It occurred to me recently that I've known my best friend for over 25 years. I was out on a run and letting my thoughts wander, and it struck me that apart from my family, Brie has known me longer than anyone else I know (including Hubby). We met in first grade and went on to endure middle school, thrive in high school and visit each other at college (despite the fact she was 6 hours away from me). We were the maid/matron-of-honor in each other's weddings and have been having play dates (almost) every week for as long as our kids have been born.
It is rare to have a friendship so wide and deep. We have truly walked through life together. She is family to me, as are her husband and kids.
I love her.
Gioia is Brie's 3 year old daughter. She is spunky and hilarious and creative and awesome. She may not *technically* be my child, but she's family to me and I love her to pieces.
So when Brie called me after taking Gioia to routine doctor's appointment to tell me they had heard a heart murmer in her daughter, Gioia, I was concerned. And when she had the follow-up appointment with the cardiologist (which was meant to rule out anything serious), I waited for the outcome. Then, while holding back tears, she shared that doctors had found congenital heart defects that would require open-heart surgery within the month.
It was as though she had told me the news about my own child.
As Brie and her family prepared for the invasive surgery (that did not come without substantial risks), we prepared alongside her. The day arrived, and we waited on pins and needles for any news. Thanks to the amazing doctors at A.I Dupont Children's Hospital, Gioia came out like a champ and has recovered beautifully. I love that our girl is her spritely, beautiful and HEALTHY self!
After their stay at DuPont, Brie became more aware of the needs of the patients and staff on the Cardiac Unit. Kids stay at DuPont for various lengths of time and for a variety of reasons. Some, like Gioia, have surgery and recover over the course of 1-2 weeks. Others essentially live on the unit while they wait for a transplant. For many, it is their home away from home for sometimes a long period of time. Here they need to be entertained as well as educated. They are always looking fun things to do with the kids or just a small note or token to show that someone cares.
Gioia has a follow-up appointment this week, and as a way of giving back, Brie will be bringing donations to both the patients and staff on the unit.
Would you like to give back to the local community and spread some love to kids at DuPont?
Here are some donation ideas:
- Make Get Well cards with your kids.
- colored pencils
- coloring books
- glue sticks
- construction paper
- foam paper
- Books (for young toddlers through elementary-aged children)
- Bake homemade cookies or buy boxed pastries to treat the hardworking nurses and staff on the unit
While the gesture is appreciated, we are unable to take stuffed animals at this time.
Crafts and books are perfect for kids to use their imagination, and the staff truly deserve some tasty treats! Best of all, homemade get well cards are a great way to get your kids involved (and the kids receiving them will know they are thought about and loved).
Will you join me?
I will be available to pick up donations at the following location :
WEDNESDAY: West Chester (in the back of the McDonald's Parking lot on Gay Street at 12pm-12:30pm)
If I get comments or feedback that we need more options or more locations, I will add a Kennett Square and/or Phoenixville location on either Tuesday morning or Wednesday afternoon. Please leave a comment if you would be better served by one of this locations (and let me know which one)
Thank you for your generosity!