I was recently reunited with my childhood soul mate who I haven’t seen in 25 years. Turns out, we’re still soul mates only a little bit wiser, a lot more settled, and damn sure of the blessings we’ve received. Jolie Runyan is her name and she runs the ACE After School Program for at-risk kids in Robinson, Illinois.
During the course of our re-bonding, she told me of something that had just happened back home which made her feel helpless and sad. The 5 year old son (Patrick) of a family with children in her program, had been severely burned in an accident while playing at the home of a neighbor. Patrick is in a medically-induced coma so that he can withstand the pain while they do what they can to save his life. His family is not well off. They struggle to provide the basics for their children and both parents work very hard. Jolie tells me they are wonderful, loving parents and this has been so devastating for them.
This story struck me very close to home. I have a 5 year old boy who is vibrant and joyful and has a full life ahead of him. I don’t struggle that hard to feed him and give him what he needs to grow up healthy and strong. He was sick a while back and got the best medical care money could buy, in one of the best hospitals in the world. I was able to be by his side the entire time with no financial hardship. We’re lucky. We were born into a different world. The thought of seeing my child hurt or sick is devastating and I know what these parents must be going through.
Yesterday I checked in with Jolie to see how Patrick is doing. I can’t stop thinking about him and his parents (particularly his mother). She told me he’s getting good medical care but that the parents are finding it difficult to cover the fuel, food, and lodging costs to be with him. That broke my heart even more than learning about his accident. This is a time when a mother really, really needs to be with her child and yet she struggles to find the money to get there.
We Need Your Help!
I am asking all of the people who I know to please send this family a check for at least $25. To most of you, that’s not even 1 bottle of wine or a dinner. To many of you, that’s a fraction of your weekly dry cleaning budget. It’s a no-brainer. But for this family it will buy them the gift of time with their child. A priceless gift.
Please take 5 minutes to write a check, address an envelope, and drop it in the mail today. Send it to Patrick’s parents:
Jack and Rayanne McGovern
211 S. Roosevelt Ave.
Robinson, IL 62454
Imagine the support we can give one family if we all pull together just this once. Let’s create a miracle.