Giving comes in many forms. Through giving, we transform our lives to provide meaning and purpose beyond that which we can comprehend, touching the lives of those who we would otherwise pass on the street without notice.
In February 2015, I was told of a 4-year-old girl diagnosed with the same type of terminal brain cancer my daughter died from in 2011. Both girls had similar personalities, intuitive spirits and drew you in with an intense and uncharacteristic sense of the divine. Both girls ultimately took their final breath as a result of childhood cancer.
I began working with the Max Cure Foundation (MCF), a childhood cancer organization, as a result of a generous grant allowing me to give my time to help others impacted by the disease that took my daughter's life. Part of MCF's mission is to assist low-income families with a child diagnosed with cancer and in active treatment. As an organization, we provide gift cards to assist families with the purchase of household necessities. Often the families we serve need significant assistance beyond what we are able to provide. At those times, I use my connections and relationships to build larger networks of support bringing numerous organizations together to fill the financial gaps.
This leads me back to February 2015 and the little girl. Beyond the tragic diagnosis, the Mother, father and their two little girls were on the verge of eviction from their one bedroom apartment. Both professionals in Ethiopia, they recently immigrated to seek a better life for their children. Unfortunately, immediately after the devastating news, the little girl experienced a massive bleed in her tumor causing her to become almost unresponsive for four months. During that time, the parents held vigil in the hospital, unable to maintain employment.
Giving back to this family became a priority. A community effort shaped up quickly. Within weeks, I was able to organize a handful of nonprofits, who came together and put their egos aside, and ensured that the family's financial concerns were alleviated. rent. Utilities. Transportation to the hospital. Necessities. They were all taken care of so that the focus could singularly be maintained on the little girl's treatment. What MCF, and the others in the organized effort provided, was much more than money. Collectively, we provided hope.
Over the next few months, until her passing in December 2015, I spent a significant amount of time with the family and more importantly, the little girl. Hours would pass, we would do arts and crafts, play with Play Dough, watch her favorite Disney movies and sit and talk. The loss of my little friend cut me deeply and continues to effect me tremendously. It has now been exactly one year since her death. Her parents provided me with one of the greatest honors of my life, to eulogize her at her funeral. I did so, just as I did at my daughter's funeral service. I will never forget this experience.
Nor will I ever forget the opportunity to give and be a part of a community that rallied to assist a little girl and her family. I choose to give to Max Cure as a result of the commitment that
Review from #MyGivingStory