Just when I resided to put the travel part of our lives on indefinite hold, I learned about Believe in Tomorrow from our hospital social worker. They make travel possible for families with a critically-ill child.
My life has changed dramatically since finding out that my four-year-old has leukemia. Time moves a little differently – every moment is a bit more premeditated. I’ve slowed down, opened my eyes noticeably wider, and backed away from moving at the speed of light. I try my best not to plan for more than just a day since I don’t know what to expect tomorrow. Travel status updates are less frequent – we keep most of our activities close to home. Our new medical status created a shift in behavior, especially as it pertains to planning trips. Any outings that are on my books were things that were there for months, pre-diagnosis – commitments I want to keep just to maintain a little bit of sanity. But I haven’t added anything new.
To say that our travel wings have been clipped is an understatement. We are a family that loves to be on the go. My husband and I are spontaneous and our kids enjoy going with the wind. As we go through this intense part of my son’s therapy, the “how do I travel with a child with cancer” question keeps popping up in my mind. It’s accompanied by when can we travel, where can we all go? So many uncertainties and very few definitives. What we do know is that we take things day by day and appreciate every 24 hours.
I appreciate every person in my life that helps make the journey a little easier. And I applaud every organization that works to bring extra joy and happiness to the life of a child battling cancer.
I spoke at length with Lindsay Brown, assistant to the COO at Believe in Tomorrow. She chatted with me about the hospital housing and respite housing program that BIT provides. Aside from the impact it could have on our life, I was curious about the impact the organization has on the lives of the other 300 families they work with.
The housing program first began in 1986 and has, over the years, provided over 560,000 individual overnight hospital and respite accommodations to families with critically ill children. Their hospital housing program provides a “home-away-from-home” to families worldwide who travel to John Hopkins hospital for a child’s medical treatment. They were the first to establish the concept of pediatric respite housing in the United States, providing families with a relaxing escape from the stressful routine of medical treatments. What a gift. Their houses by the water in Ocean City, MD and Fenwick, DE as well as their homes in the mountains of Western MD and North Carolina are designed to help families reconnect, create new memories, and provide a peaceful setting to help aid in the healing process.
I can identify with that.
Donating to a non-profit is a very personal decision for individuals. We’re all motivated by various reasons. What I like most about Believe in Tomorrow is that you know exactly how the money is being appropriated – 93% of every dollar directly supports their programs. If you’re interested in donating to the organization and making a difference in a child’s life, you can do so here. They’re answering the “where can I travel with my child” question for cancer families. A donation from you helps with the “how?”
Photos courtesy of Believe in Tomorrow.