Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Check it out and...become a fan at the Traveling Book Blog spot! This book is traveling the world for cancer survivors and their supporters signatures! It is very exciting. It has already been around the US, Egypt, England and will be on its way to France and Canada! And all the while raising money for a wonderful cause!
The blogspot is
and the video is:
Don't miss this opportunity to get to know someone who really is "Being the Difference"!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
The HUGS Project for my daughter started in such an unselfish way, and due to a chronic illness of her own. It helped her come to realize that sometimes it’s the small things that comfort the most.
In May of 2008 she had started feeling badly, her side hurt; she had no appetite as before and felt tired all the time. Yes, she was working at Self Regional Hospital thirty two hours a week and going to Lander University part time to get a degree in Psychology and raising a 10 year old little girl as a divorced parent, but when I noticed her skin looking sallow and the whites of her eyes were yellowed I knew she was going to the hospital on her own two feet or whatever way it took, her best friend Ann agreed, who was a Nursing student at the same University.
That week after tests she was diagnosed and hospitalized with Hepatitis C which not many people get. We had now the challenge to find out where she contracted it, by blood, it could have been at a Restaurant she had eaten and an employee cut themselves and it got into her food, a big chance it wasn’t the cause…a needle, which dictates you are a drug user, she doesn’t do that so it was ruled out, the boyfriend she had at the time was checked and he was negative also. So now what other events took place to put her in a situation to contract this? She had gone to Wal-Mart for a quick run in Pedicure and it had been done with tools she says were already on a table when she went in, most likely the culprit. So this was the most likely way but the food industry wasn’t ruled out.
Needless to say she was on Chemo medications administered by shots each week by her, along with tablets for six months that made her deathly sick but if she could overcome this she was a survivor.
During this time she thought of how children must feel to be as sick as she was and scared. Knowing that hospitals take care of a child’s physical needs she thought that a baby doll or a bear would help a child emotionally to have a new best friend there at the time they were sick…to hold when they were sad or to help dry the tears. She asked me about the Dinky Baby Dolls by Vicki since she had come to my summer show and saw how wonderfully children and grownups reacted to these cute babies.
As sick as she was, she needed this unselfish act to bring her through this hard time by giving to others and not feeling sorry for herself and she asked if I would help her make HUGS happen for the children at our local hospital. I put out an SOS to Vicki and the ladies on our group that make the dolls and got some volunteers that were willing to make and send the babies and bears, Vicki, Joann, Sandy, Lynne and Louise made Chloe’s and Dinky Bears and Jingles along with hats, booties and blankets from some other willing ladies to be handed out to our children. We ended up giving 70 combined dolls out in 2008 for the month of December at Self Regional Hospital in Greenwood, South Carolina as a result of all our combined hard work.
My daughter Haven saw the project through and delivered the babies each week as needed. She feels that this was a kindness her 10 year old daughter, Marissa needed to be a part of to know that it is sometimes better to give than receive. She has many requests to take on other places that need a service like this and hopes HUGS will grow in the future. These sweet babies and bears have made an impact on many little lives as well as parents of these children in our community and Haven was so proud when a parent walked up to her this summer at my doll show and asked “Are you the lady that gave my child that wonderful gift in the hospital?” and went on to tell her how much it was appreciated.
She has since had tests and her tests came back wonderful. HUGS was her strength in this tragic illness and will continue to be strength to as many children as we can reach.
Haven as well as the ladies that helped make this dream come true for her, are all my Heroines. I will be your biggest Fan Club because many of you like Haven, struggle with health issues and still find time to give freely to others in need. She is a strong young woman and has made something wonderful happen through her HUGS project and made these babies the “Star of the Show” here in South Carolina. You may go to this link to see the newspaper article and read more.
http://www.myspace.com/hugsnow2008 is one of her ways of getting this out to the public, please go here and read about her and this wonderful cause and how Dinky Babies are a blessing for our community.
My Dad died after a two year bout with Lung Cancer - it happened when I was only 17. He died on a cold December day - the exact day I got out of school for Christmas vacation. I remember it well - it was a Tuesday, December 18th, 1973. He had been unresponsive for a couple of weeks prior to that and we kept him at home and cared for him there. He was very afraid of dying alone in a hospital room. He was a frail thin 85 pound version of his former self. He rarely knew who I was and when he was awake, he gave me orders to do things regarding his long defunct sign business. He would be worried about a delivery or a phone call from a customer when in fact he had not done any real work for over a year.
Being a senior in high school, the day to day care and frustration was unbearable for me. I would attempt a good mood and enter his room with a chipper attitude and he would quickly tell my Mother to get me out of the room. I just did not understand ---- now I do. I remember an incident when we had to call an ambulance to take him in to the hospital - he was getting very week and they were going to put him on IV fluids. As he made the short walk from the hall bathroom to his bedroom, he uttered under his breath, "Go ahead and get the dead man out of here!" I was in close enough ear shot to hear this whisper of desperation and it broke my heart. I knew he was tired, tired of the pain, tired of the confusion, and just plain tired of living.
When my Dad drew his last breath and I heard rumblings and tears from his room, I felt a deep heart striking pierce of relief - I just could not stand to watch his suffering any longer. In my young life, I just did not have the capacity to take it in another day. To some it was unfathomable that I could be relieved but for me he had died many times over the past couple of years and this meant I would not have to go through it ever again - it was finally over.