September is childhood cancer awareness month. And I guess it’s fitting that Abigail’s infant photo session has “gone viral” and her beautiful face has graced many online articles. And Facebook pages. And apparently even Pinterest. Which I find incredibly powerful and totally directed by God. We did not seek any of this out. All we did was try to freeze time at the talented hands of our new friend Mary. Who graciously donates her time and talents to families with children who have Down syndrome through the Buddy Baskets program. And she put our photos and story up on her photography blog, shared it on Facebook, and a friend of a friend is a writer for abc.com. And has a 2 yr old with Down syndrome so it caught her eye. So that’s how it started. It is His guiding hands that has placed Abby’s face all over the Internet. This attention actually makes me very uncomfortable and I would have not chosen to plaster our family on the World Wide Web if it were up to me. But it’s not. It’s up to God and He is moving. I pray she is touching hearts and souls all over the world. I pray they see the love of our family, the love we have for Abigail, and see a reflection of God’s love for us. Just a tiny glimpse of how much God loves us. Flaws and all.
But Abby’s is just one face. One face of many children out there battling cancer. One face of many children fighting God-knows-what disease trying to stay alive. One face of a child with Down syndrome. Abby is real. We are a real, normal family that never in a million years expected to be all over the Internet because we have a newborn daughter with brain cancer. I hate that we are all over the Internet because we have a newborn daughter with brain cancer. But God is using this for something incredibly amazing and I’m trying to roll with it. I don’t know what it is, but we would love to hear any stories that relate to Abigail. So maybe that if this ends the way our doctors expect it to, I’ll know how much her life mattered and how she made a difference to not only us, but family, friends and complete strangers.
We’ve also been approached many times about financial support. While we are grateful for the thought, as of now, we are stable and not in financial need. However, there is a serious need for funding for research specific to pediatric cancer. As I have recently scoured Google for information on infant/fetal brain tumors and cancers, I know how little research is out there that’s even mildly relevant to what’s going on with Abby. A handful of case studies. In light of going gold this month for childhood cancer, if you feel like you want to help financially, consider donating to a charity that helps children with cancer. Whether it be a non profit funding research, or providing games for kids in the hospital, or providing a free place to stay, or granting that last wish for a terminal child. They are all so important to the children and families involved. So if your heart is led to give, do it. Don’t think too much about it. Just give. There’s a reason why you feel the pull to help, someone out there needs you. Are you listening?
These are just a few charities involved with children and families fighting cancer. And a special charity for local families with children with Down syndrome. Some of these have already made a huge impact on Abigail’s life and supporting our family. We are forever grateful.
Pediatric Cancer Foundation: http://fastercure.org
Community PedsCare: https://communityhospice.com/our-services/childrens-services.aspx
Buddy Baskets: http://www.tesorifamilyfoundation.org/buddy-baskets.html
Dreams Come True: http://www.dreamscometrue.org
Childrens Miracle Network: http://give.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org
Ronald McDonald House: http://www.rmhc.org