After a spring break trip to California, Grace developed a rash on her leg and got sick on the plane home. These were both minor symptoms, but being her mom I took her to the doctor. They drew blood and did tests. The Doctors whispered to me that it was Leukemia.
My husband and I were in shock. Everything you’ve imagined about a parent’s worst nightmare is true. It just didn’t seem possible. Gracie was going to be an actress. She was completely full of giggles, joy and life. We checked into the hospital and the doctors explained the intense treatments that would need to start the next morning. I just wanted to leave, but they told me if I wanted her to live, we had no choice.
Soon after, I was introduced to Paula at There With Care. She and I talked a lot during my family’s first weeks living with Leukemia. There With Care offered services including meals, cleaning, and help with applying for integrative therapies.
I was trying to be strong, but I could hardly remember to breathe. My body physically reacted to the stress and worry, and I developed Bell’s Palsy which caused half my face to become paralyzed. Thanks to There With Care, I received acupuncture and other therapies that helped to relieve my symptoms.
Some phases of treatment wiped out Grace’s immune system. As a parent I was terrified to go home, the fear of her catching something was so big. There With Care provided cleaning services that allowed us to relax in our home. When she was at her most vulnerable, I knew my home was disinfected right down to the light switches. That was one thing taken care of; one worry I could cross off my list.
Not only did There With Care help with the basics during Grace’s treatment, they provided many bright spots along the way. Over the Holidays, delicious Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were delivered with love by amazing TWC volunteers. In the spring, Grace celebrated the end of her intensive care as the There With Care princess at their Cinderella’s Ball, using her wand to greet other little princesses as they arrived.
We could not have traveled this journey without the loving support of There With Care’s staff and volunteers. We can’t thank them enough. They put reassurance in our hearts and smiles on our faces.