Believe it or not, Africa isn't the only thing I'm passionate about.
Meet my friend Candice.
You may remember her from her I Am That Mom guest post she did for me about this time two years ago.
She's a dear friend from college who is doing amazing things to make the world a better from place for some very special kiddos....the kids of St. Jude's Children Hospital.
Candice is a pediatric oncology nurse.
I can't even begin to imagine how very hard her job must be
or how brave she must have to be every time she goes into work.
But working for St. Jude isn't enough for Candice.
She wants to do more....
So this year she is participating in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon,
thirteen miles of which Candice will run for the children and the place she loves so dearly.
Here's a little bit of her story, in her own words:
"Recently, a close friend of mine reminded me that in the end...cancer doesn't win. Every now and then, I need to hear that. I need to be reminded that this world is not the end. The things that plague us, the heartache we experience...it's not the end...and those things certainly do NOT win as much as Satan wants to bog me down with that lie.
John 16:33 "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
I can't tell you the number of times people have said, "I don't know how you work there (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital)." I guess my response to that is found in John 16:33. I work there because I know deep down no matter how many times I have to be reminded, that THIS is NOT the end. The one who made us has already won the battle and this is merely a breath in something more wonderful than our limited minds can even begin to comprehend.
As much as my heart breaks for every family that walks through the doors of the hospital completely unprepared to fight most likely the biggest battle of their lives, I love the opportunity I have to love on those children as if they are my own, to do whatever I can to make this journey a little bit easier.
I've always been the type of person to wear my emotions on my sleeves. As you can imagine, this can be quite a weakness. However, for me I feel it is also my biggest strength. I will never forget the first time I went back to work after having my first child. Everything changed. I wasn't just a nurse any longer. I was a nurse who was also a mother. That one thing changed my entire perspective. And I believe at that moment I became a better nurse. I still struggle when I care for a child who is around the age of one of my children. It's not impossible to let your mind think of the "what if's." What if that was my child lying in the bed? What if my child were fighting this horrible disease? What if I was the one sitting there unable to take this for my child? And then comes the wash of emotion. The desire to scoop up that child and love them and tell them it's gonna be ok...to do the very thing you'd do if it were your own there. I can only imagine the parent's thoughts when they see this crazy nurse snuggling their child :) But you know...When you've had a conversation on talking to angels with a 3 year old, when you've had school aged children ask you if their parents will be ok when they go to heaven, when you've watched a child take his last breath, when you've held a parent and cried with them because you didn't know what else to do, when you've had to answer a parent's worst nightmare question as you listen to a chest with no heartbeat because of a stupid disease that couldn't be stopped....you tend to not care anymore. You just want to give lots and lots of love when it matters most. And then there are those times that one of your first patients messages you on facebook wanting to be your friend and letting you know that they are in college now. You get a random letter in the mail with a picture of a grown, healthy person...who happens to be that little 7 year old you were head over heels for a decade ago. That's how I do what I do...and I love every second of it. And I HATE cancer as much as any one person ever could...but cancer doesn't win...ever.
So as the holiday seasons approach, GIVE THANKS...for your own health, for that of your children. Pray for those who are in the fight of their life right now because trust me, they need it and they cherish it. And most importantly, remember this is NOT the end. Thank you God, this is not the end!"
Today I'm coming to you to ask you to help Candice reach her fundraising goal of $2500, raised to go directly to these families, finding cures and giving the most precious gift of all...LIFE!
You can go here, to Candice's St. Jude page,
to help her help the children and families of St. Jude.
To help meet her goal, Candice is giving away these super cute hand towels for a minimum donation of $15. You can even choose which color combination you'd like! She's working so hard to reach her goal of $2500.
Every dollar counts.
And Candice, heaven forbid if one of my girls was ever to be placed in St. Jude, you are exactly who I would want to stand by our side and take care of them.
THANK YOU for being a hero.