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The Show Must Go On

Corona Virus stopped most of us in our tracks. One day working in the office, dropping off kids at school, and planning for upcoming spring vacations. An out of blue illness disrupting our whole lives, creating chaos, new challenges and obstacles. COVID 19 seemed like something only other countries would get and have to deal with.

As I work from home on the couch with my laptop I am able to watch my son go to school online. I realized how much easier this must be for me than some others. Although I have everything we need at home to get us through this time it is still hard. We have the basics food, water, and WIFI. My son belongs to a great school. He also has an exceptional team of teachers that support both of us. These educational professionals take the time to explain how to get the most from our new life of online school while answering any of my questions or concerns. My job has been set up so I can continue working from home providing financially for my family. My husband has continued to be able to work giving our family the best outcome that we could ask for despite our country being in crisis. Right now I have all the support and resources I need to be successful and it is still hard!

This last week I was able to transition smoothly into our new lifestyle. The first few day and nights I had more energy than I actually knew what to do with. Running strictly on a tank of adrenaline and creative energy I found myself blindsided when the first wave of exhaustion came over me. I still find myself getting extremely tired at night. I have taken the time to reflect on why I have been depleted every night. After some thought, I had to be honest with myself that I have been focused on making everything perfect during this time of uncertainty. Most moms tend to go into overdrive during times determined to be positive and hold the family together when everything seems to be out of control. Usually, most moms suffering the consequences when they come up for air and don’t recognize themselves or their relationships. The reality is life doesn’t change with a crisis, and we have to be flexible and kind to ourselves. While crisis is added we all still have to live our lives, continue to parent full time, work 40+ hour jobs, cook, exercise, and maintain positive. This is exhausting and it is OK to need support in times like that.

The parallel of this COVID experience and that of a CMN family cannot be denied. What we as a society are experiencing is a low level of what our miracle families go through. A child that is diagnosed with an illness or disability out of the blue no warning. A diagnosis that sidelines a family to operate in the same way they did before. An illness that only others get, but not something they would ever have to live with. Unfortunately once a family experiences a crisis there is no going back the only way out is forward. It is a time of confusion and takes a team of healthcare providers, family, non-profits, and other resources to come up with a plan to navigate their way back to health and hope.

Every family is different, every child’s needs are different, but the need to have the basics, income, a medically beneficial environment, resources that will support them while they prepare for their journey as a family with a sick child. The better the resources the better the chance a family will be successful in supporting their child during a life-threatening illness.

Most organizations other than hospitals and grocery stores seem to be at a standstill. Our country is at a place where we are all deciding what is essential and what is not essential right now. How does a person decide? The irony of the word essential is relative to that person. If our society really had to come to an agreed upon definition of essential it would have to be what is necessary to survive. As an organization that highlights the positive and chooses to focus on hope while fundraising for families fighting their way through the hardest times of their lives literally facing life or death. The answer is obvious e must continue to raise money in a time where our Miracle Families need more support than ever in a healthcare environment that is overly stressed out.

We as a society are in a time of crisis we must decide on how we respond and how we envision our communities after the COVID crisis is over. Miracles are defined as “a highly improbable or extraordinary event development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.” I ask you to consider donating in a time that would only be described as a miracle. Families still need medical needs grants, community programs still need to be funded that provide rides to their oncology appointments, in-home palliative care services, and great patient care in our hospital despite the chaos going on in the world right now. Children’s Miracle Network believes in the power of miracles and is committed to making sure the show goes on.

Margaret Mead, an American cultural anthropologist who was a popular public figure in the ’60s and ’70s said it best when describing culture determinism:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Thank you for being a part of our CMN Hospitals’ culture of philanthropy and not forgetting that during a challenging time the show must go on.