Last night I decided to tell the children a Christmas story every night until Christmas. Not from a book, just stories that I remember from my childhood, and in my own words.
I started to tell the story of the Gift of the Magi. Telling it aloud, in words that a 3 and 4 year old could understand brought tears to my eyes. What is the story about really? Two people who love each other so much, they are willing to give up their most prized possessions to purchase gifts for the other. This is one of my favorite stories because it illustrates so clearly that gift giving is really only a symbol for pure need we all have of wanting to make someone happy. Some one we love. Someone we care about. And at this season: sometimes it's people we don't even know.
I was introduced to Benson and Claire just a couple weeks ago, and as a mother of 3 children right around the same ages, I can't even begin to imagine the daily struggle their parents have to keep their children alive.
I can't really explain the story in my own words very well, so this is what the parents have to say:
Benson and Claire were born with a rare genetic disease in which their liver produces too much oxalate--called primary hyperoxaluria. Claire's condition has progressed much faster than Benson's. She has been on dialysis since she was 3 months old and is on dialysis 3 hours a day, 6 days a week. She is now on the waiting list to receive a combined kidney / liver transplant. It is expected Benson will eventually need similar transplants. Over $500,000 is needed for the procedure.
Making it to the hospital every morning with a 2 year old keeping her happy in the hospital for 3 hours takes creativity beyond what I could ever try to do. I witnessed my close friend try this kind of lifestyle with her toddler for 7 months, and it is so hard. Claire has lived in the hospital basically her whole life (2 years) and the family it trying to raise money to give her a transplant. You can watch a video here of what is takes to go through the process day in and day out. I am amazed at this strong mother and her brave children.
There is a silent auction today (December 10-12) and I am auctioning off a$50 gift certificate to the shop. Come and offer what you can, and help this sweet family. I know there are so many people to help this Christmas season, so if anything, you can offer your prayers.
Click here to see more of their story.
Click here for the auction.