Spotlight BelleThere is a insurance company commercial playing now, where a mother is speaking to her agent about the bills that just keep coming, even now that her young son is healthy. It's a sweet commercial because the little boy is seemingly all better and he even jokes with the agent about his bald head. The mom is relieved to learn that she can tap into the benefits to pay for the tidal wave of bills.
If only after the commercial was over, the bills would be paid and life would go on. But, in real life, we know it doesn't work that way. Enter Rhody Bloggers for Good (RBFG). We are a group of Rhode Island bloggers, dedicated to raising awareness and rallying support for important and worthy causes.
Right now, there is a little girl who isn't starring in a tv commercial about surviving cancer. And there is a mother who isn't sitting with her insurance agent remarking at how amazing it is that she doesn't even look like she was ever sick. Belle Bradley is sick right now. And the bills are mounting, as she fights each month to keep this disease at bay, so that she can star in her own life story.
In December, Belle was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This is the most common type of leukemia in children. After more than a month of hospitalization and treatments, Belle came home, cancer free. Of course, there is a caveat - she will endure spinal taps, platelet transfusions and chemotherapy for the next 2 ½ years, as she strives to maintain remission. Procedures that are expensive, invasive and come with a myriad of side effects.
I remember when my kids were two. The terrible twos, the terrific twos, and everything in between. The kids were healthy and happy and home. My memories are a fuzzy blur of ordinary days. RBFG wants to help keep Belle healthy and happy and home. Home with her family. Home to live years of ordinary days.
To that end, RBFG is hosting a fundraiser with La-Z-Boy in Warwick. It is a 48 hour Sit-a-thon from Friday, April 5 - Sunday, April 7, 2013. Bloggers will take shifts "sitting in" to promote the event, and raise awareness and funds to offset some of the costs of Belle's treatments. Just to give you the tiniest glimpse, this is a snapshot of the bill for her in-patient hospitalization. It doesn't reflect any of the ongoing treatments, including a recent stay at Hasbro to fight a virus.
I've done three day walks for breast cancer, and half marathons for Leukemia. Spending a weekend in a recliner will be a walk in the park by comparison. I think that's what this represents - something so easy, and fun, that everyone can join in. There will be tons of activities throughout the weekend: the Roger Williams Zoomobile, popcorn and movies, face painting, a silent auction and more. I am grateful to my friends and clients who have lent their support to the silent auction and beyond: Munroe Dairy is sending the Cowtruck with milk and cookies; Alayne White Spa is sending a team of goddesses to offer some seated massage; and A Golden Gift is offering a way for people to give back, long after they've gone home.
I think everyone has a thread of philanthropy within them. Whoever you are, there is a cause near and dear to you. Maybe it's your church, or your local hospital. Maybe you know someone who is in need of help. My son is running a 5k this weekend in honor of a young boy from Bristol who is undergoing cancer treatment right now. Everyone can do something - be it bake a meal, buy a raffle ticket, donate items for a garage sale, make phone calls, stuff envelopes, or just simply pray.
Belle Bradley can use your prayers, and your support. Come down to the event, spread some love, enjoy the activities. You can read Belle's story, as shared by her mom, Melissa here. And, if you can, consider hopping over to Belle's YouCaring page and making a donation to help this special little girl.
It's terribly cliched to say that it takes a village, but cliches are what they are for a reason. Thank you for being a part of Belle's village!