Paying forward all of the love and support we've received in the past four months can seem a daunting task sometimes.
Granted, we'll have plenty of time to do more of it once this chapter is done, but there's no better time than the present to begin.
We've done some little things, like lending a hand to a fellow caregiver or passing along treats to the staff here at the hospital. I shaved my head and jumped on the bandwagon for Extra Life, a 25-hour gaming marathon which raises funds for children's hospitals.
Raising money for the Alberta Children's Hospital is perhaps the best way we could give back considering what the people here have done for, and will continue to do for Dominic. Just in the past week they've given him two full blood transfusions, checked his blood levels almost daily, fed him, fixed a break in his broviac line (the third time overall) and so much more. Just before I began writing, a nurse changed his diaper - currently a process that involves cream, powder, ointment, cotton balls and wipes. When she finished without complaint she then weighed the diaper (they keep track of everything), turned to me and said "is there anything I can do for you?"
No. But there is something we can do in return. It's called Radiothon.
The hospital's foundation operates on a budget of roughly $25 million a year. From research to advanced equipment and programs that aid patients and their families beyond the straightforward medical treatment they receive, it's money well spent. They recently unveiled a simulation area which staff train with, but there's still things like music therapy and every Wednesday's pizza night that we look forward to.
Every year, the foundation teams up with Country 105 FM and numerous other sponsors to put on the Caring for Kids Radiothon. It's three days long and this year it runs Feb. 5 to 7.
And this year, Dominic is the poster child.
A bit of background here. If you've seen the desktop version of this blog you've seen the photo of him wearing a pair of headphones. That photo was taken at his aunt and uncle's house in Ontario this summer during what we coined Dominic World Tour.
Once the foundation people saw it, and then once they saw him in person, they were smitten. There could not be a more perfect photo to promote the event.
There are T-shirts. No, you can't buy them; we were given 24 hours to round up a special order and only asked immediate family. Personally I think they could make a mint selling them, but then again I'm biased.
Now he's on the radiothon's website. And we, along with dozens of other families, will be telling our story during the radiothon. We're currently slated for Feb. 6 at around 3 p.m. if you want to listen in.
More importantly, please consider donating. It's not as though that operating budget is financed by taxpayers. Events like this one are critical. And this is arguably the most important event they do.
Today was music therapy. Dom wasn't in a particularly jovial mood given the IV in his arm - the broken line was under repair and he still needed fluids. But once the bongo drums and guitar were out, he was practically bouncing in the crib.
Dominic continues to smile, just as he did in that photo seven months ago. Sometimes, he just needs a bit of help. We're so thankful the foundation is here to provide it.