Thursday, November 16, 2017

Families, Too

Ok—similar to the Purple Pride blog post, this one is going to be in first person, Ike – founder of Cardz for Kidz!. Sorry, I know it is not normal, but I really, really need to explain why I’m breaking SOOO many rules! First, just like all the other blog posts, I have to be 100% open and honest. The overall point of this post is to explain why we’ve sent nearly 1000 cards to Ronald McDonald Houses (RMHs) across the globe and we’re going to send many more… In fact, for several RMH locations, I did not even connect with them in advance and make them “pinky promise” to me (sight unseen) that they would deliver all the cards room-to-room before we shipped cards to them.

Now, permit me to explain a bit more. First, we’ve been growing and I’ve been reaching out to new hospitals and shelters—thankfully we’ve connected with a bunch. I got in touch with a couple Ronald McDonald Houses and they expressed interest. Then, when we heard of natural disasters, like the ones that hit Texas and Florida in the summer of 2017, we made sure to send cards to children in RMHs there.

The main reason stems from my Purple Pride experience. In that blog post, and when I lost the bet with the board and first wrote the Can’t Complain post, I highlighted how I underwent brain surgery on my left temporal lobe to overcome my seizures. As you can see in the pictures, below, during the surgery the six of us were all together throughout the different waves.

In my Can’t Complain post I touched on how I heard some of the most difficult news about the potential side effects of this surgery—and I happened to be by myself in my hospital room. I said all that to stress this: I understand and believe it’s imperative for families to be close to patients as much as possible. Therefore, Cardz for Kidz! would LOVE to reward Ronald McDonald Houses for all they do for families—since that has a significant impact on the patients as well.

Then, being selfish, the toughest part of everything (for me) was thinking of how my surgery impacted my family. With that in mind, I’d LOVE being able to help send more than enough cards to these RMH locations so there are enough cards for not only the children who are patients, but also for their siblings and parents; that way everyone can receive encouraging attention during the trying time AND no one would feel like a burden to others. Understandably so, while a sibling is going through a tough time (ranging from brain surgery to cancer) the family will focus almost exclusively on that specific child’s needs. Based on my experience as the patient, I’d love to be able to give back and let the siblings know that although folks need to focus primarily on their sibling (the patient), we at Cardz for Kidz!, are specifically thinking about them.

Yes, I understand that pediatric patients may not take it as hard as I did—in terms of how their condition is impacting their loved ones. Either way, I know these situations will impact their siblings. With that in mind, I personally feel they deserve special cards and should also be uplifted. Often with some conditions, a child is diagnosed and the family is impacted. Therefore, we’ll continue to reach out and send cards to Ronald McDonald Houses so siblings and parents can also be encouraged. That could range from giving the card to their sibling (the patient), to just simply remembering to smile in that situation impacting the entire family. Although when I wrote the mission statement I strictly listed: “hospitalized and/or traumatized children,” I think it’s important that we reach out to FAMILIES, TOO—based on my experience as a patient as well as an employee and volunteer at children’s hospitals.

We sent over 700 cards to RMHs in Q3 and we'll try to send over 1000 in Q4! 

A repost from the Ronald McDonald House in San Antonio Instagram account of a little girl proudly holding her cards. 

#familiestoo #upliftingspirits

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