In 1997 my second child, Alisha was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 28 months. She is now a 17 year survivor after 2.5 years of treatment. She continues to have a variety of medical problems but has a determined spirit. At the end of her treatment Alisha along with her brother began a pivotal journey with Special Days Camps for pediatric cancer survivors and their siblings. Alisha continues to exemplify leadership and a motivating spirit while attending Central Michigan University and studying family studies to be a Child Life Specialist in a hospital working with children.
Most recently, in December she underwent her second corrective hip surgery. Just yesterday she returned to school and will begin a new job despite being no where near healed. Because of her recent surgery this will be the first winter she will miss camp. Her older brother will attend as a camp counselor and her younger 2 siblings will attend as campers. This includes Abby who helped find the butterfly.
Special Days Camps has an aged based character theme program that begins with friendship and escalates in age to leadership. Children on or off treatment can attend til the age of 18 along with their siblings. Camp participants along with volunteers have given my kids life long friends and the values to be a better person in life.
When hoping to find the butterfly today there was not even a second thought of where we would choose for your generous donation to go.
About myself, as a Mom of 4 kids aged 6 to 21, medical obstacles have kept me being a stay at home Mom. Financially this proves to be a challenge. Each time I went to start a new job road blocks quickly went up. It was not God’s will. In the beginning of 2013 I decided that I would attempt to find more joy in my often overwhelming life. God led me to Origami Owl. I questioned His voice over about 2 days until I realized, who am I to question God? I then began my journey of joy with Origami Owl. The Origami Owl business is so much more than sales! The support and encouragement for me has been life changing. It provides the joy I can get when sitting with other women and hearing their stories. At times, I do share mine. Not for the shock effect or the pity effect. I share it so others can see that we can get through the tough journeys.
I most enjoy sharing our story with other families who have a child that has been touched by what I call the Beast. CANCER. At the first convention Chrissy Weems began telling a story that made me drop Lotsa tears. I would have sworn it was my story. As the scene on stage developed a 4 year old child’s dream was met to meet Bella. I knew that I needed to find that Mom and share our Special Days experience. There was hesitation. But God let me know that this was His plan. I searched out Mom Nikki Seidel to find that she lives. It is in our previous home state of Michigan where Special Days is!
That cute 4 year old is now on her own journey of being a Special Days Camper. As pediatric Oncology Moms we have a bond that is rare to find.
On Saturday I sat in the Chicago satellite conference location and heard the story of the Butterfly Movement. I have to admit that I did not think that I would have the opportunity to find this Chicagoland Butterfly. I had also heard of the butterfly drop via FB as designer Karen Garifo had posted it would be on Sunday.
So come today I was quite tired and in bed when I saw the first clue. It appeared to be sitting on a bench. I was brainstorming and nothing came. As I was telling my husband about the movement the second picture clue came. Boy did that get me moving. He was giving me one chance and no wild goose chase. We were out the door quickly with my excited 6 year old in tow. Abby was trying to take in what we were doing.
We arrived at the train and there it was!!!!
Our family’s year has begun with a few challenges. At the Origami Owl conference we were encouraged to find out why and our motivation to be better people in 2015. I have been feeling a spiritual nudge to team up with Nikki Seidel to provide lockets for oncology Moms. Today affirmed that I will do this! Nikki and I have taken the next step and have contacted a group called Momcology that provides retreats for Oncology Moms. We will be the change who makes a difference and acknowledges the strength of Moms who fight to save the moves of their children and who are there to be the difference in their family’s survival of the Beast!
This story is a bit choppy but gives you a peek into how you make a difference. Your generous donation is part of the many seeds that make an infinite and priceless difference in the lives of not just my family or the families of Special Days but the families they will in hand touch as they continue their life journeys. THIS IS JOY!
Blessings and Take Care,
Sincerely, Lori Meadows