Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What if..........

Meet Ayden! Ayden was not feeling well on this day and could barely hold his head up! If you want to read this post, even though it may be controversial or sad, then be my guest!

As you most know...our family is huge into volunteering our time and services. I do a ton of fundraising and help out as much as I am capable of doing. My husband is on a volunteer fire department, that he spends a huge portion of his free time doing, and spent money to become a EMT just to help out a community. He gets not one red cent for doing this!

When I first started at Target, Oprah's Big Give donated $10,000 to the Sioux Falls area. It was giving to KSFY, one of our local television services, and KSFY teamed up with Target to "Pay it forward". We got $2,500 as a seed to grow.

Target racked their brains on what to do with it. Sanford, one of our hospitals, was contacted. The Oncology nurses introduced us to Ayden. A little boy with Wilms Tumor. He had already lost a kidney, went into remission for a few short weeks, and then had 2/3 of his lung removed when they found evidence of the disease again.

Target chose Ayden and his family to help b/c they are struggling. The mom lost a corporate job mostly due to taking much needed time off to take her 2yr old son to chemo. They pay Cobra insurance now. They live in a run down rental home. They have 4 children. The youngest being 1yr old, Ayden is now 3yrs old, a teenage boy and a grown son and his wife. This family works hard to care for Ayden and the youngest sibling. They alternate times to take him to the hospital, the doctor, the chemo. They all encourage Ayden to take his shots that he gets daily, and like any other 3yr old, hates the shots. They donate 2 nights a week to Meals on Wheels even with their scrunched time schedule. The house is run down and the landlord doesn't keep up with the repairs. This house is very, very old, and not a stable place for a 3yr old with a very rare cancer.

Target, KSFY and many other businesses are building this family a brand new home. We need $110,000 to do it. We have until the 17th of this month.

We are selling "Links of Love" for $1 and of course all proceeds go to Ayden directly. We have a table right when you walk thru the door and a Target employee always manning it.

I am sad to see so many people turn their noses up to this cause. I had quite a few tell me "NO" in a very rude manner b/c they do not support promotional fundraisers. They do not like Oprah. One lady told me she was a "black pig!" I was embarrassed to even have spoken to this person. There is a huge picture of Ayden right on the table. I simply said "Does this little boy look like Oprah?" She was speechless.

Trust me, I know how many times we all get hit up for donations. It is overwhelming. I don't claim to give to every single cause. I do however, always give when it involves a child and when I know the donation is directly affecting them. I choose a cause, and stick with that cause. But if I am asked for $1......which could mean me giving my $1 to a boy with cancer or buying a soda....I make a choice. We all usually have $1 worth of change at the bottom of our purse. Is it really that much to ask????

What if............

What if it was your child who was fighting for their life. What if it was you fighting for your childs life??? What if it was you that had to wipe the tears of pain away daily. What if it was you that had to beg and plead with your kid to take their meds 3X's a day?? What if it was you that lay awake with your child who has cancer and suddenly has a temp, which is never good?? What if it was you that had a swarm of medical bills streaming in, for hundreds of thousands of dollars, all of which you couldn't pay? What if it was you that could not afford a different house, even though the current one was not good for you and your family??? What if...........

I am a huge advocate for Stem Cell Research and transplants. I know the controversy of it. I have listened to both sides and made my own educated decision. I did my research!

Fact: The embryo's that are not used for research and transplants get thrown in the trash!!!

Fact: Stem cell transplants cure cancer, metabolic disorders, paralysation, etc.

Fact: Most children with cancer who had a stem cell transplant are alive today because of it.

Fact: Cancer is ugly, aggressive and doesn't care who the victim is.

Fact: Controversy has played a part in all medical treatments at one point.....even in the immunizations that we give our children to stay healthy.

Fact: Most that disagree with Stem Cell Transplants suddenly change their mind about it when a loved one falls victim to cancer and needs the transplant to survive.

Fact: Most non-supporters have never read about stem cell transplants and made a guess off of hear/say!

Fact: Children die from cancer everyday, sometimes b/c their insurance companies deny them the medical treatment they rightfully deserved.

I know children who have been threw cancer and all it's ugliness. I know children who are alive and cancer free today because of stem cell transplants. I know what I know from research. I know what I advocate for because I choose to take time to research.

I choose what causes I will donate too. That is my right. I also get very involved in those organizations. My focus is on kids, illnesses and Stem Cell Research. I will advocate for these organizations and continue to volunteer my services. Even if they are small.

If every person donated $10 a month to their choice of donations, every single person, the outcome would be overwhelming.

I don't judge based on your choices. I do judge when others judge mine. If you don't like what causes I am advocating for, then whatever. You don't have too. Many people told me "no" to the "Links of Love" because they are involved in other fundraisers. I smile, and tell them thank you for being involved. I don't care if it is for animals, for elderly, for church for whatever. Just as long as you are involved.

My precious daughter asked me if she could give her college savings fund to Ayden because she would rather not go to college and help him live! That little stinker taught me something! What a concept. Instead, I asked her to walk the streets with me tonight, asking for $1 or more from neighbors, friends, even sworn enemies. So guess what we are doing tonight? Knocking on doors until our knuckles bleed, until our feet are swollen, or until it is bedtime to help a little boy that cannot play outside, go to school, go shopping, play at a park, fight with his siblings or even eat certain foods because a disease is taking over his body. Instead, he will lie on the couch because his white blood count is too low, endure numerous shots and surgeries, wears a mask over his face when he leaves his house, has doctors and needles and nurses and hospitals to look forward too.

