|They both love pancakes...|
"Why couldn't you be more like your brother?"
File that away as something my sisters never had to hear growing up. But we've definitely thought them at times about our daughter.
It's not fair, of course, to compare the two. Dominic was so happy-go-lucky, and that attitude served him well when the leukemia prognosis came a month before his first birthday. He had the benefit of not knowing life was different, that people aren't stuck in hospital rooms for months on end because they have no immune system, or that pokes and prods are not common.
A little bit of pain? I had a foot injury the other week and rated it a 7/10 on what I'd experienced. It probably wasn't a 2/10 for a cancer patient.
When Samantha fell headfirst into the corner of a wall the other day, blood flowing freely, I figured the waterworks might never stop.
Of course, with my aversion to blood and needles (I famously had a code blue called on ME at the children's hospital one fine morning due to fainting), I could've been in as much trouble as she was.
But no: She held the gauze I'd applied to her forehead tight while I took a second to lay on the floor, gather myself, and find a large enough bandage.
She is more like her brother than we give her credit for sometimes. Loves putting on a show, laughing, and showing love. Can entertain herself on long car rides or at home when nobody's around to play with. Loves pancakes.
Samantha will also tell you her brother is dead matter-of-factly, which she definitely gets from her parents.
We took her mini-golfing last week and I hope there are more opportunities to participate in things in her brother's memory. That's where I'm going with today's post.
A big anniversary
It's been 10 years since Dominic was admitted to hospital with those red bumps all over his head. We started participating in Extra Life soon thereafter, and have raised more than $250,000 in his name through the #Dominicstrong team.
The first time we had a public event as part of our 25-hour game day marathon was 2015, just a couple months after he died. We did a couple more but soon found they were a lot of stress to organize and didn't bring in much extra money for the cause. Businesses were happy to donate but the dollar value we got out of the event didn't match up with what they gave.
The last event was in 2017. Don't get me wrong: it was a lot of fun, but at some point we decided it wasn't worth it.
Well, experiences are worth something too. And so we'd like to do another public event this November. For Dominic. For Samantha too, so she can see what the community means to her brother's legacy. And of course, for all the kids who still need the Alberta Children's Hospital every day.
It was easy not to do it the last two years during the pandemic: Just not safe. But being the 10th anniversary, I hope we can try again.
Can we count on your support? Would you come and play with us for a while? Ask friends and complete strangers alike to donate a couple bucks to the cause? I want to hear from you to know we can do this.
Extra Life United
One last thing: I'm participating in Extra Life United virtually for the third year in a row this week. I'm playing Carcassone: Hunters and Gatherers with money on the line to be won for the Alberta Children's Hospital. Wish me luck! Also, consider a small donation through my participant page to send some encouragement: www.extra-life.org/participant/sean.