For those of you that know me, I've always been really big on helping people. I started doing volunteer work at the age of 13. It was mandatory at my high school in order to graduate. But the more I did the work, the more I appreciated doing it. It makes you feel good and it makes you feel like you accomplished something. People are always talking about change and making a difference. You can make your difference TODAY.
Christmas Eve five and a half years ago, my cousin James was born. He was a great baby, but something wasn't right. After multiple doctors visits, they diagnosed James with Pompe's disease. For those of you that don't know what Pompe's disease is here is a little information:
Glycogen storage disease type II (also called Pompe disease or acid maltase deficiency) is an autosomal recessive metabolic disorder which damages muscle and nerve cells throughout the body. It is caused by an accumulation of glycogen in the lysosome due to deficiency of the lysosomal acid alpha-glucosidase enzyme. It is the only glycogen storage disease with a defect in lysosomal metabolism, and the first glycogen storage disease to be identified, in 1932.
The build-up of glycogen causes progressive muscle weakness (myopathy) throughout the body and affects various body tissues, particularly in the heart, skeletal muscles, liver and nervous system. (Wikipedia)
James has been in and out of the hospital every since he was a baby. Doctors told my family that it is very rare for children with Pompe to live past the age of three. James will be six this winter. This child has showed everyone in my family what love really is. I look up to my aunt and uncle so much. It takes two very strong people to raise a child with a disability. The strength these two have is amazing and unbelievable. I hope and I pray to God that I can be as strong as them both. Enough with the mushy stuff. James gets to go to school, he gets to play with his brothers, and he has one heck of a personality. He can't walk, but he makes you appreciate the small things in life. One of his favorite things to do right now is to go for walks. My family takes turns pushing him in his chair around his house. James will put his little hand out and knock all of the magnets off of the fridge. It's cute and you can see how much joy he gets out of that. The smallest things.
This past April, Make a Wish foundation paid for James to go to Disney with his family. He has a blast!! His favorite ride was the Jaws ride. I've always heard really great things about make a wish, but seeing what it can do for a family is totally different. There are hundreds of thousands of children with disabilities and diseases that Make a wish helps every day. I think it's time for us to show our appreciation. This summer, my Uncle Rick is doing the "Make a Wish ride". It's a bicycle marathon that will probably end up with hundreds of people breathless and puking their brains out. Just kidding. Ha. Anyways, below is a link. Please check it out. Any donation helps, whether it's one dollar or twenty. "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
Donate to Make a Wish!!!