During the past year, my son became very ill. What started as a mild pain in his legs, grew to complete, debilitating pain throughout his body. He mystified doctors, MANY doctors, at many hospitals. My habits of working 40 hours per week at one job, then 25-30 hours per week at a second job stopped abruptly.
I had been saving money for a rainy day, and suddenly we were in a hurricane. His first weeks in the first hospital, I never left his side. As a single mom, I had previously held a constant concern for finances. Suddenly my concern was for my son’s health. Finances would have to figure themselves out. Many doctors misdiagnosed my son, causing his health to deteriorate as we waited for someone to help.
We struggled on our own in a small town in Maine, trying to find services that simply didn’t exist. By the time we went to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine, his survival was in question. At this point, I had already taken six weeks of unpaid medical leave and any savings I had was gone. Doctors were still completely unaware of what a diagnosis may be.
It is often difficult for me to ask for help, but once I did, help came pouring in from so many sources. Family members came to stay with me for emotional support and support in caring for my son. Community members held fundraisers including a GoFundMe page that supported us through some of the toughest times. My son’s classmates even made bracelets to sell to help raise money. I began to realize that we would be ok. No matter what happened, we were surrounded by love and support.
Long story short, my son was diagnosed with a very rare auto immune disorder that was essentially attacking his cells. Once it was identified, the amazing doctors at BBCH were able to cure him in a matter of days. He was home and healing by the end of the week. In this moment, I realized how blessed I truly was. There was no way to thank the hundreds of people who helped us.
Paying it Forward
I decided to pay it forward by creating a website to share hope and positivity. We now work to find causes to support through volunteering. We tell our story every chance we get to help raise money for the amazing doctors and the hospital that saved my son. It’s been an adventure so far. With a 15 year old and a (now healthy) 13 year old, I am realizing how short and precious time really is. I’ve found so many amazing people who have faced tragedy and persevered. The one thing they all had in common was their positive mental outlook, their beliefs, and their ability to turn a challenge into a moment of growth.
Several months ago, I began the journey to Live Positive. Not just say it, not just think it, but REALLY LIVE IT. Join us at www.livepositive.me