As I sat down to write Alyssa’s SickKids story on a blustery Halloween afternoon I heard a facebook ‘ding’ notification. I clicked the link, vaguely intrigued at the timing of a SickKids guest blog posting at THIS moment. I start reading and soon see a word I haven’t seen for fifteen years, yet sends my heart right to my throat: omphalocele.
If you have children you can probably remember the moment during the first ultrasound when you are searching the technician’s face for any sign of concern, and when you heard that your baby was healthy and everything looked fine, that feeling of relief. With us, we searched his face and saw only a blank expression. Not warm or cold, just rigid blankness. “She has all her fingers and toes?” we joked, and he could only say he doesn’t discuss ultrasound findings and that we would hear from our doctor. We had no idea what was coming down the road, but we knew one thing for sure: it wasn’t paved. In fact, it wasn’t even cut into the landscape.
It’s hard to believe how much time has passed since Alyssa’s short life changed the course of ours, forever. Then again, the memories seem to be embedded on a cellular level and as I read the following notes we wrote to family & friends in 1998, the heartache is just as strong. The difference now though is that time gives you perspective. Like a tough expedition marred by terrible moments fighting off clouds of mosquitoes and weathering intense storms, the images that come to mind when looking back at it are the moments of beauty. The jaw-dropping sunsets, the faces of generous strangers and that intangible inkling (faith?) that everything really is how it should be.
Please help us reach our goal of raising $200,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network in Alyssa’s name.
- Canadian contributors can make a secure donation online of any amount by clicking here.
- For donors outside of Canada, please email Heather Mills at email@example.com for information about how to donate.
If it is received by Dec 31st, you will receive a charitable gift tax receipt for the current year.
No matter the size of your donation, we are ever so grateful for your generous spirit of giving so that kids can be helped or even cured – and go on to the important business of being a kid again!
And we cannot thank you enough for your encouragement as we aim to demonstrate to our own kids that their actions can inspire others and make a difference in the world.