Together at Last, Family Celebrates Triumph Over Child's Cancer.
“The guestbook messages would seriously get me through bad days. The donations in honor of Tara were evidence that CaringBridge is not only meaningful to me, but also to people who care about Tara. They see value in the site.” —Shawna Uselding, mother of five, CaringBridge author
When 5-year-old Tara, an identical triplet and one of Scott and Shawna Uselding's five children, had a tummy ache that wouldn't go away, her mom never imagined she'd would be diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a fast-growing form of childhood cancer.
Shawna discovers CaringBridge
Shawna found a CaringBridge flyer in their hospital welcome packet. She remembered how helpful it had been when a cousin shared updates on a CaringBridge website. After setting up Tara's site, Shawna felt the benefits during such an emotional time. It allowed her to keep everyone updated and stay connected to Scott, who had moved to Colorado on orders as a major in the U.S. Air Force.
With Scott hours away and Tara going through treatment, Shawna needed the support that CaringBridge provided.
“CaringBridge was a godsend,” Shawna says. “We had friends and family who wanted constant updates on her. And it was impossible for us to talk to everybody. I don't know what we would've done without it.”
Six months into Tara's treatment, with a good prognosis, Shawna and the kids moved so their family could all be together again. Their CaringBridge site became even more important as it allowed them to feel the love and compassion of their community back home.
“We had so much support from family and friends. It's been humbling to see how many people follow her and care about her.
Just One of the Triplets
Tara kept up her spirits throughout treatment. “CaringBridge is more helpful for her than actually meeting other people in the same situation,” Shawna says. “She definitely gets a kick out of reading all the messages left for her. She feels like a superstar with her own website.”
Once she learned to write, Tara even wrote her own journal entries and replied to guestbook messages.
Tara, now 7 and in first grade, has been in remission for six months. “She is doing phenomenal,” Shawna says. “She is defying the odds.”