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Inspirational Stories

Ava

In Memory

Buffalo Grove, IL

There came a day when we had to ask her to choose. We laid out the options carefully not wanting to alarm her with the hopelessness behind either.

“Home or the hospital?” we asked. She was smart. She knew what that meant. As we fumbled through the words asking her to make the choice we couldn’t, she broke out into a little giggle. Always one to see the glass half full, she laughed at the absurdity of what we were asking her. And you would have thought in that moment that she was invincible, her smile piercing the darkness yet again.

But then a second later, a lone tear escaped and instantly we saw straight past her beaming eyes right into the heart of the burden she carried. That one tear betrayed her many smiles, and we knew that the choices we gave her were not good enough. She wanted more. 

More time.

More memories.

More life. 

Things we held no power over. All we could offer was the promise that we would walk beside her, carry her if we had to. Still, it wasn’t enough.

Somehow, it is September again. It’s a month that holds so much promise, a month that signifies change is in the air, and fresh beginnings on the horizon. New shoes are at the door, crisp notebooks are ready to be filled, and lasting friendships are waiting to be made. 

But none of that is on my radar. Instead, September is the month when I gently wipe the dust off Ava’s picture and pin a poster to my front lawn. It is the month that I change my profile picture to show that cancer took my child and yet it is still hungry for more. It is the month that I fly the color gold in hopes that one more person will know that cancer kills kids too.

There was a time when the best choices parents could offer their child were between prolonged pain or inevitable death. There were no other options.

It can’t be this way forever.

No other parents should have to see their child’s shoulders sag at the weight of such horrible choices. 

No other child should have to pick their tombstone before they ever have a chance to pick a prom dress.

No other parents should have to hear their child wish for more life and have no way to grant it. 

No other child should have to choose between home or the hospital.

No other parent. 

No other child.

#pediatriccancerawarenessmonth #gogold #forourchildren #fightingforafuture #andbrighterdays #avabrightlee #iwillloveyouforever #iwillfightforyoualways

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