#289 Put a smile on a sick child’s face

3 Jul

When I started this blog, it was because I was really sad and thought my life was over. I wrote that I reminded myself that I didn’t have a life-threatening illness…so today’s deed is to recoginize and support those children and their families… Usually I end my posts with a quote, but today I’m going to start it off a short story/quote that is posted on the organizations website:

~ ~ Your Cross ~ ~
The young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer.

“Lord, I can’t go on,” he said. “I have too heavy a cross to bear.” The Lord replied, “My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish.”

The man was filled with relief. “Thank you, Lord,” he sighed, and he did as he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so large the tops were not visible.

Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. “I’d like that one, Lord,” he whispered. The Lord replied, “My son, that is the cross you just brought in.”

When life’s problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself far more blessed than you imagined.

~Author Unknown

How right is this story/quote?! My deed involves the Make a Child Smile (MACS) Organization (www.makeachildsmile.org) . MACS was founded in May 1998 and has a mission of ” providing emotional and financial support to families whose children suffer from chronic or life-threatening illnesses and also give those who visit the MACS website the opportunity to participate by sending mail to the children”.
The website works like this: there are featured children who have serious illnesses. A picture of the child, small biography, and the childs story (as written by the parent) are provided. The mission of the site is to send mail/little gifts to the children. Specifically, cards should be sent to the featured children first and then the current kids (kids who featured less than a year ago), and finally the previous kids (kids who were featured more than a year ago).
Today I will be sending a card to Isabella. She is 3 years old and has Neuroblastoma (cancer that has a primary site on kidneys and then attaches to bone marrow).
 You can read all about Isabella on the website- she is the featured child for June 2010. She received new bone marrow and is preparing for 12 cycles of radiation. I will also be sending her a gift card to Toys R Us so she can pick out something she would like (interests are also listed, but I feel a gift card is best).
In addition to Isabella, I will be sending something to Bethany H. Bethany was the featured child in January of this year. She is 17 years old and has Hodgkins Lymphoma (when she was first diagnosed, she had 11 tumors and a lung capacity of 30%).

What struck me most about her story, was that Beth had to drop out of HS because her school wasn’t sending work and wasn’t being cooperative. Not only that, but her peers were making fun of her (she had lost her hair due to chemo). I think this really upsets me, because as a teacher if one of my students was sick I would do ANYTHING to help him/her. I’ll be sending Beth a card, plus a gift card to Target or Borders (my two favorite places to shop and be at). 

What I like about this organization, is how easy it is to support a child. Additionally, I think this is a great classroom activity and I definetly plan to do this with my classes this upcoming school year. Instead of buying cards, we can make them in class- and so I don’t have to pay postage, send them via school mail!  I’m excited to go out and find the perfect cards for Isabella and Bethany. One final last note is that the addresses are posted on the site, so the mail goes directly to the kids and their families.  Until tomorrow….

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One Response to “#289 Put a smile on a sick child’s face”

  1. carinne July 6, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    Strangely enough one of my college professors had sending cards to a similar program as an extra credit opportunity. This is an awesome one.

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