Monday, July 20, 2009

When an apple a day doesn't cut it......

  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or says the line from a well known children's poem.

The fact is, it is not the truth.

For many parents the reality is that no amount of medicine, apples or otherwise, will make their child better. Nothing stops the endless stream of doctors, appointments, medicines, treatments, nursing care, or pain of a critical illness or terminal disease state. So how do you help those parents?

First, lend a listening ear. Words from you will most likely not be of much comfort, yet just listening to their fears and angst will be of some support.

Second, offer your time. Make a meal, run an errand, clean their house, mow the lawn, or take the other kids out for a fun day away from the stress. Don't ask, because most parents will refuse not wanting to burden or impose. Just do it. Relieving parents under this type of stress of just one daily chore or concern is of monumental help even if they can't verbalize it at the time.

Finally, organize church members and neighbors to raise funds for the family or for the research associations related to the disease. Honor the family by donations of money to the medical cause or funds to pay the bills, or to help cover the costs of transportation and meals away from home. Brainstorm with others to find a tangible way to show you care, and believe me, even 25 dollars helps a family when a child has lengthy hospital stays and medical bills.

When a cure is not possible or when a special needs child is under a lengthy plan of treatment, small tangible efforts for the parents and child make a difference. The reward is how good it will make you feel to do for others. Try it and let me know what kinds of things you find to do and I will pass them along.

Together, we can make an impact in some small way.

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