Abby and Matt’s First Dance Celebration was on November 16. The response to the news coverage is absolutely mind boggling and exciting. Raising awareness for childhood cancer is paramount to getting more funding for research and really understanding what our children need during a diagnosis and after treatment.
|Abby has learned the lesson of friendship and helping others through her nurse, Matt.|
That being said, this event wasn’t about the “marriage” between Abby and Matt, which really was a selfless act of compassion and support. It was about giving love to a 4-year-old girl who has cancer. It’s about having the courage to face a disease that you have no control over. It’s about hoping that your child will beat cancer and grow up to go to college, get married, have children if they want. Basically to live their own life. It’s about celebrating their good days and rising them up on their bad days.
|Mom and daughter getting the chance to dress up and take a break from treatment. Just beautiful.|
As a parent of a child who died from cancer, I am forever grateful to everyone who reached out to Nick and made his days extra special. I am thankful for the nurses who made a big deal that they got to take care of him, to the residents who sat and talked to him about his life, his interests, his fears. I am in awe of the nurses, social workers, and doctors who celebrated him becoming a teen while he was in the hospital on his 13th birthday. I am humbled by the child life specialist who paid enough attention to know that Nick loved the Giants and not only got him a sweatshirt, but tickets to the Giants practice session, so he could meet Eli Manning.
|Cotton candy is a must at every celebration!|
These memories are priceless and get me through every day that I miss my son. And that is every day. Every single day I miss my child who is no longer with me, but am so glad he had these moments.
|Creating smiles and laughter heals.|
These memories are a huge part of the reason why I volunteer most of my time raising money to help fund the child life specialist position at The Melodies Center. This is why Nick’s Fight provides services to improve children’s lives, to make them happier, and smile more while in the hospital.
|Sometimes the parents need just as much of a break as the kids, helping to keep that strong foundation.|
It’s why we don’t care if we raised money at Abby and Matt’s event. It was about giving these children a beautiful, fun evening in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
|This event created precious moments to celebrate and enjoy life.|
|Matt & his wife, Karli|
|Abby formed a powerful bond with Matt’s wife. This friendship will last forever.|
I am grateful for Matt, Abby, Courtney, Angie,and Abby’s family for trusting Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation enough to give them this night.
|L-R: Courtney Hill (social worker), Kendra Sisco (cancer survivor), Angie Silipigno (child life specialist)|
I am blessed to have met so many children who have taught me to follow my dreams and live every moment in love and acceptance.
I wish Love, Courage, Hope, Life, Peace to all of you.