Once in the early days of FGP a mom friend said, “Andie, I just don’t know how you do it.” Without much thought, I said, “I don’t know how you don’t.” As you might imagine, this didn’t go over all that well. I can still remember the look on her face as we politely ended our conversation. I walked away justifying my response in my head but now I realize I was wrong. Everyone can’t care about what I do and surely shaming them into it won’t work! What I can do is share with people why I believe in what I am doing, advocate for pediatric cancer families, and share with others how we are making a difference. I can hope that when people see the need and the difference our organization is making, they will want to join in.

I am only one piece of the FGP puzzle. We have volunteers who are checking on families and supporting them as they face the unthinkable, donors whose generosity allows us to support these families and volunteers doing lots of behind the scenes work. By being alongside these families during their journey, our organization is helping bring light into their darkness even if only for a moment. We realize we can’t change the diagnosis but we CAN and ARE changing their experience with it. This week as I shed some tears with one of our moms about the uncertain future as her son faces an inoperable brain tumor, sent check-in texts to the mom of a child who is hospitalized, sat with a mom while her daughter received treatment and tried to help a mom with her grief as she faces her days without her daughter, I repeatedly thought to myself that I understood what that friend meant all those years ago. It is hard to watch so much heartbreak but in between that heartbreak there are glimmers of hope. I think about a conversation with one of the moms who said she always thought there was so much negative and bad in the world until her son was diagnosed and now she believes the world is a good place with wonderful people, and another mom telling me how thankful she is that I was there with her in the last days of her daughter’s life, and a dad telling me that losing his daughter is awful but that FGP has made a difference for them and then a text this morning from a mom saying, “Thank you times infinity.” and I think; this is it. This is why we do it because we ARE making a difference. Beyond the services we provide, we are also walking this journey with families & bringing light into their darkness. Join us!