Six years ago we were getting on the plane to Florida for what would become his final trip. Had a miracle occurred and he'd somehow beat leukemia for good, he'd have still faced so many challenges: a stroke had left half his body debilitated, chemotherapy has devastating long-term effects, and that's to say nothing of what mental consequences there are to someone who's been put through so much.
We always thought it would be a blessing that he was so young when it happened, thinking he wouldn't remember the worst parts and that his resiliency would be incredible.
Dom would be eight years old were he alive today and headed into Grade 3. I imagine he'd be involved with the local adaptive sport association, or maybe Special Olympics, and loving the chance to meet new friends.
How would COVID affect his situation? Hard to say, but kids with cancer tend to have long-term autoimmune problems. We'd have to be extra careful.
With those what-if scenarios in our head, it isn't easy sending his sister to school. We're lucky her day home shares our perspective on safety, but with COVID cases in our city at an all-time high our anxiety is peaking as well.
We are trying to forge ahead. Day home has been great for her and so should school.
The push forward includes our charity efforts. We haven't done much this year but owe it to Dominic and the children's hospital, and so the #Dominicstrong online auction will take place Sept. 24-26 via the Facebook group of the same name.
Last year we debated not doing it at all but somehow raised $8,001. This year's auction will be even smaller and that's fine - every penny helps. We've reached out to all 73 donors from last year's auction and the majority have stepped up again. We've got gift certificates, board games, artwork and so much more!
If you see this post and might be interested in donating something, email firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you just want to help, please join the Facebook group and share the heck out of posts like this one so that we get as many bidders as possible for the auction.
It hasn't been easy, but then again it never was for Dominic once leukemia entered our lexicon. Every little step is still a step forward for him.