My little brother Christopher was born in 1982. I was in 8th grade at the time.
He was a surprise, and he was perfect.
I was always one of those kids who wanted my mom to have another baby, so I was pretty happy to have him around. I loved to show him off.
Come on, how could you not show this kid off?
I played softball in high school. My parents always came to every game. I was at a home game my sophomore year. The game started and my parents weren’t there, which was weird. I knew Christopher had a doctor’s appointment earlier in the day. Maybe it had just run late, or they were stuck in traffic.
We finished one inning, and then another, and still my parents never showed. The game was over, and still no Mom and Dad. I went to eat pizza with my best friend and her parents, wondering what the heck was going on.
“I’m sure everything is fine,” said my best friend’s mom. There were no cell phones back then, so there was no way for me to get in touch with them.
When I got home, my aunt and uncle were at the house. Still no Mom and Dad. The phone rang shortly after I got home. It was my mom.
“We’re at the hospital,” she said.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“It’s Christopher. He had some bruises on his legs that the doctors thought looked unusual, so they did some tests,”she explained.
“Is he okay?” I asked, completely unprepared for the answer to my question.
“He has leukemia.”
I don’t remember anything after that.
He was 1 1/2 years old at the time.
The next year-and-a-half was a never ending cycle of chemo, radiation,
and, when those didn’t work,
finally a bone marrow transplant. That was the last hurrah.
If that didn’t work, there was nothing else they’d be able to do.
Here he is, in the midst of his treatments, his hair growing back in.
My junior year I was at a swim meet.
I knew Mom was taking Christopher to a check-up earlier in the day. Mom was late, and that was, again, weird.
I kept looking up into the stands to see if she had come, and finally, I saw her walk through the doors. She sat down next to one of my teammate’s moms.
And she started to bawl.
Christopher lived 2 weeks past his third birthday. I find some solace in the fact that because he was so young, he never knew any better or different.
He didn’t realize that going to the hospital, and throwing up, losing your hair, enduring chemo and radiation, and wearing a mask were not things that all little boys did.
But it was a completely devastating experience. For so many people.
And so on Sunday, September 23rd, I am participating in an olympic distance triathalon with Team in Training, to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If I can do anything to help a child from ever having to endure what Christopher did, then I will have succeeded.
So here is a link to my fundraising page. If you are able to donate anything, even 5 dollars, my family, and so many other families thank you.
Thank you so much for reading this, and for keeping Christopher’s memory alive.
Now go give your kids a big hug. I know I’m going to.
I’m Number 2 in the Humor Blogs and Number 6 Overall! Please help me get to Number 1 and the Top 5!!!
Please take one second to click on the banner above to vote for me! (clicking on it is all you need to do to register your vote)
You can vote one time every 24 hours from every computer and cell phone! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! I really appreciate your support!