Monday, February 25, 2008

WOW- two posts in ONE day!

I had to tell you about my evening. Most of you know how I feel about the Ronald McDonald House charities- if you don't, here's an overview:
My brother Ted is only 18 months younger than me. He was born with a condition called Arthrogryposis.............in short, it's a condition that affects his joints and muscles. Although many people are born with this condition, I've never met anyone that had it like my brother. It effects every joint in his body yet I don't even notice it. He's the most amazing person I've ever met in my life. He has never let it stop him from doing anything in his life. Growing up he had more determination than I could ever dream of having. He spent a lot of time in the hospital which, for me, meant that I got to spend a lot of time in the playroom at the hospital- I still remember the layout of the playroom at the DuPont Institute in Delaware. Every summer Teddy would have to have a few weeks of intensive physical therapy a few times a day and he and my mom would stay at the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital. My dad worked shiftwork at a refinery in Paulsboro and they only had one car so it really helped that they could stay there. I played with so many kids growing up that had all sorts of disabilities that sometimes I thought something was wrong with me! I was the one who was different.
When Stampin' Up! announced their partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities I was thrilled to say the least. It was the perfect outlet for me to show my appreciation for all they had done for my family over the last 30 years. For the last three months I've been stamping at the local house near me- it's been the most rewarding experience I've ever had. I've gotten to know so many wonderful families and met so many great kids who are dealing with some tremendous situations. Tonight was no different. Tonight only two people stamped at my table-that's it. Just two. BUT...............tonight I met a two year old little girl (Giovanna) that had a nuclear study today because she has cancer. Her and I sat and stamped ladybugs across a grid sheet- for 30 minutes. She tried to eat my glue stick. We walked around the House and looked at all the fish in the fish tanks. We walked around the playroom - she would grab my hand and say, "come here" and we would walk...............
Tonight I met a mother who had just given birth 24 hours ago to a baby girl that has to have lung surgery to remove a cyst on her lung. We sat and talked about all the things mothers talk about- how much the baby weighed, how she is eating, and so forth.
Over the last three months I have met people I will remember as long as I live. People who have made more of a difference in my life than I ever could in theirs.
Tonight I needed to write about the most wonderful thing that this hobby has given me.

Here's a picture of my brother paying basketball with Ryan a couple of weeks ago................


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