This isn't about Oprah, Target, KSFY or me. This is about him! A boy who deserves the chance at life!!!!!

Ask yourself this.......

What if????

There will be no apologies for a long post. There will be no controversy over this post. There will be no regrets for my decisions in life. There will only be time, energy and love!

If you made it this far, and this post has swelled your heart or opened your eyes. Hooray! If this post means something to you because you have found your place in donations, pat yourself on the back! If this post made you mad, then move on to the next blog! I'm not asking for you to agree or disagree, I'm asking for us all to make a impact!!!!!!!!!

God Bless this Little boy and God Bless volunteers!!!!!!


LaskiGal said...

How can I help? Children, diseases, suffering, cures, life . . . 'nuff said.

Anonymous said...

This story and post touched my heart. Is there any way I could donate or help from Canada?

Let me know! I will do what I can. Having children myself (although they don't live with me), I know how it would tear me apart if it was them fighting this terrible disease.

Tara R. said...

Good for you! Good luck with this fundraiser and God bless you for what you are doing.

April said...

What a great post! You and your family are priceless. Fundraisers can do SO MUCH for any cause, I've seen it happen! I know you guys will succeed!
My town's Humane Society was in dire straits (in debt $80,000) and on the verge of closing with over 80 kitties and 20 doggies with no homes (and they had no money to buy supplies, etc.). Myself and Daryl and so many other people in our town and neighboring towns either volunteered time, donated dog/cat food, paper towels and supplies, or adopted pets, and donated money...and the Humane SOciety PULLED OUT Of their $80,000 debt. If they can do that, I KNOW Target's fundraiser will meet their $110,000 goal for poor, sweet little Ayden! It can be done.

Brittany said...

Great GREAT post!

Mind if I link it from my Pay it Forward site? It would go along perfectly! :)

I love this. I love that you spoke out. I agree. We all need to do our part. There is ALWAYS someone out there that has it worse off than we do, and we just need to help them out. PERIOD. People are so selfish and can't see past their own noses, sometimes. It really hurts me, too, when people are so rude and careless.

Thanks for posting this, again- great work!

Can you send me your address,so that I can send some $ for Ayden, please?

krissy said...

You guys are so amazing. Look at my bloggy friends............
We are united!!!

I will link a post tomorrow if you feel the need to help. I wasn't asking for that, and certainly wasn't expecting it. I should have known that my friends would be so supportive and generous.

Of course Brittany you can link me to your Pay it Forward site. Not for me to have linky love, but for more awareness.

Seriously, I was totally expecting some hate mail, and I still might get it but be afraid.......I think I have some back here!!!

I'm proud of you all! I am so proud of you!!!!

Kathryn said...

How, how, how could you get hate mail from this post? It is all about helping out a sick child. Who can say anything negative about that?
Any issues affecting children gets me. I have been a big supporter of St. Jude's for 5 years now. I love them. And I love that you (and your precious girl) are helping with this cause so much. You go girl!

Anonymous said...

You mention people giving $10 . . . the average car payment in this country is $460. What if people in this country decided they could live without a brand new car and its payment, and drive a $4000 car instead (til they can pash cash for a better one) We could give one car payment a year to a family like this or a charity. Our values are so messed up in this country. And thanks to the organ donors of the world too - from a kidney/pancreas transplant recipient

Sandy C. said...

What a poignant post. This really touched my heart as a mother and pediatric nurse. Kudos to you for posting and bringing light to Ayden and his family.

cyndy said...

I think this is an excellent post. I feel just as strongly about the causes that I support.
I want to help Ayden, also.

Mama Zen said...

Great post!

I don't know what the laws are like where you live, but I thought that this might interest you:


OHmommy said...

Your little Diva is such an angel.

Motherhood for Dummies said...

Oh my gosh! How horrible! I hope that the family gets the help they need. And I hope that racist person got some sense knocked into her. People are so stupid and ignorant

Elaine A. said...

Came over from Britt's Pay it Forward blog... so wonderful what you are doing. Let us know how we can help too!!

Stacy said...

Okay...seriously girl...YOU ROCK! I love your commitment to what you believ in...the world needs more people like you :)
Great blog! :)

Lisa said...

Ugh....gives me chills!!!

Good for you for helping out, and good for you for raising a daughter with such a large loving heart! I think most people think "This can't happen to me", but sadly it can happen to each & every one of us!

My prayers are going out to Ayden & his family!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Krissy Im a reader from Scotland. I would like to donate to the little boys fund - do you have a paypal account? That might be the way for the readers like myself who are overseas to contribute.

I love your blog and hope that your target is reached soon.

Stacy said...

I came over from Brittany's blog. What a wonderful way to raise your children, showing them how to make the world a better place. Charity's for children definitely touch my heart, too.

Grandy said...

OMG!! I hope your walk through the neighborhood was a HUGE success!!! You made me cry, and so did your daughter. I will help but don't know if it will get to you in time.