You Can Help Us Bring Halloween to Children in Hospitals!
More than 3 million children are hospitalized in the United States. Every 33 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer, and that's just one reason that children are admitted to the hospital.
Eighteen years ago on Halloween, my family became one of those statistics. Little did we know we were about to be faced with the fight of our lives. My brother, my only sibling, was only ten-years-old. I was 15 years older than Mac. We went from an office visit to driving straight to Children's Memorial, directly to the fight of our lives. Mac ended up spending just over a year in the hospital.
My favorite memory of our journey was the following year once again, on Halloween. My brother was in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and couldn't Trick-or-Treat. He was lying there in a dingy, pale yellow hospital gown that looked like it had been washed hundreds of times. There was nothing festive about it. It did not represent his personality or the holiday that he so loved! So, I painted his face like a zombie. We were laughing so hard at that moment. Life felt a bit "normal" during this horrible time, but then we got in so much trouble! His skin practically peeled off as we were trying to wipe off the makeup. All I could see behind the wash cloth was his smile. Mac looked so happy, just like a ten-year-old boy should. Halloween Day, 2001 to the eve of Thanksgiving 2002. I wish my story had a happy ending and I can tell you that my brother lived, but he is in heaven. He fought a battle that they said was impossible, but he beat it. In the end, he went to heaven due to a medical error.
I will never forget his face looking out the window on that first Halloween. Together we can make sure that every hospitalized child gets to be a kid on Halloween!
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