This has been an emotional week. In light of the shootings in Connecticut, we all want to hold our children a little closer and protect them from the world somehow. Our hearts are heavy.
In the midst of mourning over yesterday’s events, we were wrapping packages here at Persnickety, hoping to spread a little holiday cheer and give smiles to a few little girls across the country. There is so much heartache in the world and we hope that, as a company, our efforts make a difference in some small way.
We were so overwhelmed and touched by the stories that were submitted. Honestly, it was so difficult to choose only twelve girls. We just couldn’t. So, there will be some surprises coming in the mail for several more.
To wrap up our Twelve Days of Giving, we would like to highlight eight-year-old Riley, who reminds us to cherish every moment we have with the ones that we love.
Day 12: Meet 8 Year Old Riley
From Riley’s Mom:
Riley is a beautiful 8-year-old girl who fights every day of her life with a smile on her face. She was diagnosed at the age of 2 with a life-threatening rare blood disease, for which there is no cure.
We’ve been told by doctors that ‘medically speaking’, she shouldn’t be alive. She was also diagnosed this year with Mitral Valve Prolapse, hearing loss in her left ear, and a rare connective tissue disorder (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome), for which there is also no cure.
In the past four years Riley has been through surgery, chemotherapy, blood transfusions, medications, tests and numerous hospital stays. There is no guarantee for the future.
This year has been especially tough as she has realized that she is different from the other kids at school.
I remember the look on the doctors face when he had to tell us that he didn’t think that she would make it through the night and the shock on his face when she did. I remember the kind words from a chaplain who was sent in our room to ‘prepare’ us for our daughters death. I remember the fear and confusion. I remember begging God to let me take her place.
Being on this journey has been a true test of faith. You want so badly to have control of the situation and force the outcome you want. I wrapped myself around the negative, never looking for the good in Riley’s situation. It just didn’t seem fair!
But, you know what? Good DID come from Riley’s situation. We have been taught life lessons that can’t be found in text books or taught in a classroom. I have learned to be grateful, truly grateful for the little things. Not a day with her is taken for granted!
You can ask Riley about angels and she’ll tell you she sees them. I get chill bumps when she describes how beautiful they are in great detail. During the first few critical nights in the hospital I wasn’t allowed to hold her, but she’ll tell you she was being rocked by Jesus in a rocking chair.
I believe that Riley has witnessed and seen things that only others can imagine. I believe she has been given insight and wisdom far beyond what some can comprehend. She is my inspiration!