The time had come for my son and daughter in law to tell their boys that daddy had ALS.
The boys had noticed that daddy wasn't doing "daddy things" much anymore and that his voice was weak and his speech was slurred, but Jeff and Cherene had wanted to wait until after Christmas to tell the boys.
Seven year old Nathan took the news in stride. (We're not sure how much he really understands).
Nine year old Jake however, totally got it.
When they told the boys that daddy was very sick Jake said he didn't want to hear it. He held his hands over his ears as if to block out the incoming bad news exclaiming he didn't want to know. But a few minutes later he asked what the name of the disease was. Before Cherene could answer he yelled, "I know, I know, daddy has H1N1!" (ha)
Cherene said no, daddy has something called Lou Gerhig's Disease or ALS. She explained that the doctors were helping daddy to be comfortable but there was really no cure for what he had.
Jake said then HE would find a cure so daddy would be well. (Nine year olds are great inventors and Jake truly felt he could come up with a way to "fix" his daddy and make everything okay).
Cherene explained that nine year olds don't have the necessary equipment or education to come up with a cure but there were wonderful doctors and scientists already working on it.
Jake retreated into his room and slammed the door. (This is a lot for a little boy to process).
A little later Jake came out with his piggy bank decorated with a sign that read "Donate money for the ALS disease".
He took his bank to school the next morning and talked to the principle about
the possibility of a fundraiser. Later that week Jake took his idea to
the student counsel for final approval.
Thanks to Jake's love for his daddy and persistence, this week John Baldwin Elementary School in Danville, CA is holding it's first ALS Awareness Week and fundraiser.
I told Jake that I have a lot of wonderful friends that would probably like to help too, so if you would like to help Jake fight ALS and help the doctors and scientists find a "fix" for his daddy, you can send your tax deductible donation to:
735 Century Way
Danville, CA 94526
(Please make your check out to ALSA).
Thank you to everyone for supporting Jake's efforts and for helping him see that positive things can come from such heart breaking adversity.
Jake is determined to make a difference for his daddy and we are all so proud of him!
Encourage one another,