Several months ago, I received a facebook message from an Ele Story FB fan, and the message had such an impact on me that I decided to follow the thread. She wrote about her friend, Anya, whose little girl Emma was fighting cancer, and she was the same age as my little girl - age 4. I went to her friend's blog, and after reading many entries, I was wallowing in tears. I could not fathom how a young mother with such young girls was living through what every mother would dread -fighting cancer on behalf of her little girl.
As some of you know, cancer is an extremely difficult topic for me, as I lost my mom to cancer just 9 years ago, and the pain of it still feels very much as if it had just happened.
I contacted Anya and asked how we can help--if we can donate our gold dress to her girls as her friend had mentioned she was collecting anything gold for the month of September. Anya wrote a thoughtful response, and we arranged to meet up at Stanford Hospital where Emma was going for an appointment.
Thankfully, the gold dresses were finished in time for our meeting, and when the day came, I was feeling anxious - I didn't want to say or do the wrong thing and being insensitive--I know that no matter what I can say or do, I will never be able to understand the pain that they experience. My anxiety melted as Anya was so gracious, and cheerful, even. Though the meeting was very short, I was taken aback by the strength of this family - Emma has a twin, Emily, who gave me the biggest, tightest hug as she saw me...Anya and her husband held it all together, despite the long drive from where they live to the hospital where Emma can get the best care. After meeting the girls and showing them their new dresses, I couldn't stop thinking about them the whole way home. I thought, how would I react if my little June had the same diagnosis? Would I just give up, or fight as Anya and her whole family have been fighting? As I chatted with Emma's dad - I found out that Emma was actually doing better - they were throwing a "No More Chemo" party the following week, and all 3 girls would wear the gold dresses. Gold, as I have come to learn, is the color of childhood cancer.
Anya shared these images of Emma from her party. We are so thankful that Emma's story is turning out to have a happy ending...but it is also extremely devastating to know that there are more children like Emma and more families like Anya's that are battling childhood cancer and often, suffering the pain of losing their precious little ones to cancer. We are hoping to help bring awareness to childhood cancer in the hopes of finding a better alternative to chemo and ultimately a cure.
Please- if you have a moment, visit Anya's facebook page for childhood cancer awareness and find out how we can help as a community of moms/parents/believers.
Ele Story is also donating $10 to fight childhood cancer for every dress purchased from now until the end of September.