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A member of the club

Are you a member of the club? The club that has a very expensive entry fee, and you can join at a moments notice?  The club that NO ONE wants to join, but are FORCED to join?

Before I became a member, I knew very few people in this club.  One was someone I knew from CAMPS, one was someone I had worked with, and one was the daughter of a friend of my moms. A relative on my mom’s side and one on my Husbands side

What is this club you ask?  It is the “I am the parent of a child that died” club.  Of the few I had known, three lost their child to SIDS, and one had a stillborn baby., and one was a terrible accident during which she also lost her husband!

Just about 6 weeks before I joined the club, my friend S. joined, when here daughter died of STUPID CANCER!  The previous November, another mother from the hospital joined the club. She was the “first” of those that I had met when Alexander was going through treatment.

This club really sucks, and the worst part of it is, YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE!!  You gain a lifetime membership!!!   Each day is different.  Sometimes it is easy to go through the day, you continue on in your life. Other days though, it is just so hard to get out of bed!  You just want to stay in bed and cry the whole day.   You might say “oh, you are just 2 years into the club, that is why it is so hard still”.  I wish that was true, I have friends that are 5, 8, 10, 20 years as members in the club and they all say the same thing “the tears never stop!!”

I had been doing really well for a while, but then the week after Alexander’s birthday I was missing him so much!  He would have been 4 this year.  I often think about what he would be doing now – what kind of games he would be playing – how he would be teaching his baby sister things.  Some times it is big things that make me miss him like his birthday, sometimes it is a simple as riding in the car going for ice cream.

Recently a friend, another member of the club, posted about her other son – twin to her son that had died.  He was having some problems that seemed so very similar to the ones her son had before they found out he had STUPID cancer.   I too have had some fears with Julia – although nothing as bad as she did on this particular occasion.  It is a never ending fear really – could another child get STUPID cancer – especially since this is an identical twin?  In situations like this, it brings up fears of course of the sick child, but then, all the memories of the other child come flooding back as well.  The treatments, the pain, the medications.  It haunts parents that had been in the ” STUPID cancer world”

So this membership into this club SUCKS – and there is NO WAY OUT OF IT!  It isn’t fair, it isn’t right.  Each and every day new people join this club.  No matter how old your “child” was when you became a member, it is heartbreaking.  If you meet a member of this club, be kind to them.  If they tell you they are doing “okay”, unless you REALLY know they aren’t, then take them at their word. Don’t push them into talking if they don’t want to.  I have good days and not so good days.  2 years into the club, I do have more GOOD days than bad.  On those days that are bad, just say you are sorry.  Maybe offer to take them out for lunch, or a drink, or ice cream and let them just TALK about their child.  If they say no, don’t push them – but let them know you are there for them.  Try to remember the child’s Angel Day and Birthday – send a card – a REAL card in the MAIL.  Anyone can post a Facebook message, or send an e-mail – those are nice too, but it is the real cards I get in the mail that life my spirits.  I have some people that do that for me and it really makes a difference.

compassionate friends


Time To Save some LIVES!

Summer is a tough time for the Red Cross.  People are on vacation, and just don’t take the time to make appointments to donate blood and platelets.  I am not able to donation, but Richard has received several phone calls and e-mails looking for him to make an appointment to donate. On Monday, he did make one for Tuesday. That evening he got a call !  He explained that he had JUST made the appointment that morning!

While Alexander was in treatment, he received over 100 transfusions!  Blood, Platelets, Plasma!  So many different things.  It is not just people fighting STUPID cancer that need blood.  People in Accidents, having surgery, etc.  There is ALWAYS a need!!  One of his surgeries had to be delayed because of shortage of platelets.  Richard wrote to the news stations, and Alexander got to be a STAR!

I have heard some people say “I won’t donate at the Red Cross because they SELL their blood to hospitals”. Well, that is just not true!  Yes, they may charge a fee, but it is not for the blood, rather the time and money that it takes to obtain the blood and make sure it is SAFE!

From the Red Cross Site:
Does the Red Cross sell blood?
No. There is never a fee for the blood itself. The Red Cross charges for expenses incurred in recruiting and educating donors, keeping accurate donor records, collecting blood by trained staff, processing and testing blood in a state of the art laboratory, and storing and distributing blood.

Some people had asked if they could direct their donations TO Alexander.  Our hospital did not have any program like that, and we were told it wasn’t wise anyways, because if down the road he needed a donor bone marrow transplant, if the person donating the blood was a match, it could affect the bone marrow donation (I don’t know why – it is just what they told us!)  I follow one young girl that is fighting cancer and has a large following.  She is currently in need of constant platelet donations.  A lot of people want to help, but it seem like they only want to help HER.  That just makes me so mad!  They are willing to help this one girl – a stranger, but they don’t seem to want to help OTHERS!   You never know WHO you are going to help when you donate blood, but you can be sure that no matter what you are SAVING LIVES!!!

How does your donation help?

There are always drives going on!  I have put two local ones at the end of this post.  Both are in memory of children that have died of STUPID cancer.   You can also go to  to find a drive near you.

If you are like me, and are unable to donate, then please consider being a volunteer at a local drive, spreading the word, or maybe baking some treats for a local drive. (or bring packs of Oreo’s – the Red Cross has an in with the Keebler Elf, so they didn’t have any Oreo’s at the location Richard went to!

You have the power to SAVE lives!  Please consider helping!

mattty drive                                allie blood drive


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