Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Donna Day 2014

So here we are at Donna Day 2014

Never heard of Donna? PLEASE do yourself a favor and read her story here. Her mother, Mary Tyler Mom, chronicled her story a few years back for a September series on childhood cancer. It was HER story that moved me to share my own child’s story~ different in every way except 1~ just like MTM I no longer get to parent one of my children…….that child died.

To those who do not know her~ Donna is just an ordinary girl who developed a rare terminal brain cancer and it killed her. I can assure you Donna IS VERY FAR from ordinary. You need only read her story to know this truth.

Then the real joy and amazement begins….you read about how her mother has parented Donna in the only way she can~ by sharing her story and with it changing the world.  Powerful stuff right there yo. Powerful stuff indeed.

I don’t come at you with a ton of facts and figures. I don’t come t you asking you to do anything you can’t afford.

What I come at you with is one small question…………what would YOU do if it happened to you?

It’s a VERY uncomfortable and painful thing to think about……planning the funeral for your very own child~ believe you me: I KNOW.

For the MILLIONS of children diagnosed every year with cancer the choice to ‘look away’ is snatched from their family and from them. Once you move to Cancerville~ you might change houses~ but you never get to leave the neighborhood. This I learned from Donna.

Today, quite frankly, it would be easier for me to look away. It would be quite easy for me to be swept up in my own life issues~ some more pressing than others. It would be quite easy to say I am too tired, too stressed, too sad, too overwhelmed, too ANYTHING to think about this sensitive and very painful subject.

But there is one reason I cannot look away…..and that reason is Donna.

I don’t LIKE to think about when I planned my own child’s funeral. I cannot even BEGIN to imagine what it was like for the Mary Tyler Family to bear witness to her 31 months of treatment, to accept in the end that Donna would not survive, to even find the strength to carry on……. much less do what they have done.

They have founded a charity in her name (www.donnasgoodthings.org). 

They have teamed with St. Baldrick’s to advocate for and FUND childhood cancer research (http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/6969/2014). 

THEY have taken the tragedy of beautiful Donna’s death and used it to change the world.
If they can do that  then by gods I will look this fear, emotion, tragedy and triumph RIGHT IN THE FACE.

I will scream from the rooftops that we MUST do better.
I will remember what it is like to plan my child’s funeral.
I will face the fear that comes with knowing at any time one of my living children could be diagnosed.
I will cry.
I will write.
I will share.
I will donate.


They print more money everyday…..but there will never, ever be another Donna Quirke-Hornik. Her family will NEVER be the same without her.

So I ask you again: what would YOU do if it happened to YOU?

Please read, share, and donate if you can.

Please lift the Mary Tyler Family up in your thoughts, prayers, meditations……whatever it is you do, please take a moment to think of them.

At the end of the day……..even when we are *celebrating* the children we no longer get to parent, that precious child is still dead. Emotions are on overload.

MTM I love you.

Thank you for sharing Donna with me and for allowing me to share in the beautiful gift of her legacy.

Love and light,


1 comment: