October 1, 2012
I had the opportunity recently to visit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; specifically, the AFLAC Cancer Center at that wonderful hospital. I must say, as hospitals go, Children’s is the cheeriest and happiest I’ve ever seen, and from the cafeteria workers to the nurses, therapists and physicians, the staff are absolutely amazing.
What impacted me, what impacts me every time I go there, are the young patients being treated at the hospital. I can’t help being so deeply moved by their little faces, their bravery and their wide-eyed innocence. I can’t help being moved by the perseverance, hope and strength of the children’s parents. To me, Children’s is a place where miracles happen every day.
Several years ago, my husband and I were two of those parents, as our daughter was in the process of being diagnosed and treated for a rare heart condition discovered when she was 16 years old. Unless you’ve been the parent of a child with a serious health issue, you probably can’t fully appreciate or understand the peace that a kind nurse can bring to a situation, or the hope that a highly skilled surgeon brings with him every time he sits with your child, holds her hand and jokes with her while he steers her care.
Times are tough today, I know that. But should you ever be in a position to help an institution financially, or to just volunteer a little bit of your time during the holidays (which can be lonely indeed, especially at a children’s hospital), I hope you’ll consider Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. I can’t imagine any other place making better use of your donated resources.
No one asked me to write this piece today, and certainly no one asked me to make the request I made in that last paragraph, but I can tell you without a doubt that no matter how much or little you can spare, a family will be comforted by your efforts.
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of two books: “Southern Fried White Trash” and her newest, “Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear” (releasing October 15). She is also a regular guest on FOX News Radio station WXYC on Wednesdays during the Drive at 5. Townsend has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, been featured on FOX 5 Television News and CNN, and is often a guest on television and radio shows nationwide. She currently travels throughout the southeast, meeting readers at book signings and speaking publicly at various events.