Sunday, October 5, 2014

Healing Through Art

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When we were invited to launch the Upsee in Northern Ireland earlier this year, we had the true privilege of meeting so many really incredible people.  Many were families just like us.  It was an instant connection as we knew we were all witnessing this magic together.  A gift many of us never dreamed possible.  Watching our children walk with us.   I seen hope, faith, love and dreams in the eyes of others that mirrored my own.  Connections and friendships formed that will always mean so much to me. 

As we've kept in touch since our return, I've learned of one mom that is facing an incredible struggle with such courage.   When I first met her we sat next to each other at a get-to-know-you dinner event.  And she was so easy to remember since we shared the same first name.  I instantly admired her, before I even knew her story.   She was the type of person you immediately recognized as a strong mom, with goals to make the world a better place for children like ours.   She was the catalyst behind getting handicapped accessible shopping carts into the hands of families at Sainsbury's, a large shopping chain in the UK, and most recently took her voice to Parliament speaking out about the lack of childcare for children with disabilities.

We talked about what our days are like, comparing life in the UK and life in the US and what resources were available to us, what our challenges were and our hopes and dreams for what we could make better.   Being just strangers to each other on our first meeting we shared laughter and an unspoken understanding of what life is like raising a child with a severe disability.

But my true understanding of the person she was when she described her precious child, May, and her recent battle with Leukemia.  As the true fighter I sensed in her, she was in remission and the tone of victory in her voice was so powerful.  Sometimes in life, you are so very fortunate to meet people that continue to inspire you to keep moving forward no matter how hard, no matter what the cost.   So, my heart was heavy when I learned that her leukemia had come back and that she was entering the hospital for a 30-day treatment.  With true grace, strength and confidence, all that she was hoping for was some inspirational artwork from children like Noah to get her through her next fight. 

Noah and Luke sat down for an art session together, creating masterpieces that we hope will help her on the hardest of days fight and win this battle.   I pray for the good news that she once again has blasted leukemia and that we may one day again have the opportunity to come together again to being strong voices for children with special needs.
Noah making his masterpiece

If you'd like to send some love and prayers her way.  You can find her at the blog: Mama Lewis

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.