This morning I went to visit the child life specialist in the pediatric oncology outpatient clinic here at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. I’ve been working on our head shaving event in the Foundation’s office and decided to pop over to hand out some of our new “Pocket Smiles” to spread cheer.
When I arrived at the clinic, it was packed. My previous visits to the clinic have been during relatively quiet times. Today, that wasn’t the case. The waiting room was packed. While I waited to talk to the reception desk, I took a peek around the corner to see the plaque that was installed last year to recognize the efforts of Jack’s Chattanoggins, you know…a proud mom thing.
As I caught a glimpse of the plaque, my body was overcome with emotion, the plaque was surrounded by the families who continue to need our help. It shook me. I could feel my throat tightening up a bit, and my eyes, well, I was endeavoring to keep them dry.
I walked back into the clinic, to talk to Ashley (amazing woman by the way! A true blessing for those kids and their families), and there was a young man who had just finished his appointment being wheeled out by his mom. I guess he was about 11, hard to tell. The beautiful boy was without his hair from his treatments and he had some tubes connected to him.
Again, the emotion hit me, and I paused.
When Jack first started to shave his head, we hadn’t met a child who had cancer – that is not what moved Jack to become involved. Rather a small seed was planted in his heart, as a result of reading a beautiful book. We nurtured that seed and it has grown beyond our wildest expectations. We could not have imagined our reach and our impact on so many people.
The planning and execution of our event is joyful. However,with our journey, we have experienced loss, we have seen remission, and lifelong side effects of cancer.
There is still so much work to be done…but folks, it’s truly an honor.
Thank you ALL for your support!