If you were following along in December, you’ll remember Natalie and Alice from my post Paying it Forward this Christmas.
Natalie and Alice both suffer from Leaky SCID, the same thing David Vetter (the “Bubble Boy”) suffered and died from back in the seventies.
I’ve been keeping a close eye on the Fish girls since they went in for their bone marrow transplants. Hopefully you have too, through their parents’ blog. The story has had many twists and turns, and life in the hospital has been both rough and beautiful to say the least.
In December, I asked you to please open up your hearts and your wallets for this family who would not only have to worry about the hospital stays and procedures, but would not be able to leave their home for the next year. This means no work, and no income. To save their daughters’ lives, Tyler and Lisy will have to devote 100% of their time and energy to keeping their daughters germ-free as a single microscopic anything could end their lives.
And man, did you come through. More than $8,000 was donated because of that post and the follow-up post Complications for Natalie and Alice.
On Monday I drove with Gary (Grandpa) to the hospital to see the girls. First I got to go see little Alice, who lay in bed thankful for any entertainment to pass the time.
She was scheduled to get her bone marrow transplant the next day, and was just finishing her last round of chemotherapy.
Tyler scooped her up for a picture. Tyler, a dad as real as they come, had long before shaved his head to support his two daughters who would both lose all their hair due to the chemotherapy.
Little Alice had a new Broviac line installed through her chest and into her heart for quick administration of medicine. From what Gary told me, one of the worst parts of these hospital stays has been the changing of the tape on both girls’ Broviac lines, a process that was both painful and often to help avoid infection.
I asked Alice if I could take a picture with her and her Daddy. She eyeballed my giant camera and when I asked her if she’d like to push the button, she jumped on the opportunity. I think she made me look pretty good!
From there, we headed over to Natalie’s room. She had received her transplant a couple of weeks prior. Her hair had long before fallen out, and the last thing she really wanted was another visitor.
Natalie was far more content diving into a children’s magazine than visiting with some guy she didn’t know. She didn’t remember me from previous encounters, as her short term memory was affected when she was put into a coma for a month and a half after contracting the H1n1 virus.
Tyler told me how kids at the hospital start getting really tired of being patronized and coddled. Natalie had passed that point long before.
Before I left, they pointed to the door where dozens of homemade clay magnets had been hung. “Take one,” she said. Natalie had hand-painted all of them to thank her visitors when they came.
I was immediately drawn to a heart-shaped magnet that said “LOVE,” and asked Natalie if that one would be okay to give to my son. For the first time I saw a smile escape her lips, not the easiest thing considering that the chemo has made her entire mouth turn into one giant bleeding canker sore.
After saying goodbye, we headed back into Alice’s room to grab our coats. She sat on the bed, playing on an iPad that some good soul had donated to them. It was hard leaving knowing that things were about to get real tough for this little one and her parents.
The next day she received her bone marrow transplant. The procedure was a success, now her little body just needs to take over and hopefully accept the new cells. Only time will tell.
I’ve fallen in love with these two little girls. I wish everyone could walk into a room and feel their spirits. Eh, who am I kidding, just walking by their rooms would about knock you over.
And so, today I ask you if we could all do even more. $8,000 is incredible, and other donations have come in, but we’ve barely scratched the surface of what it will take to save these girls’ lives and make this all possible. If you would part with five bucks, ten bucks, a hundred bucks, a thousand bucks… any amount at all, it would make a world of difference to this family.
After the original post, one reader wrote in that he usually doesn’t donate to random people, but after reading the post he had had a strong feeling that he should donate $500. And so he did. Others wrote in that they had literally no money, but would donate five or ten bucks because they knew how much these girls needed it. A lot of people have already made sacrifices to help save these girls’ lives.
Tyler and Lisy have both come and thanked me personally since the original post, both floored by your generosity. They are so thankful for what you’ve donated so far. They are so thankful for anything you can still donate.
It can’t be easy, suddenly needing to depend on the goodness of strangers to keep your children alive. Let’s show them just how good “strangers” can continue to be! Again, I ask you… how much are your own blessings worth to you? How much is your own children’s health worth to you? Any amount would be incredible.
The best way to donate is to send a payment through PayPal to [email protected]. It will go straight from PayPal into their trust fund account, it won’t pass through me at all. Just be sure to mark it as a personal transaction so that it doesn’t charge business fees.
You can also go into any Wells Fargo and tell them you’d like to make a donation to the “Fish Children Donation Fund.”
Finally, you can send them a payment directly to:
5406 West 1100 North Suite 103
Highland, UT 84003-8942
Love you all. Thanks so much.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
Oh, and PS… if you’d like to send them a note to wish them well, please do so at the email address or mailing address above.