As a Hometown Heros supporter, I see what children with cancer look like. I hear what they go through. I see what their families go through. The smiles on their faces when their children afflicted by this beast feel good. The tear, just on the rim of their eye…holding it together for their child…their family. The concern in their eyes…always.
Have you known someone with cancer? Have you seen what chemo and radiation can do to their bodies, their soul? Imagine a child going through that. I really want you to get an image in your head. So imagine it is your baby, your toddler, your tween, your teen being stuck with needles, losing their hair, losing their freedom to play outside, to run in the grass, to feel the sunlight.
And then, there comes a time between treatments your child feels good enough to go out. But you are scared. Their immune system has been ravaged by chemo and radiation, but your child deserves to enjoy herself so you decide to take her out to lunch with your family. But only with protection. You make sure she is washing her hands constantly, not touching her face, and also, make sure she has one of those masks on to make sure she doesn’t catch some random germ in the air that could make her sick and set her treatment back.
You are enjoying your lunch with your family, with your daughter who is smiling and happy to be out. Your heart swells that you can give her this little piece of freedom from needles, hospitals, from the beast.
And then, out of nowhere the family sitting next to you in the restaurant gets up and moves away. As they move away they make sure you hear this, “Let’s not sit here, our kids might get sick too. I just don’t understand why parents take their kids out when they are sick.”
These people are so uninformed, so rude, to YOUR baby. They were talking about YOUR child who is fighting for her life and they have the audacity to not only get up and leave, but make a rude, ignorant remark. What do you do as a parent? This is YOUR family they were talking about.
Maybe this happens:
You get up and scream at them and say “She has leukemia and that mask is for her protection not YOURS OR YOUR KIDS!” You lose your cool. All the strength you were showing to your child disappeared in the blink of an eye because of someone’s ignorant comment. You lose your cool. In front of your child who is fighting this beast.
And then, imagine this. Imagine if the family who you just yelled at said, “Well we didn’t move because of her being sick it’s because ours are so sick and we wouldn’t want to harm her.” And you think to yourself, “REALLY LADIES?! you just said “who would take their kids out when they are sick?” THAT is why my daughter is afraid of leaving my side…because of ignorant people like you!”
Your daughter, who sometimes shows her insecurities about having to wear a mask in public, of having a bandana on her head was now just shown the true faces of some people. The baby girl you try every day to be so strong for. The baby girl who wants to go out, but is afraid of people like the ones mentioned above.
As a member of a group of people who help children and their families affected by cancer, I am appalled at this story. No, that’s not true. It has nothing to do with me being a part of this group. As a person who has a beating heart, I am appalled at this story.
This TRUE story…no this TRUE account of facts.
Those people CHOSE to make a scene. Those people CHOSE to make assumptions instead of asking why the child had to wear a mask. In a place where it seems like the world is turning into “all about me..me..me” what are we doing as parents? THIS is what they are teaching their children. To be rude, disrespectful and ignorant before they know the facts.
And for this family…it breaks my heart. And for every other family who has to endure this kind of ignorance on a daily basis it breaks my heart.
So, I will ask you one more time….
IMAGINE IT – This is YOUR child battling for her life….how would YOU want people to treat you and your family.
Think about it.
*I was given permission of the person to which this happened to post this.