Saturday, October 13, 2007

Small blessings

There is a little boy named Demetrius who is one of our honored teammates. He turned three I think in June. His mother is due in a few weeks with another son. At some point this summer, they had to foreclose on their house and move into a tiny place in a not-so-great area. The father works a lot and is not around much.

Demetrius, who has leukemia, is on such a high dose of chemo that he throws up constantly - and he's going to be going through chemo until December of 2009.

He has a 50-50 chance of making it.

His mother gave away a lot of his baby stuff after he was done with it because she was told she probably couldn't have another child. But here she is. I told her about all the stuff I had left over from the garage sale. I had a high chair, bouncers, bedding sets, breast pumps - tons of things she could use for the new baby.

I also told Sawyer about the sick little boy and how nice it would be if he could pick a toy or two to give him. I gave him a ziplock quart-size bag, and he filled it with carefully selected items from his vast collection of planes and cars. He kept adding more and was really excited about it.

"Mommy! I'm going to give him these toys and he's going to be all better!" Sawyer said.

If only it were that easy. But on some level, I think Sawyer did actually get that he was doing something really important.

Anyway, today we loaded up the car and the kids and headed to their new place. Demetrius was so excited, he literally threw up.

They don't leave the house much because he throws up constantly. He even says he doesn't like to go to bed at night because he knows he's going to be sick.

This is his life. This is the family's life, choosing which bills to delay so they can keep paying their insurance premiums. It is the hugely pregnant mother fighting with the pharmacist to get Zofran for her son's nausea because the generic just doesn't work. It is worry and tears and watching a dark-eyed, shyly smiling child suffer every day.

Team in Training passed a glass jar around at a couple Saturday runs and raised $1,900 to help the family pay to bank the cord blood of their new baby, which they can use for a transplant for Demetrius.

"We're naming him Cristos," the mother said of the their new son. "My husband asked why and I said, you know, like Christ. Because maybe he will save our other baby."

Small blessings.

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