The Best Decision I Could Make

Julia is an energetic almost five year old who is happy to have started kindergarten this fall. She loves playing with her little sister, running, laughing, singing and dancing. It’s hard to believe that she’s been through nearly three years of chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

She missed birthday parties, holidays, play dates and many other fun things kids her age enjoy every day. Additionally, when Julia was diagnosed, her mom was pregnant and unable to be in contact with the chemo drugs so Julia’s dad was the only parent who could be her caretaker.

Counting on CaringBridge

But amid all of these challenges, Julia and her family could count on one constant: the support they got from their friends and family who followed Julia’s story on CaringBridge.

Julia’s mom, Joy, was aware that CaringBridge existed and began her CaringBridge website the day after her diagnosis. Joy says, “I wanted to be able to get information to people and didn’t want to make 500 calls a day. It was really difficult to talk about out loud and so that first week we were already posting new journal updates twice a day. It felt incredible to have people all over the world checking in and sending us prayers, good thoughts, love and hugs.”

Feeling Like They Weren’t Alone

“Using CaringBridge was definitely the best decision I possibly could have made at that point in our cancer journey. It was a way for me to share our fears, frustrations and successes.” Joy says that CaringBridge helped her family feel like they were not alone while simultaneously providing much needed space as those who cared were able to receive updates without the family feeling overwhelmed.

The Greatest Gift

The thing that surprised Joy most was the unexpected feelings of community, love and support. This included people bringing meals, getting mail, walking the dog and taking care of other tasks. Once Julia finished her treatment this support led Julia’s family to want to give back to CaringBridge. They threw a reverse benefit called a No Mo Chemo party to raise money for the charities that made the greatest impact on them during the last three years.

Julia’s family continues to use CaringBridge to provide updates as she undergoes monthly checkups and people continue to leave comments of support. For Julia’s parents, seeing their daughter happy and healthy is the greatest gift her parents could ask for this holiday season.

Support for families like Julia’s wouldn’t be possible without you.

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  • Shirley Templeton Toof

    Your post touched me for many reasons. First, my husband was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in August 2014 at the age of 68. Lots of thoughts have meandered through my mind since then – one of them being ‘This could have been Logan or Jaycee’ – our 12 year old grandson or 3 year old granddaughter. ALL is a disease (as I’m sure you know) that strikes children much more often than adults. My prayers for peace for all of you and wishes for a bright future for Julia and the rest of your family! There is nothing like faith, friends, and family to carry us through such a difficult journey.

  • Vidya

    HI Joy,
    I`m so sorry to hear about your daughter Julia. But just believe in god and he will heal all your sadness and your beautiful daughter`s pain. He s just right next to us and seeing everything thats happening. Please dont lose your hope on anything and all our prayers are there for you and your daughter. We are all here to love and show our support. Please do contact us anytime to share your pain.
    life is so beautiful with people like your daughter Julia and we will pray for them to spread their joy to all.
    let`s cherish each and every moment in our life.

    With loads of Love and prayers