BENEFITING: Holding Hope Bags
Hello. I am currently raising funds to help fund events that we put on for children in the Pediatric Cancer unit at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. We are looking for $3000 to help fund the different magicians, actors, and comedians that we bring to the Mayo Clinic to help put a smile on the faces of hundreds of children. Let me start with a little background on why this is so important to me. As January approached during my junior year of high school in 2011, I started to develop periodic episodes of nausea and vomiting. I was under the impression that it was either from something I ate or it was just my body being affected by flu like symptoms. The episodes started to become more and more frequent until I eventually was no longer able to attend school for weeks at time. These symptoms were not disappearing as I had once hoped and prayed. Therefore, I would have to endure days upon days of tests that involved MRI’s, X-rays, blood work, and tissue samples. By the time March had rolled around, I was no longer attending school; I was months behind in my classes and I missed my friends beyond belief. I needed some relief, but to my disbelief that relief did not come. I had hoped to get my “sickness” under control over the following months so I could go back to being a normal student and continue to maintain a regular life as senior year approached. During these summer months of preparation for senior year, I would still have continuous setbacks that drove me insane. But I still managed to carry a sense of hope as these setbacks continued to occur. This optimism continued to supply relief in my daily life until one unpleasant day in July. On this particular day I had the unfortunate pleasure of vomiting over 25 times. My body hurt, my throat ached, and I couldn’t imagine myself recovering anytime soon. This new realization that this was going to be an ongoing process hit me like a train. I knew that the road ahead was going to be long and agonizing, filled with high points and low points that would forever change my way of life in the future. As time progressed, I regressed. Over the next year I would lose my hearing for weeks at a time, I’d black out for no apparent reason finding myself at the bottom of the stairs with a gash in my head, and I would lay in bed hopelessly as I waited for my next visit to the Mayo Clinic to have more tests and procedures done. Although this seems like a turn for the worst, this has helped me find myself and overcome difficult times with the help of family, friends, and faith. For those of you who are still reading this, I'd like to make one thing clear. Fighting an illness for years at Mayo wasn't nearly as tough as watching terminally ill children fight for their lives. My unique experience has allowed me to interview hundreds of parents with sick children in an attempt to find out what small things could occur to make their lives better. I found out that the children and parents aren't looking for toys or gifts. They are searching for ways to create positive lasting memories with their children while being confined to a hospital bed. Holding HOPE strives to create these lasting memories. We strive to create positive moments for families as they fight their toughest battles. We need your help and would appreciate anything you can give. Thank you!