Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Real Heroes, Part 2: The Parents
This week's segment of Real Heroes focuses on the people who love those liver kids: their parents. These aren't just your average, everyday parents. These are people who must withstand regular bouts with disappointment; deal daily with many forms of stress; face extended time away from their spouse and/or other children; and who must be their child's advocate at every turn.
This post in no one seeks to take away from parents who are raising kids without life-threatening diseases. We all know how difficult it is to parent. Period. But I want to celebrate those heroes who don't step out of the fire even when their bodies might be completely consumed by a poor prognosis, countless nights in the hospital and feel the strain on their marriage.
We've met many liver parents online and in-person. I'm continually struck by their tenacity, their vulnerability and their strength. They're willing to do ANYTHING in the best interest of their child. They're willing to RISK anything to insure their cared for the best way possible.
Even these heroes need places to vent and meltdown on occasion. A real hero still needs someone to lean on. The strain of liver disease, transplant and the waiting, waiting, waiting would be insufferable if we all sought to do everything on our own. It takes a special person to acknowledge they need help and to seek it.
The other parents who offer suggestions, share their own journey and walk alongside another families - they are part of this lineage of heroes. It's imperative we embrace each other no matter what road we're walking at the moment - initial diagnosis, awaiting a transplant, or post-transplant.
Heroes are willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING for the people they love. That describes liver parents to a T.