In the Easter school holidays a bunch of BRAVE kids, their family and supporters launched our Team T-shirt project: This is what BRAVE looks like. We launched the Team T-shirt project to helps kids feel connected and included in their world but it's had a much further reaching effect. Kids are choosing to wear their shirts when they have to dig extra deep for their courage. They wear them on days they know they have difficult or painful procedures, when they need to brave up socially and one very precious girl's family chose for her to wear her Team shirt after her passing so she could be forever Brave (#piperbrave). You can support a child with cancer and buy them (or yourself - we all need some extra bravery sometime) by clicking the shop link below.
If you are the parent of a child in a photo you can send a request for a high res copy of their photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each photo has a caption of the photographer who captured the image and a photo number, please quote this in the email.
The best laid plans are often scuppered by a surprise hospital admission. We headed up to the oncology sleep over ward after our BBQ to visit the kids and teens who missed out on the sunshine.
This month I have gathered my sadnesses together, lined them up and asked them to take a number, be patient, I’ll get to each of you in good time. The volume of sad this month is a tsunami and too great to feel on the fly. I’m going to have to schedule my sad and unpack it bit by bit. Pack a lunch Tanya because it’s going to be a long trip. While I am sad I have NEVER felt alone with great thanks to you, our Bravery Box supporters, our Bravery Boxers.
This parenting of a child with cancer gig can be tricky. Days and weeks can go by when I feel capable and our daughter is well and our friends are doing well and our new normal is very livable and I soak in gratitude for our silver linings.
In my heart lives hope for our daughter’s future. There’s plenty of room in this hopeful heart of mine; in there lives the future of our friends in treatment, hope for those friends finished treatment to maintain their health and remission and for their parents who have become my friends to get through this whole. This part of my heart dances and laughs loud and celebrates the wonder of a moment.
My hopeful heart also holds an unthinkable sadness for the children and teens in our world who don’t get to grow up, I hold fear for our friends when their cancers become complicated and I hold a grief that I haven’t yet completely unpacked for our own daughter who has battled brilliantly and continues to battle with so much treatment still to come.
It is times like now when I feel the weight of our world, where a straight spine is hard to come by and I just have to stop and share my weight with others and it is times like now when you save me.
Thank you for supporting Bravery Box, every donation, every word of support is a lifting of the weight of our world. Every time our child chooses something from the Bravery Box we feel supported and recognized by you and our weight is lighter.
This week our world has felt supported enormously. A business has been in touch and asked to star the bravery box on their work shirt sleeves, a support group has pledged $500 of iTunes vouchers to our teens, and yesterday a beautiful soul donated a crate full of ‘parent and carers’ care packages (a little out of our remit but I am delighted to deliver them to the inpatient ward on Mothers' Day).
For me these awesome acts of kindness filled my very bones with the care of others. These beautiful gestures helped me remember that it isn’t just the parents in this world who share each other’s pain, it is each of you who stand up and tell us ‘not on your own’ with each act of kindness. In a month where silver linings have been hard to come by, the support for the Bravery Box shows me that we have an army of people behind us whispering to us ‘Not on your own’.