Each and every year the discussion begins. “Hun, Where did we spend Christmas Eve last year? Is it Christmas morning with your parents this year or mine? Seriously we need to start writing this down.” Once that is sorted out panic often sets in. So much to do and so little time. Gifts to buy, houses to clean, parties to attend, concerts, wrapping and baking oh my! Yes, at this time of year I will admit to having a litany of “Christmas complaints”.
Then last week I took a break from the Christmas Crazy to take a tour of the London Children’s Hospital with six local bloggers and the Children’s Miracle Network. Full stop. End of my selfish whining. A half a day touring floor after floor full of sick children. Children who know exactly where they will be on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Right there, in hospital, fighting to get better, hoping to get out and back to their childhood that has been put on hold as they recovery from injury, sickness and disease.
Suddenly I felt like a very self centred and self absorbed person with my “Christmas worries”. Worries? I have none. Where will I be Christmas morning? Listening to my babies run down the stairs to see what Santa has left them. Snapping pictures of two girls with candy canes in their mouths and new gifts in their hands. Drinking coffee and eating too many cookies. My only worry is if the tags would stay on the gifts and if the turkey would be on done on time. Suddenly my heart ached for the parents who would spend their Christmas praying that this Christmas…… they get to take their babies home.
· Children’s Hospital sees 88,796(over 88,000) Child visits each year (over 26,000 patients)
· Emergency, sees approximately 37,000 Child patients each year
· 35,000 children are treated through the Paediatric Medical Day Unit each year
· Over 700 babies are cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit each year
· Approximately 6,600 babies are born at London Health Sciences Centre each year
Today I am truly counting my blessings. Not just for my healthy and happy children, but for the services I know I am lucky to have so close to me should I ever need them. And that really is a scary thing isn’t ? At any moment in time any one of us can find us in the terrifying and tearful place of needing the support and love of the NICU, Family Support, Ollie the Clown (at the Hospital four days a work to try and normalize the often scary and overwhelming experience for the children), the Oncology floor or so many other services available at this incredible and complicated place.
So what is one Mama in the Suburbs to do? How can I help? How can you?
How can you help families like the one I introduced you to back in May with my post Is Your Husband In The Waiting Room?
This family was able to take home three beautiful babies thanks to the incredible expensive and specialized equipment required for each child in part because of the incredible services, and equipment available at our local Children’s Hospital.
How can you make a difference in the life of Hudson. A little boy we had the privilege of meeting on our tour last week. Just over a year of age, a baby, and facing more than one YEAR of intensive treatment HOURS from home. How do you being to make a difference for that Mama, that family?
With a donation. I know everyone is asked to make donations all the time, but I hope this will strike a special place in your heart. Without the Children’s Miracle Network where would these babies, these children that could be your child, your neighbour, your daughters classmate be? Would they even see Christmas? With this in mind I have decided to take half of all the monies I would have spent on Christmas gifts for teachers, coaches, and piano instructors and make a donation in their name to the Children’s Miracle Network. Instead of a Poinsettia and coffee gift card, or Chocolates and wine, I will be putting $10.00 in a Gift Card in their names. Imagine the impact that we could make if we all did that?
Do you have a Dad, a Grandparent who’s hard to buy for? I do! I know my Dad would love the idea of a little one receiving life saving equipment over him getting yet another tie or golf shirt. He’s just that guy. Big hearted men give, big.
Do these ideas make sense to you? Do you know some big hearted people? If you do then I implore you to help me make someone’s Christmas just a little brighter. Consider a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network this Christmas. Consider sharing this post on your Facebook pages, or sharing on twitter, because every little bit helps.
Thank you, and I wish you a healthy, happy and joy filled Christmas.
You can follow Children’s Hospital Foundation on Twitter here @CHFHope