Please let me know what you come up with. This is so sad. lifeandeverythingelseinbetween@live.com or on twitter @spreenmvp

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  37. Heartbreaking! I hate hearing of things like this. :(
    xxx

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  38. Wow. I love the ideas about an early Christmas. That would be such a blessing. And could be so fun. There is so much that could go into that. So many fun, little things to help add to the specialness of an early Christmas. The families "presents" could be gas cards, visa cards, money, etc.
    Erin, I think if you could post something through the blog, like a pay pal or something, a lot of people on here would respond to it and give, I think. I know the Hubbs and I would.
    And prayer, of course. I will most def. be praying for this family. Read some of her online journals. So sad. Little Isaac looks so full of joy. Such a joyful spirit. Thank you for sharing this.

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  39. That is so sad! I've thought about him all night. I'd be happy to help in any way I can. kfinck4@gmail.com.

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  40. In reading through their blog, I came across that they are accepting donations on their FB page where you can donate toward him getting Legos. I forgot to write "Legos" in the memo before clicking enter, but I don't suppose it matters as they can use the donation for whatever they need.

    I think the idea of an early Christmas another blogger mentioned would be nice also.

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  41. I say FU to cancer every single day. I feel for that family so much. It is heartbreaking to watch someone you love go through that. My Mom has brain cancer too (as you know) - and I'd never ever wish that on anyone. NEVER. I'll be praying wholeheartedly for him. Miracles DO happen.

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  42. There are simply no words when something like this happens. Cancer is such an ugly disease and until we find a cure, a reason, a cause I will never truly be settled. It is one of those things that always moves me to the core. No parent should ever have to lose a child. Plain and simply. If there is any way to help I am happy. I thank you for sharing this because during a time of thanks this truly makes everyone realize how thankful we should be to wake up every morning healthy. My prayers are with this child and his family. Thank you for spreading the word.

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  43. We should love bomb his family! There's a group called "Love Bomb" and every week they comment on someone's blog who is having a hard time. They haven't been doing it lately, but if all of us could rally together and all comment on a single post of theirs with prayers, kind words, encouragement, etc. it might lift their spirits a bit. Put on your blog the day we'll "bomb" them and I think everyone would be willing to do it.

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  44. I posted on my personal and business fb accounts letting people know about this family and how much their stiry has touched my heart. I know money rarely solves anything but maybe if it helps lighten the burden for thisfamily even a little, we have done something to help. I look forward to seeing what else you come up with. I love the idea of the early Christmas. Keep us posted!

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  45. AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: In 2010 directed $0.01 (a penny) to childhood cancer research for every dollar of public support. (Total expenses: $951,123,000 and total directed at childhood cancer research: $11,900,000. Source:ACS)
    --Let's change this!--

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  46. I read Isaac's story and Care page this morning. I was an hour late to work. Who cares?

    What this family and every other family who has had to endure because of this is unfair and hard to understand.

    Keep us posted. As a strong blogging community, we can surely do something that will help Isaac and his family, even if it's just saying an extra prayer.

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  47. My heart absolutely breaks for this family. I have a 5 yr old son and 3 yr old daughter and CANNOT imagine what I would do if one of them was every diagnosed with cancer. Childhood cancer and illnesses are evil, evil things. I cannot comprehend why they exist. Children are such innocent and lovely and should never have to go through that. It just isn't fair. Plain and simple.
    I love the idea of setting up an early Christmas for the family. I am also sure you could find a local photographer willing to donate their time to take family photos and/or document their Christmas for them. Photos will be cherished forever no matter Isaac's outcome. I will be keeping this family in my thoughts. Thank you for writing about them.
    ~Erin

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  48. This story breaks my heart. This little boy deserves a full and happy life.
    FU Cancer.
    I am praying for him with everything I have, and also for this family.

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  49. Totally agree on the F U cancer. My heart and thoughts go out to Isaac and his family. Ughh. I lost my grandpa to cancer in August of last year and right after my 19 year old cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. It's pretty insane. I don't understand it..but it sucks.

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  50. I would love to help in any way possible! Have you ever heard of THON? Check it out at thon.org. I am emailing you now with more info and an idea! Thank you so much for this post and a call for prayer! :-)

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  51. God. Cancer sucks. It just sucks. You know how many cancer stories I've heard lately? It's just disgusting. And I'm sitting here crying now for a boy I don't even now and a family I don't even know.

    Keeping him and his family in my thoughts.

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  52. Prayers are sent for this little boy. It is sad to see someone so young having to suffer so greatly. Count your blessings.

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  53. Thinking of him and his family. Cancer sucks. Plain and simple. My niece (2 1/2 yrs old) is also battling it. She went into remission this summer, and then relapsed and is going through it all all over again, it's awesome what you are doing for this family!! I speak from experience that it's so comforting just knowing people have your little fighter in their hearts and minds

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  54. I read his story and it am praying for this precious fellow Hoosier and his family. I hate that a precious child of God has to suffer. I do LOVE the last line of your entry...F U CANCER!!

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  55. Thanks for posting this for Isaac. I am his dad's first cousin and we are all heartbroken. It was horrible the first time and we were all thanking God for his remission. We were so blown away when it returned. Isaac is such a sweet loving little boy. He always has been. I have personally never known a child that was dying until now, and I am having a hard time with it. I am trying to figure out how and when to tell my boys, who are 12 and 8 and how do I help them deal with all of this. I am so thankful that his parents have such a huge support system. Though the prognosis is not good, we are still praying for a miracle, knowing that it may not come. I don't even try to pretend how his parents and brothers feel and how they are dealing with this, I can only imagine. They are such a strong family. They will somehow survive this, if a miracle is not to be and of course we and their entire support system will "carry" them forever.

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  56. Wow, no words. Just heartbroken for this family and precious little boy. I will donate money, pray and have my kiddoes send cards and pictures...anything we can do! Praying for a huge miracle and peace for this family.

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I read and appreciate every one of your comments. Thanks for stopping by my space and sharing a piece of yourself on this huge ole internet. I meant that in the least creepy way possible. I'm just good at making everything awkward. Anyhow, thank you for your comments. They make me smile :)