Well here we are friends and family at cast #5. It is crazy to think we are here and moving forward at our almost year mark in cast. Last October started with fear of the unknown and This September is filled with such hope in our family. We are currently sitting 32 degrees lower than our start point. 35 degrees out of cast feels like heaven!
Cast day number 5 was perhaps our best day ever at Chicago Shriners. We shared a room with two great families. They are both part of our Chicago family of friends. Sweet Jackson started this journey with us nearly a year ago. His Mom Chrissy, Dad Adam and Grandpa were with him for this trip. Jackson was such a trooper. He is sporting the ultra cool Orange cast. Perfect for Halloween. We are so in love with this family. Funny, strong and so supportive of all in our room. Our other suite mates were Kiya and her wonderful mom and dad Cathy and David. Kiya is 21 months, born 4 days before William a world away in Ethiopia. Kiya is sporting a very Halloween appropriate Purple number for her First Cast! She was so strong and mommy and daddy were just amazing parents! Kiya and her family tugged firmly on the hearts of all the roommates. We were reliving our first cast and the fear and apprehension that comes with it through them. Small tears hit all the adults at the difference between a mad cry from the boys after the OR and a scared cry coming from our sweet Kiya. It's funny to think that 3 families walked into that room and by the time we all left I felt like it was one big family leaving.
I have been brainstorming again which is what I do to keep this all in perspective. I want to do something big for these little treasures. I want their journey to leave a mark and make a difference. My mind goes from the small fundraisers to the big events. I need to make a list so I have direction and purpose to my madness. My short term goals are to get bedside DVD players for the preop. I think I will have plaques made for each that says donated by the Lucky Cast Club Kids. This will benefit Chicago Shriners kiddos long after ours are out of casts. I also want to get Shutterfly photo books made with Casters pictures so all new casters can go home with pictures of other kids just like them. I am going to start this sooner rather than later with the angels I have in my computer now. A third and bigger hurtle I want to accomplish is new carseats for all cast kiddos who leave the hospital and need one. I am going to focus on the Britax Marathon seat since they are easily adjustable and super durable and comfortable for cast kids. The last and most elaborate plan...ok so it's far fetched and will be extremely hard to accomplish so we will call it a dream...I want to start a foundation in our kids name. I would like to see us have a Lucky Cast Club house in Oak Park. The house would be available for families to use for overnight stays. We could host Lucky Cast Club dinners where those who travel and those who don't could meet the night before to share stories, relax and enjoy a nice night before casting that doesn't include a hotel or noisy diner. It ideally would have at least 3 bedrooms with comfy beds equipped for little ones to stay comfortable with their parents in a home like setting. I know the Ronald McDonald house offers this, but I think it would be special to have a place we can call home and kids years after us can call home. We have this with my Aunt and Uncle in Oak Park. I want everyone to have the same. Since this is a dream....I have already decided who I am going to have run the house and she lives in Oak Park so it will be easy to make sure it is cleaned each day and families have everything they will need to be comfortable. Crap I think this is what my mom meant when she used to tell me to get my head out of the clouds. Sorry mom a girls got to dream!
We need T-shirts for the Lucky Cast Club. Chrissy brought this up and we need to run with it. The proceeds can start accomplishing some of these wishes and any others my cast club friends can dream. Maybe we can plan a yearly retreat for cast families. This would give us the opportunity to meet our friends from Canada, California, Wisconsin, Florida, Alabama & Illinois outside the hospital setting! I need to stop before I let this get away again. Love to all our family and friends! Thanks for allowing me to Dream!