Grayson the Great
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Before Grayson was born, we had a baby book where we would keep track of nearly every aspect of his pregnancy – from Mom’s weight, her measurements, our personal feelings, to sonogram pictures, and numerous other details – all of which were recorded for Grayson to read one day when he was old enough. It was pretty straightforward, easy to answer stuff, but there was one entry in particular that blind-sided us.
We were faced with a blank page containing a heading that read, “A letter from your Mom and Dad for you to read when you grow up.” We decided we were going to take it very seriously, because we knew the letter would be his forever, but what were we going to write?
My mind raced, and as I wondered how we’d respond, it was at that moment, that I finally realized the gravity of what was inevitably about to occur – we were introducing a new soul into the world. My son, who will develop his own hopes, dreams and desires will soon become the focus of our lives. We will love him unconditionally, and he’ll rely on us for his every need. He will be our son, and the embodiment of our own hopes, and dreams.
In our letter, we wrote that no matter how he turned out, no matter what trouble he’d inevitably get into, and no matter what he chose to do with his life, we’d support him, love him, and be proud of him beyond measure. We wrote that we look forward to meeting the man he becomes, and the adventures our family will have together. Our letter even made an attempt to prepare him for his first love, and how one day he will know what it’s like to feel real Love – unconditionally and without restraint – just as we do for him.
Fast-forward to present day: Of course, everything we wrote still holds true. He’s our son, the light of our lives, and our first-born little miracle. But here’s the thing, we never expected him to be diagnosed at 13-months with high-risk, MYCN-amplified Neuroblastoma. His prognosis of survival was less than 25%. We learned Neuroblastoma is a cancer so rare that less than 300 similar cases are diagnosed in the USA each year. It’s a cancer that lacks the research, funding, and attention needed to improve overall survival. Too many children are left hopeless, and dying with no further treatment options available.
Devastatingly heartbroken after his diagnosis, it occurred to us there’s a chance he may never grow old enough to read, and comprehend the letter we wrote him in his baby book. This soul-crushing realization impacted us in ways we’re unable to describe. This was our letter, written to our son, from before he was even born. It was the complete embodiment of everything we felt for him, and the first advice and promises we would ever offer him as his parents. The thought that he may never have the chance to read it, literally hurt our souls.
As Grayson’s diagnosis became reality, and our new lives consisting of extended hospital stays, highly toxic chemotherapies, surgeries, radiation, constant scans, and painful treatments became the norm, we were thrown into a community of families faced with similar situations. We discovered foundations such as Beat Nb, who’ve dedicated themselves to finding a cure for this horrible disease. Beat Nb has offered us hope, and the research they’re funding is very promising and helps provide the optimism we so desperately need.
Grayson is talkative, and full of personality, like his mother. He’s curious and mischievous, like his father. We thank God for every day we spend with him, and savor every kiss from our young son. Seeing pieces of our own personalities glow from within him is mesmerizing, and truly awe-inspiring. It’s caused our faith in God, and love for each other to grow beyond measure.
We pray one day he grows old, starts his own family, and fulfills his own hopes, dreams and desires. We pray for the day we sit down with him, and watch him read the first letter we ever wrote to him. Please consider a donation to Beat Nb for Grayson, and other children just like him, who are fighting for their lives.