Last week the wonderful ladies of Surrogate Alternatives, Inc. and I donated Halloween gift bags to the children at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. I want to share with you why it means a lot to me to be able to put a smile on these kids faces.
Early this year my daughter, Veronica, was hospitalized at Rady and diagnosed with Lupus in her central nervous system, vasculitis and encephalitis. She was extremely weak and unable to talk much because of the encephalitis. She couldn’t even think straight because the encephalitis was taking control of her brain. It almost seemed like I had a 6 year old stuck in a baby’s body, she even had to be potty trained again.
The feeling I got when doctors gave us the diagnosis is a feeling I will never forget. I felt like nothing existed, my heart broke in a million pieces, I felt lost. The first twelve days doctors did test after test, lab work every single day sometimes even 3 times a day, her veins were too small so they finally decided to put a pick line in her chest. They put a tube down her nose for feeding, she had a spinal puncture, MRI, ultrasound of her heart and measured her brain waves. So many tests and so much pain. Still the needles were the worst for her; she was taking high doses of steroids and received her first chemotherapy treatment too. She took chemo for almost four months every two weeks plus the high dose of steroids. You can imagine the toll that it took on my little angel but as parents you can imagine what it does to you.
Not being able to help your own child is the most heart wrenching thing I had ever been through, I felt helpless, useless, felt like it’s all my fault, cried every day and I felt lost. No matter how many times I told her I loved her or held her in my arms, she was still sick. I would cry when she would sleep and I tried my hardest to hide my fear and pain but sadly I couldn’t. Nothing prepares you for the moment your child has to fight for their life.
Thankfully there was a light at the end of the tunnel. In August my precious Veronica completed chemotherapy , pulled through and feels better. There’s nothing I can do or say to thank all her doctors for saving her little life. My way of giving back is to donate to the children where she was hospitalized and even if it’s for a day to put a smile on their faces. We know what the children and families of Rady Children’s Hospital are going through because we were and will always be one of them.
We know that we’ll be out there again helping and donating to the wonderful staff and the children of Rady. Thank you to Surrogate Alternatives, Inc. for their kind donation and taking the time out of your day to make the children and staff smile.
*Thank you to Rady Children’s Hospital for all the wonderful work they do to help our children through the toughest of times. If you would like to help in any way please visit http://www.radyfoundation.org for more information.