Posted on January 2, 2017
As a new year falls upon us, so many are optimistic about what the future will bring. When you lose a precious member of your family, specifically a child who was not granted the gift of life beyond 9 ½ years old, your outlook on what the year ahead holds for you is a bit different. It’s honestly unreal to me how much time has passed while simultaneously standing still. While the rest of the world has moved on with their lives, our hearts are still stuck in 2015 – the last year Nathaniel was alive, and the same year we lost him. Each day presents a greater appreciation for life and the fact that we were lucky enough to be chosen as parents. As our family continues to heal, only focusing on one day at a time, we truly find comfort in all of the wonderful memories Nathaniel has left for us to treasure. While many continue to bring tears because the loss is so incredibly great, they often bring smiles and warm hearts.
There are still many days when we I am plugging along just fine, and then suddenly without warning, I freeze, realizing my Nathaniel is gone, that I am that mother, we are those parents, my boys are those kids. We are the family that is missing a critical member, and that void is never going to be filled. I cry….alot….and often. It breaks my heart to think about the fact that I can no longer hear his voice, see his smile, hear one more story, treasure one more hug. He was my first born, I carried this child, gave birth to him, and experienced motherhood for the first time because of him, and all I have left are the memories. You can’t imagine how that realization can get you down to your knees, shaking and trembling uncontrollably. I am sure all that we are experiencing is a natural part of the grieving process, but it hurts, every day.
We are finally at a place where we feel ready to begin applying for a 501C(3) for Team Nathaniel. Team Nathaniel will seek to raise funds that would primarily go directly to fund cancer research, but also to assist families who may be seeking alternative methods of cancer treatment that is not covered by insurance. We found ourselves in this position in 2015 when Nathaniel’s osteosarcoma spread to his brain. Our goal will be to build one hero at a time, focusing on raising enough money to “save” at least one child with each fundraiser. What that means is helping to fund life saving treatments that are a lot more expensive and not as easily available to children with cancer. As many of you may recall, there has not been enough research on childhood cancer treatments, and that has to change.
I made a promise to my son that his life will matter to more than just those whose lives he touched while he was here in this world, and that people will not forget who he was. The only way I know how to do that is to give purpose and meaning to the devastating tragedy that impacted our lives. I want Team Nathaniel to be a part of preventing at least one family from experiencing the tragic fate that we are enduring.
It will cost nearly $2000 to fund the entire application process for Team Nathaniel. If each person reading this update donates $20 toward this cost, we could quickly get the funding we need to get the process started, and I can already think of a hero we can start helping. So for all of our Team Nathaniel followers, please spread the word, help us reach our goal, and please remember that any donations you make now are not considered tax deductible. That is until we receive 501C(3) status.
Going back to what the new year will hold for us, 2017 will be the year that Team Nathaniel becomes official and the year that we remind people of the legacy a 9 year old boy who died from cancer has left behind. He not only left behind broken hearts, but left a determination in the people who loved him to make sure that we stop this disease that is taking children too soon, and tearing families apart because their loss is so immense. Fighting cancer is the only way we know how to move forward and honor Nathaniel’s memory. Help us in making that possible. Wishing everyone a blessed new year filled with love, happiness and good health.