Reprinted with permission
They say that when a child has cancer, his family and everyone who loves him does, too. This couldn’t be more true for us. When our 16-month-old son was diagnosed with the disease in the fall of 2015, the news sent a shockwave through all of us. Upon hearing the news, my knees buckled, my heart raced, and I fell into a state of silence and denial. “Not my baby,” I told myself. “Not my baby.” But it was my baby, and the fragile bubble of what seemed like a perfect life popped in the instant that the news was delivered. No one wants to hear that their child’s life hangs in the balance. It was a blow that I will never forget.
Something else I’ll never forget? The moment a dragonfly landed on our family. In the midst of indescribable chaos and calamity , our hospital social worker delivered a big, blue bag of essential items to our family. The bag contained things we never knew we’d need, because we never knew we’d be in the hospital for a pediatric cancer diagnosis. Our social worker introduced us to The Dragonfly Foundation and your incredible mission — to bring comfort and joy to kids, young adults, and their families enduring cancer and bone marrow transplants. Thanks to that first unexpected gift, we had everything we needed to get through that first terrifying hospital stay — meal cards, toiletry items, and other things to make us feel human again.
As the months passed, our son’s treatment continued. Chemotherapy, visits from home health care nurses, trips to the emergency room, and bottles upon bottles of prescriptions became our norm. We learned how to read our son’s lab work and memorized what each number meant for his delicate health. Our hearts hurt as we watched our little boy struggle and suffer, and wished in vain to trade places with him. Still, when our spirits were overwhelmed, you were there. You sent surprise gifts for our little one — thoughtful toys, puzzles, and games to distract him from the discomfort of his recovery. You treated us to fun events and outings that allowed us to regroup and reconnect as a family. You also gave us free rein to visit The Landing as often as we wished, giving our sweet boy time to play in a safe, clean environment while his body worked to heal.
Even as our son’s hair fell out and his body grew weak, he (and we!) gained strength from the kind gestures of our Dragonfly family. In joining the ranks of other families similarly affected by extraordinarily difficult means, we were lifted up by our brothers and sisters and found that we weren’t alone. After our son became a Dragonfly, we found the highly sought after comfort and joy that the organization hoped to give us. Helen Keller once said that the best and “most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” Dragonfly, thank you for being one of the best and most beautiful things in our lives, and for being a true friend in the shadow of uncertainty.
With sincere gratitude,
Lauren Young and Family
Note from co-founders of The Dragonfly Foundation:
Your donation today will empower the flight of young cancer and bone marrow transplant patients and their families.
The Dragonfly Foundation provides relentless support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing, and transformative experiences for our Dragonfly families. Our programs and services help families thrive in the intense, unfamiliar, and overwhelming world they face daily. Check out our website for more details: Dragonfly.org/our-dragonflies.
Your donation of any amount helps us empower our Dragonfly families to navigate this new path. Donate today to encourage and assist our Dragonfly families.
Donate today at Dragonfly.org or by texting TDF to 91999.
Thank you on behalf of our beautiful dragonflies!
Ria & Christine
Co-Founders, The Dragonfly Foundation