A Sick Child, A Mother's Nightmare
It’s a call every parent dreads… on a day we will never forget… June 20, 2018. Our middle daughter, Maria, calling us from Portland, Oregon, to share some heartbreaking news.
“Hi, mom… Are you home? Is dad there too? I need to talk to both of you together… I have something I need to tell you…” Silence. Our 30-year-old baby girl, living thousands of miles away… then reveals she has BREAST CANCER.
She needed us to be strong, and do what we could. A child’s first response to a catastrophic event in life – Mom and Dad can fix this. I was on a plane the next day, and accompanied her to an Oncologist appointment, who confirmed the diagnosis… Stage 3 Ductal and Inflammatory Cancer of the right breast. We bravely marched forward together as a family – garnering every resource we could – ready to fight this battle.
Labs, scans, x-rays, and appointments directed us down the path of Chemo, radiation and future surgery as her treatment plan. The next moments moving so quickly, our minds became encumbered with twisted thoughts and fraught with fear. What does Maria need, were we doing all we could, how would we pay for this? All while my husband was left to relay the news to friends and family back home.
Luckily – my prayer group was waiting in the wings to do what we do when a calamity strikes any of us… We PRAY… “Girls, I need you!” Knowing my Club Girls were with us on the journey had an immediate calming effect. The Miracles Prayer chain was in motion – and “Our Lord was working on our family.”
Life never stops, however, and I had to return home. Our overwhelming anxiety as parents can’t fill the thousands of miles between us… or bring us any closer to Maria. Despite our desire to be by her side, responsibilities hold us back. But - In our first sign that miracles were beginning to transpire - our youngest daughter Anna uprooted her whole life to move to Oregon. Anna answered the call to come to Maria’s aid – and eased all our minds in doing so.
We were six Chemotherapy sessions in… when the other shoe dropped. In a second devastating blow – Maria learned the studio she worked for would be closing - and her job would be lost.
“What will I do…” she called us in tears. “I’m sick, I’m bald and I have cancer… who would hire me?” We encouraged her to use this time to heal, stay healthy and focus on her treatments. “Don’t worry, we’ll get through this,” we told her as we scrambled to figure out what to do next.
That’s when “Miracles for Maria” was initiated. We need help in sustaining our daughter until she’s healed and back on her feet. We need assistance to pay her bills, fund her living expenses, secure her insurance and finance her remaining treatments and operations.
With the greatest respect and gratitude for all the prayers and encouragement from our friends, family and even strangers… we are hoping you can open your hearts and your wallets for us in our plight. Asking for help is not comfortable for us, but we’ll do anything for our children. Please help us to help Maria on this journey.
Love, Laura Ritchie