I’m writing this on May 17, my daughter’s 22nd birthday. May is a busy month for my family. There’s Mother’s Day, Elizabeth’s birthday, my wedding anniversary and, of course, the Miracle Marathon. It’s a month totally consumed with families, mine and otherwise.
This will be the 14th Miracle Marathon for Dave and me. Every year, we get to meet new families, new patients, new kids and new doctors, and we get to visit with some old ones, too. Every year, I learn something new and it’s not always a good thing. Every year, there is a new illness, a new problem and always a new loss.
I approach each Miracle Marathon with slight trepidation because I never know what the new year will bring. But, the one certain that I always walk away with as the marathon ends is that family is everything. In this time of great uncertainty, the one constant always is family.
When you become a parent, it is one of the greatest days of your life. You dream of the future and the days to come and wonder what your child will grow up to be and how your family will blossom. You never dream of sickness and disease or struggle and pain.
Unfortunately, these are the issues facing many families and patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. It’s a terrible thing to be told that your child is ill. It’s the beginning of a terrible journey, and the future is so uncertain. Every parent wants to just wave a magic wand and make it all go away. It’s your child. It’s your family.
I have great admiration for the doctors and caregivers here at Children’s. There is no task too great, no request too big or too small. This is a hospital made for the specific purpose of healing families. It is an amazing thing to watch and an amazing thing to experience. We all try to be the best parents we can be, but sometimes we need some help along the way, and I’m grateful that Children’s is here. The people at Children’s know what we as parents don’t, and they are here to help with situations we can’t fix. They’re family.
So, on this special day – my daughter’s 22nd birthday – I salute the families and the patients and the doctors and caregivers. I’m glad that they are a part of my family, too.
-Carole Caine, WKLH 96.5.