Friday, April 30, 2010

An Evening of Will Power

Sorry all, this post has been a long time coming.

On April 24, JM and I were able to attend the First Annual Evening of Will Power, hosted by the Brave Will Foundation. This foundation was started last year after a couple, Matt and Tammy, lost their 6 month old son, to cancer. AT/RT to be exact, which is an absolutely devastating form of cancer. One that has few treatment options, and one that has very little research. One that comes with a crushing feeling. I can't begin to tell their story, but I will say that their family has touched both mine and JM's life forever.

At the time of Will's diagnosis, JM was working on the pediatric floor of Albany Med at nights. He was one of the many people who fell in love with, and became attached to this baby, and his family, over night. They are a family that exudes love, humility, grace and strength, even through the worst of their cancer treatments. Through the worst of their fears and the worst of their struggles. When they were told that their son wasn't going to make it through the weekend. When he responded to treatment, and they were given hope. And when they were told that the cancer had spread and it was time to focus on the time they had left. They were courageous. They were pillars of strength. They are to be admired.

Will eventually responded enough to treatment to get discharged from the inpatient floor, and come into the clinic where my office is to receive outpatient chemo, which is where I fell in love with his family immediately. I had heard stories from JM about them, and he was right. They too, are adults with young children whom he and I look up to, just as So-Ro's family is.

These are some pictures from the event, which is raising money to help fund the palliative care program and to help fund the social workers who work with families, not just patients, while they are facing such times of uncertainty.

Their logo.

Their Mission Statement, which is truly impressive and inspiring. This is a foundation who has come from the depths of despair to try to help other families who are facing uncertain times just as they have.

The picture that is also the cover of their book, which is a compilation of all of the journal entries that Matt wrote while Will was going through treatment. (Suggestion: Please be sure to have a box of tissues readily available).

This is a "picture of a picture" that was taken of Matt and Tammy's two other sons, after Will's passing. They too, are absolutely phenomenal boys, who make you smile, and truly present themselves the way that every parent hopes and wishes that their child will turn out. (It also doesn't hurt that they are fabulously photogenic, and completely and fantastically cute).

The wall of pictures that were hung up during the gala, from times of hospital stays, last days, and the time after Will's passing.

So, to those people who are looking for a way to help, buy a copy of Matt's book here and also learn more about their foundation.

To Matt and Tammy, and the rest of the people who are making this foundation into something that is truly going to affect people's lives, you are amazing. You are parents who love to such an extent that it brings tears to peoples' eyes and truly changes their lives. You are parents who have such strength that even through the turns in the road that would break most people, you have risen. You have given each and every person who meets you, or hears of Will's story something to keep in mind during the toughest of days. You have changed people's lives for the better, making us better people, better friends, better families, and better couples.

Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Whitney for the beautiful words. We continue moving forward because of people like you and James.

    We hope you enjoyed the Evening of Will Power. Mark you calendar for April 30,2011!!