Thanksgiving, a time where we count our blessings and reflect on what we are thankful for over the past year. Ever since joining Dance Marathon two years ago I have learned to count my blessings each day and have realized life isn’t all that bad. When college gets stressful, instead of complaining, be thankful that you get to sit in a classroom and pursue your dream job. Some of our miracle kiddos won’t ever experience even a single day in college. On the days that you are complaining of a head cold, be thankful it is just a head cold and you don’t need to get rushed to the ER because you have a fever and it could end up being life-threatening. Instead of complaining when times get tough, think about how lucky you are to be having those moments of stress, to just have a head cold, or to be so busy you can’t even think straight.
In a couple weeks the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital will open up. Countless hours you have spent creating letters to send, sending them out and going door-to-door to collect donations have made this hospital possible. During this time of thanks, be thankful we have a state of the art Children’s Hospital in our backdoor. Be thankful that you have been able to raise funds to fully fund a Parent Respite Lounge, an operating room, and a room in the NICU. The countless hours you put in haven’t gone unnoticed at the hospital. Be thankful for the CT machine in the hospital that uses 2x less radiation and will only take 30 seconds to get an image. If you ever get put in the situation where you have to spend time in this hospital, be thankful that you are spending time in a hospital that will take the best possible care of you, your child, your sibling, or a friend.
As you sit around the Thanksgiving table with your family, think about the families that are spending this Thanksgiving in the hospital around a hospital bed. Be thankful for the health that you have been blessed with, be thankful for the food in front of you, be thankful for the people you are spending it with. As the Director of Family Relations, I want to thank you for supporting our families financially
and emotionally. Thank you for taking the time to hear the kiddo stories, hang out with them and make them forget about their diagnosis for a couple hours. Enjoy every moment you get to spend making memories with friends, family and classmates, because some of our miracle families only have those memories to remember their children or brother/sister. This Thanksgiving, be thankful for the little things in your life, not just the big things.