There was nothing like Jay’s HOPE when our family was in the midst of Heather’s fight. As the years have passed, I have felt the need to give back, to volunteer, to love those precious children and their families and to just be there for anything when I’m needed.
I have heard the saying ..”You don’t miss what you never had”…Well, I’ve seen just a small portion of what Jay’s HOPE does. I can say, “Yes, I sure did miss that”. Many nights, I could have used somebody who “Gets It” when I thought I was going crazy. I missed the emotional support. I missed the spiritual support. I missed having somebody say “Can I pray with you?” Heather and I missed the social events that Jay’s Hope offers their families, which are my favorite. Cancer Moms have a special bond, as I’m sure Chemo Kids have with each other too. I missed not having to worry if Ronnie was going to eat a decent meal before he went to work at night. You DO miss what you never had.
I never dreamed that one day my child would be going through brain surgery, chemo, radiation, counts, chicken pox in the middle of treatment, cataracs, countless MRI’s over the years, a Make-a-Wish trip, seizures, pills, needle sticks over and over and over, and would loose that gorgeous head of thick, dark, long wavy hair that I never would cut…and never grew back the way it was before.
She was 5 years old and my only child. My pride, my joy, and my whole world revolved around my Squeeky. I had stopped going to church for years, I didn’t even know how to begin to pray for my child. The night before her surgery, I went into the chapel at the hospital. All I could whisper was “God, you know what’s in my heart”. I felt an immediate peace, and I knew at that moment God was in control.
For years I stuffed this part of our lives way down deep in a dark place. A painful part of our past that I tried to forget about. But, childhood cancer is our past, our present..and our future. It’s who Heather is. It’s who her Mother is. I am finally able to share her story, after all these years.
She is an adult now. She has a simple, child-like innocence about her….but on the other hand, she has endured so much more than anyone should ever have to bear. All of her doctors gave us terrible odds. I now know that Heather is God’s child. He entrusted her to me, to teach me. I still ask him why, but with a different tone now. What did I do to deserve HER? I love my title…”Cancer Mom”. What an honor, what a blessing!
The purpose of “Heather’s Heroes” Fund is to provide Direct Family Support to the families that Jay’s HOPE serves. We will strive to further fund the mission of Jay’s HOPE Foundation.