Things Don’t Always Go According to Plan….
July 26, 2023
So often, I feel these kids have been completely stripped of their childhood. They are connected to, what feels like, a million different machines beeping at them all day long. Some of them are in complete isolation, which takes such a toll on their mental health. They aren’t out swimming, exploring, drawing, or just being a kid.
A day or so prior to my visits, I always ask the child-life specialist how many kids are on the 6th floor, as I want to make sure there is enough of what I am bringing for each child. Kindness Conquers is a FIRM believer that no child is left behind. On this specific day, I had teamed up with another amazing non-profit called Once Upon a Room. This foundation completely changes the hospital room into the theme of the child’s choice. I have had the opportunity to help with these room makeovers, and the smiles on the children’s faces are priceless.
On the day of this particular event, Christina from Once Upon a Room and I were getting ready to have firefighters come visit the kids. Christina had also rallied funds together to have a delicious IHOP breakfast for the entire floor. As you can imagine, hospital food can get quite old after spending months and months in the hospital. For a special touch, we added a 5’ X 10’ banner that hung from the fire truck’s ladder, along with goodie bags that were fire truck themed. (Side note: We had children from two different summer camp programs add their special words of encouragement on the banner from their little hearts as well). Made my heart so happy to see other children wanting to lift the spirits of these little warriors.
The first thing I did the morning of the event was head straight to a little warrior’s room that I knew had been there for quite some time. She is only three years old and has been through more than many could imagine. Well, to be honest, every child fighting cancer has been through more than many can imagine. Anyway, I went to her room and looked out the window. Boom! There was the PERFECT spot for the fire truck to park and bring the sign right to her window! Once the fire truck arrived, I told them exactly where it needed to park so this little warrior could see everything. After getting the truck situated, we went back upstairs. I could hear little voices that were so excited to see the fire truck down below. These little voices were coming from the room next door. We decided to get them settled near the windows so they could see the sign being lifted to the windows. I was so excited to see the sign heading to the little warrior’s window I had scoped out hours before.
I quickly walked to the room out of excitement to let the nurses know the sign was almost there. As I was approaching the room, I heard crying and beeping noises from the monitors. I looked into the room and saw nurses with towels attending to the little warrior as she was throwing up. I sat there for a second and was again reminded of how this disease completely strips everything away from these children. One minute they are excited and feeling ok, the next, the side effects from the chemo and countless other medications are just too much for their little bodies to withstand. It was a stark reminder of the reality these children face every…single…day. My heart hurt so much for this little girl, but I quickly had to get my emotions together, as so many children needed us to bring love and smiles into other rooms. Even as I ventured off to see the delighted faces and hear the squeals of other warriors experiencing the big event, it was hard not to think about my little friend down the hall. Unfortunately, situations like this are not uncommon, which is why it’s so imperative that we provide numerous opportunities for these children to escape their realities, even just for an afternoon.
All in all, I want to thank the Clark County Fire Department for helping us bring smiles and joy to the children at Summerlin Hospital. Thank you, Holey Roller Donuts, for feeding our families very tasty donuts, Corey from Undaunted Apparel and Christina from Once Upon a Room for teaming up with me so we could create a morning where the kids could just be kids. Thank you to all who have donated to Kindness Conquers, as we can’t do this alone. Fighting Cancer takes a village, and I am beyond grateful for all of you who believe in me and this foundation.
Bringing Light To The Fight