but it is about some people we care a whole lot about.
It is a different world we live in these days. Distance seems to shrink via the internet. People develop long lasting friendships that tend to live for years beyond moving and relocating due to the ability to keep in contact easily and without much effort. Amidst those relationships there are some that come and go… but there’s others that wind up lasting longer than you could have expected. When I started researching cloth diapers I stumbled upon a board filled with some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met (and yes I’ve actually met many of them in person 😉 so they aren’t just “internet friends” lol!). They welcomed me into their little circle even though I wasn’t even yet pregnant. They walked me through pregnancy. They were there when Alyssa was born. They were there when our world crashed to help us pick up the pieces. They’ve been there every step of the way since before the journey ever began. These women? Are like our huge extended family. They are our cheerleaders for certain.
The thing with a cheer squad? There’s always a head cheerleader. You know. The one who started it all? The one who brings it together? That woman? Her name is Berritt and she is this amazing soul. She was the one brazen enough to begin the board we all frequent and invite people to leave a not so friendly board to join. She’s one of those people who speaks her mind, tells it like it is, and somehow manages to do so in a way that she maintains a large circle of friends. Our online personas are quite different but there are few people who make me laugh the way she does in person. She defines “REAL.” The thing with her? She doesn’t even realize how amazing she is. It’s just the person Berritt is. She’s generous, kind, funny, and just overall somoene that everyone should have in their lives. When she gets passionate about something? We all have to hear about it 😉 and ya know? we all wind up learning something from it.
It wasn’t too long ago Berritt started pimping the bone marrow registry like it was going out of style. A simple thing to join. Something that could save a life. Something that would give each of us a chance to help someone who needed it. I remember thinking “Gosh but it is such a painful procedure to go through for a stranger, but how would I feel if it was my own family that needed it??” I want to think I’d do it for a stranger. I guess I won’t know until the time comes. However, Berritt never even hesitated to sign up. That was perhaps what made the news she shared last week feel like an ever so much greater kick in the stomach. The news? The love of Berritt’s life, the man who completes her, the husband who is so cheesily in love with her that if we didn’t love her we’d have to hate her? Well… that man was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia or CML. At the time of the news I cannot even begin to imagine what she was feeling. Her world as she knew it will never be again. That? Is for certain. However? At the initial consult they were worried that her husband may already be in the terminal, or blast crisis, phase of CML… at best they thought he was in advanced. The tears fell and the prayers began. Although she was worried about their time being cut so short… so many of us held fast to the fact that he WOULD pull through this and that they WOULD get more time together. That? Is what I will continue believing until events prove me wrong… which I will pray every day that does not happen. This family is strong. This family is fierce. This family? Has the brazen force to fight like Hell until there is nothing left to fight for.
After days of prayer and hope. After tests had been run. After everything fell into place? They walked into an office yesterday and discovered that not only is NOT in blast crisis, he is NOT in the advanced phase and he IS in the chronic phase!! That? was enough to make me the happiest I’d been for anyone in a quite long time! That means this is a battle they can fight! That means that odds are he will, and knowing his stubborn spirit… it’s pretty much certain, respond to medication and get more time with his family! Amazing news… right? So… what’s the hold up? Why not dance around under the sun and sing from the rooftops? Well… OK we’re kind of doing that anyways 😉 BUT this is still only the beginning of their fight. As so many of us know the largest struggle with anything medical is funding. I don’t want to get political… especially since he’s served our country… but the health care costs on this are not going to be pretty. Berritt and her family are currently facing an over $7,000 bill for medicine… A MONTH!! A MONTH!!! 7K?! Yeah… it’s enough to make me want to puke that this is even an amount that a drug company can charge. The thing is? You cannot put a price on keeping your husband around. DUH!! For sure!! Berritt and her family WILL find a way. Letters will be written. Phone calls will be made. New jobs will be searched out. This medicine will be where it needs to be! For certain.
We are all doing what we can. We are all bowing our heads in prayer when it crosses our mind. We obviously don’t individually have the funds to help in a *real* way. Heaven knows if I had a spare $7K lying around each month? I’d be shipping it their way!! It’s just not feasible. However, we’ve all seen it time and time again how so many small things lead to one huge thing. How 30 people chipping in 10 dollars can get a woman flown somewhere she needs to be. How 60 women spending money on some fabric can enable a family to get their daughter the medical testing she truly needs. There is nothing that can overcome the power of numbers. So, instead of asking for donations directly to Berritt? She still can’t shut off her generous spirit and just welcome donations. Instead? It would be amazing if you, your friend, your sister, your friend’s sister, etc could swing by Lille Skapet and purchase a pattern or two… or three. Whether or not you sew odds are you know someone who does. Buy a pattern as a gift, buy it for yourself, buy it for a stranger at the local Joanns. Really? It’s a real way to help financially without shelling too much out of your personal family budget. When you’re finished there… check out her other store Birdiful Stitches! For some patterns with a bit of extra flair for the things that you most likely carry around with you anyways! It’s a matter of little things adding up to something HUGE! I think that this is a situation in which that is ENTIRELY possible.
If you cannot swing a pattern? Don’t allow guilt to enter your mind. Not even for a minute. If it tries? Push it aside. Replace it with a positive thought, a prayer, an affirmation… whatever needs to be said. Lift this family up. Give them a bit of your strength, your love, your light… because the reality is that there is no price to be placed on that. There is no price that can ever be placed on the power of positive thinking. This family could use every ounce of it you have to spare. I assure you it will be received with gratitude and with hope… hope for the future, hope for life returning to a new “normal,” and the knowledge that their family will never again take a single moment together for granted. It truly is a reminder for the rest of us that life is short and we never know exactly when things will change… or how they will change. All I do know? No matter the struggles in life? They are easier to face with friends like these in our lives ❤