It breaks our hearts to inform you that Parker lost his battle early this morning. From his parents....
"Our son Parker died at 2:25am from a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), replaced by an unfathomable emptiness and devastating sadness
Donations to help find a cure can be made in Parker's name to the Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation, a non-profit formed and run by the parents of Michael Mosier, another beautiful boy who lost his life too soon. Unfortunately, DIPG has been and continues to be a parent-funded research effort, with no substantial private or public backing.
Our Hope for Parker and all other DIPG kids and families, is that someday, headlines will run across the globe that say "breakthrough cure found for terminal childhood brain cancer."
Parker continues to fight, stuck somewhere that is neither here nor there (wherever that may be). And that leaves his parents in a special kind of purgatory reserved for those of us who have watched our children die - helplessly waiting and watching, not wanting to let go, but not wanting your child to suffer. Guilt, anguish, and love surrounding you and becoming the very air you breathe. In the middle of all this, Parker's parents were able to write him this love letter giving you insight into these final moments and the enormous love they have for Parker.
"Our love for you has existed as far back as we can remember. It was bottled up and tucked into some chamber in our bodies. Not until the moment you arrived did we finally understand what it was for, Parker. It was for you. You gave your mom and dad something we had both needed our whole lives: another little person to pour ourselves into. And that person is you, big man.
It's so hard to think about how we will get up that first morning when you aren't here. But we know you don't want us worrying about it. And, since we're having this heart-to-heart, I want to apologize for bringing Taylor in last night. We've been trying to encourage her to see you. She has been so scared, but we are trying. Juggling everything, and just trying to somehow accept this path we are on together. And trying to somehow be normal in these last few moments together, like old times and before all this horrible stuff.
Oh, my duder. This was not the plan--you've got to believe me. We never would have wanted this for you, your sister, or any other kid in the entire universe. It hurts me how strong you are. How determined you are. We just love you so much, man. And we are going to miss you more than all the stars and galaxies in the sky, more than all the grains of sand on the beaches, and even more than all the mosquitoes we lived with a couple years ago. Yeah--that much. <3" #HopeForParker ...
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently delivered the Rathbun Lecture on a Meaningful Life at Stanford University. In it she said it is necessary to do....
“Something to repair tears in your community. Something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That’s what I think a meaningful life is – living not for oneself, but for one’s community.”
Having witnessed the power of community both locally and personally, as well as on a greater more cohesive level, I couldn't agree with her more. Alone, we often feel isolated and powerless. Community gives us strength, hope, and the ability to move mountains that we could never move on our own.
Having taught middle and high school students for over 20 years, one of my greatest worries is that the current generation of children are losing their sense of community to the narcissism that our technological society has promoted. It is our job to teach them the importance of living a life outside of oneself. We need to show them that by giving to others in need, we make our own lives better. We need to make them understand that life is not meant to be lived in isolation, and that one day they may be the ones in need of the life-saving grace the strength of a community can provide..
Today is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day. Please help bring awareness by posting a picture of a childhood cancer warrior or foundation close to your heart. It is our firm belief that Awareness + Funding = A Cure ...
Having a child with cancer, and then losing them, can be the ultimate test of a marriage. Statistics show that a majority of marriages do not survive the stress, guilt and agony of watching your child suffer and die.
Read how Cindy and Lou Campbell, parents of Ty (and Gavin and Bodhi) from the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation, have negotiated this difficult path to find a love that has not just survived, but grown in ways they never could have imagined.
We are so proud of the work that they do for kids with cancer, and for the fact that we call them our friends.