Friday, November 20, 2009

So today, not only did I take my last class of the semester, I finished my last day of Pediatrics. I guess I don't talk about it much on here, but I LOVE people with disabilities, more specifically, kids with disabilities. I don't love them because of their disability, I just have a special place in my heart for these kids. I think I don't talk about it much on here because it's sort of my "baseline"-- it's what I spend most of my day thinking and learning about, and by the time it's time to blog, it's just not that "what's new in your life" topic in my mind...

I just want to help. I know I complain about school a lot, I know I complain about the costs, but everything in me wants to do everything I can to help these kids. I know therapy takes place beyond the walls of a church, but I do consider it my ministry. I've been working with Tucker, who will forever be my "first patient," for about a year now. I love him and I love his family, and I have learned so much from working with him. It's amazing to know the personality of a little guy who doesn't even talk. To play and clap and bounce and walk with a little guy who once couldn't even sit up.

For the last semester, through my classes, I've been afforded the opportunity to meet other great kids. Some of them broke my heart, and some of them brought me great joy. A 13 month old little girl with Down Syndrome, a 4 year old boy with cerebral palsy, a blind 2 year old, a 13 year old girl with a glioblastoma (the worst of the worst of brain tumors)... Life is already hard enough without coming into the world three steps behind. Whether it's a mild developmental delay or Autism or CP, I have so much respect for these resilient kids and their families.

We finished up our last class watching a little video for inspiration. It's about Dick & Rick Hoyt, a father-son team who run marathons and Ironmans together. Rick is the son who has cerebral palsy and Dick is his dad who takes him along for every ride. I've heard their story and seen the video before, but it had been awhile.

Cue Kate in the back of the classroom crying her eyes out...

The resilience of these kids, the tenacity of their parents, the distance a father would run, literally, out of love for his child... This video embodies everything I love about these kids and their families. I just want to help them have the best life they possibly can and I consider myself beyond blessed to be a part of their theirs.

So, go volunteer for the Special Olympics. Take time to squat down and look a child in a wheelchair straight in the eye. Make dinner for a busy mom who's juggling therapy sessions and hospital stays with soccer practice and Girl Scouts. Read to a child who can't do so on their own. Talk to child like you don't even notice those braces. I dare you. :)

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