February 1, 2018
I'm sure everyone has heard of Go Fund Me. Well, a couple months back an email came into my inbox regarding a little girl named Dana (7) who was baking cookies to raise money to help save the life of her friend, Mila (also 7). It touched my heart so much I donated back then, but feel the story must be shared.
Mila was born with a disease called Batten Disease—"a rare and fatal genetic condition that robs normal children of everything. They end up bedridden, on a feeding tube, with seizures, and cognitively impaired. There is no cure... yet."
There is an experimental treatment that could save MIla's life and may even cure Batten Disease for good. The price-tag? Over $700,000 for the treatment alone!! So Dana went about baking and selling cookies at first door-to-door using a wagon (as pictured), then participating in numerous fundraisers and ultimately starting a Go Fund Me campaign—ALL to raise money to save her friend. With the added help of Go Fund Me sending an email to their users (which is how I found out about this campaign) plus generous donors who were willing to match contributions, Dana's cookie sales and Go Fund Me campaign alone raised over $56,000 for Mila. (Check out the story, pictures and more here: https://www.gofundme.com/cookies4mila)
Mila had her own fundraising page on Go Fund Me as well which also exceeded it's goal. (https://www.gofundme.com/savingmila)
So why am I writing about all of this now? Because Mila went in for the experimental treatment today, January 31, 2018. I find myself constantly checking the updates on Dana and Mila's Go Fund Me pages. And today I stumbled across the blogs on stopbatten.org/blog, which is Mila's nonprofit (Mila's Miracle Foundation, Inc.). Why I hadn't found this before, I don't know, but there was post from January 30, on the eve of Mila's treatment, from Mila's mother, Julia. My heart ached and my eyes filled when I read that post..or any post about Mila and her story for that matter. Read the blog here.
There are two lessons to learn here...Why did I title this "Perspective?" Because we all need to stop, take a step back and really look at who we are, where we are and what we have. No matter how bad things may seem or may get, we are incredibly lucky. We are not Mila; struggling with this awful disease, never sure what the next day will bring, only hoping to survive. We are not Julia (Mila's mother) watching her child suffer and rapidly deteriorate all while creating a non-profit (Mila's Miracle Foundation, Inc), extensive fundraising, caring for and still managing her family and just fighting for Mila's life...each and every day. I encourage all of you to really think of this. Don't just read this and file it away or delete it...think about it. Perspective.
I did say there are two lessons and here's the second...how incredible is it that this little girl, Dana, at only 7 years old had the drive to do so much for her friend. Of course, the adults in her life had a HUGE role in all of this and the community, but Dana didn't have to do this. She didn't have to find a way to raise money for her friend. She could have done nothing. But she, and the rest of her family and friends, didn't do that. They did something...something truly incredible. It's yet another thing to ponder on. We are all capable of so much. Is there anything you could do to help someone? It may not be easy, but it sure seems it could be worth it.