I’m working with the Children’s Miracle Network and IWK Health Foundation in Halifax to raise money for this wonderful children’s hospital.
Today, I would love to introduce you to Parker.
(Parker LOVES to ski)
(Parker with his favorite nurse)
Parker is a 10 year old boy who was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2010. He’s such a sweetie, and every correspondence I’ve received has emphasized how lovely and special and humble he is. He’s been through a lot since since his diagnosis, but I think only he can properly share his experience. So, I’m grateful to be able to share a speech with you, that was written and given by Parker himself to a crowd of 1000!
My name is Parker and I am 10 yrs old! This is my dad Bruce…he’s my best friend.
On July 11th, 2010 I had been in the hospital for 3 days and all I knew was that my blood was sick. I had little energy but nothing hurt…I felt fine. That day, my parents told me that I had leukemia. I started to laugh because it thought the word sounded funny. When I found out leukemia was a type of cancer, I was scared…amazing that one word can do that to us in an instant. The good news I got that day was that my type of cancer has a cure and that I will survive. I would be in treatment for over 3 yrs but after that, I would lead a normal life.
Over the last 21 months, I’ve taken around 8000 pills which is an average of 12.5 pills per day.
My biggest pill day is 34 pills which is once a month…I dread that day.
I have approximately 6000 pills left to take which brings me to September 2013. That is the month I will be done my treatments and I will be able to say that I am survivor. The first 6 months of my treatment were intense, tough and sometimes painful, but I needed to do all this stuff to clean up my blood.
In the first 8 months of my treatment I made 70 trips to the IWK, had 65 needles, 20 lumbar punctures, 10 sedations, 4 inpatient admissions, 3 bone marrow test, 3 trips to the ER, 2 MRIs, 2 blood transfusions, 1 operation, 1 week in isolation, 1 birthday.
The last and the most important stat today is: 250 – that`s the number of items the IWK currently needs to purchase to properly care for us kids but currently cannot afford to buy…
Now, I am more than halfway through my treatment protocol. I take pills 3 times a day and many of those are chemo pills. I told my mom a few days ago that I feel like this treatment keeps going on and on and on and on. That wasn’t a great day. I was tired but my body could not relax enough to sleep. I did not want to take my pills because they would probably make me feel worse for a bit. It’s frustrating. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes, I do wonder…“why me”.
What I want you to remember about me is what I do between the moments I take those pills…because that is what defines me… not my bad days…not my pills… not my cancer. I am a normal kid. I go to school, I play with my friends, I drive my parents crazy, I love to curl and play lacrosse. My passion is to downhill ski. I love to read and I am pretty good at math. I have amazing friends and teachers.
Since my diagnosis and thanks to the IWK Foundation, I discovered that I love to speak in front of a crowd. So, I help out whenever I can because I can.
Here is what I am grateful for:
I am grateful that my type of cancer has a cure.
I am grateful that my parents never let me feel sorry for myself because I am more than a child with cancer.
I am grateful that strangers like you come together to help us IWK kids.
You hear that it takes a community to raise a child. What I say is that it takes a community to raise AND HEAL us IWK kids
Just by attending this gala, you are superstars to us. Enjoy your evening. You are the best looking crowd out tonight in all of Halifax!!
(Parker and his brother before his big speech)
(Parker in the hospital, IWK Health Foundation)
Thanks so much to Parker and Brenda (Parker’s mom) for sharing their story – I plan to be posting about Parker again soon. I am one of the #MiracleMoms and I am trying to raise $1,000.00 for this wonderful children’s hospital that has taken care of Parker and so many other children in Halifax. I would love to be able to help get some of those 250 items that Parker mentioned that the IWK desperately needs. I would so appreciate anything you can contribute and donate to help us raise this money. Every amount will help get us that much closer.
Disclaimer: I am part of the MiracleMoms program and receive compensation for my participation in this program. All thoughts and opinions reflected in this post are my own.