At Christmas in 2003, I was hundreds of miles from home, living in a makeshift apartment at St. Jude, with a newborn baby and a two-year-old who was battling cancer. My husband was back at home, trying to keep life as normal as possible for our five-year-old daughter.It was hard to get into the holiday spirit, but I was determined to make the best of it. One afternoon after a full day of doctor’s appointments, the boys and I loaded up in the car to go pick out a tree…at the dollar store. We bought a tabletop tree with the cheapest, cheesiest ornaments and garland you’ve ever seen. That evening we threw a white bedsheet over a cardboard box, stood the little tree on it, and placed it in our front window for all to see. For the first time in a while, I saw a sparkle in my Jay’s eyes. He was so proud! That dollar-store tree on its cardboard box gave light to a very dark time in our lives.
For the past thirteen years, the Jay’s HOPE team has been a light-bringer. On a daily basis, we step into some dark and hard places. We are bedside, in the trenches of treatment, holding up families and loving on patients and siblings. People who are enduring the darkness are so relieved to see the light. It gives them much-needed HOPE.
As we prepare for this Christmas season, I first want to say thank you! If you are receiving this card, you have supported our ministry with your gifts and service. Second, I want to ask for your help again. Your tax-deductible contribution in lieu of Christmas gifts, in honor/memory of a loved one, or as a year-end donation will help us continue our mission of giving light and HOPE in the darkness of childhood cancer. We couldn’t do what we do without you.
Soon, I will be pulling out my little dollar-store tree to place in our front window for all to see. It is a reminder of how far we have come, encouraging us never to underestimate the power of our light. No matter how insignificant it may seem, God can use it to change the world.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” —Matthew 5:15-16
To make a donation to support our local childhood cancer families, please click here.