My journey began 8 years ago when I fell ill with what we believed to be a classic case of appendicitis, today, I stand taller, stronger, and wiser with rare liver, gastrointestinal and allergy conditions to face for the rest of my life.
I went from being a competitive dancer to learning to celebrate small victories like getting out of bed, not having to use my epi pen, eating a decent meal and keeping it down or even just taking a few steps.
I began to get sick at the prime of my childhood, I was an innocent, naive and scared 12 year old. It didn't take me long to feel at home and safe within the walls of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, you can ask any patient or former patient, Sick Kids (as we know it) is built upon a foundation of hope and magic. I learned to identify myself at Sick Kids, it became my second home and it became apart of me. I had my first love within those walls, and my first heartbreak, I shed many tears but also shared many laughs. I learned who I was at Sick Kids, I learned that it's okay to not be okay, and I learned that my calling in life was to become a pediatric nurse and work within that same building one day.
I spent months in the hospital and distinctly remember the volunteers, nurses, and visitors that made my stay special. I remember the gifts I was given that still comfort me to this day. Most importantly, I remember the day that I sat lonely on my bed wondering when someone would care? I vowed that day to make sure no one ever would feel that way, and I soon became "someone".
Alas, I began my initiatives at the hospital to bring comfort to each child I got to visit and meet. I didn't want them to have another mom, or nurse, or volunteer...I wanted them to have a friend. Someone safe that understood their struggles, someone that they didn't have to "be okay" or "be strong" for. I also provide babysitting services to families of Sick Kids free of charge. A few months ago I had the priviledge of spending time with two special sisters, one of whom was battling cancer while their parents went on a well deserved dinner. Thanks to contributions from my high school graduating class and donations from others I was able to bring her and her sister arts and crafts, games, DVDs and have a fun evening forgetting about being sick and being in the hospital.
Unfortunately my funds and supplies are running extremely low, but the demand and number of kids that deserve it are increasing. I need help from the public to keep this a reality. I strongly believe that all of the children I've been blessed to meet are the reason I wake up each morning, and their smiling faces are the reason I keep going. They remind me of the beautiful things that exist in a world of mundane gray.
I have a new goal to provide blankets of hope to each child I get to visit, these fleece blankets unfortunately do come with a cost of about $15 to $20 per item. Your pledge can sponsor a child within Sick Kids.
Please help me give these families the hope and happiness they deserve, and give a childhood to the kids in Sick Kids. Because they are just that--kids. For more on my efforts at Sick Kids and my journey with chronic illnesses please search "Strong Like Sab" on Facebook.
With all my love,