Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Donna Day 2014

I was privileged to meet Sheila Quirke in 2013 when she was cast for the 2013 Chicago Listen To Your Mother Show. Sheila writes as Mary Tyler Mom on ChicagoNow where she touches heart after heart in her stories of parenting her 3 children; her two living sons and her sweet daughter, Donna, who passed away in 2009 from pediatric cancer.

Sheila and her husband have endured what is everyone's worst nightmare; surviving your own child. I cannot imagine. I don't WANT to imagine. But I try to imagine, because for Sheila and far too many other parents, it's reality. It's a horrific, painful reality that is all too common. Ignoring their pain would be to forget their children's existence and I cannot do that. None of us can.

It is because of Donna that her parents have started the charity, Donna's Good Things, a 501(c)(3) that provides "joyful opportunities to children facing adversity."

In addition to Donna's Good Things, the Quirke-Horniks participate in raising money for St. Baldrick's every year. In fact, today has been dubbed "Donna Day;" an annual blogging day focused on raising awareness and funds for Donna's Good Things shave event through St. Baldrick's. I know I cannot give Sheila what she truly wants and needs, but I AM able to help by spreading the word of this charitable event in honor of her sweet girl. I am able to help keep Donna's memory alive by writing this small post and donating my small amount in hopes it will get us closer to a cure for pediatric cancer. If you are able, I hope you will share your love with Sheila through words of love or monetary donations on her St. Baldrick's event page.

I leave you with this radio story that Sheila and Jeremy recorded last year. It's touching beyond belief; they've chosen hope over despair time and time again. I am so grateful to have been invited into her circle. Sheila, I'm sending you a huge hug today - I hope you are awash with nothing but love and hope.

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