A mom of one of our patients designed a Scentsy magnet honoring our childhood cancer warriors. She sold 72 scentsy lamps with the magnet and raised $600 for our foundation! Not only that, but she brought along some scentsy buddies for the patients as well.
Thank you so much Ashley Welch!
Many of you may have seen the Facebook post recently about Ashley and her son Mikey. Mikey is patient at the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada. The two dropped off a $600 donation for Cure 4 The Kids Foundation’s Charity Care Program earlier this month. The funds were raised by Ashley and Mikey through a Scentsy warmer fundraiser. We know there is always a story behind heartfelt donations like this, so we asked Ashley to tell us more:
Cure 4 The Kids: Tell us about the day Mikey was diagnosed.
Ashley: Mikey was diagnosed on May 19, 2014. He woke up that morning with horrible stomach pains which was quickly followed by a pretty severe bloody nose. We live in Pahrump, so I took him to our local Urgent Care but they just couldn't seem to help us. I then took him to our local ER where they turned us away in which time I called Mikey’s pediatrician in tears and he advised me to rush him immediately to Sunrise Children's Hospital in Las Vegas (an hour and a half away). Once we arrived, they took one look at Mikey, who by this time was still bleeding out of his nose (for about 7-8 hours) and was too weak to walk or talk, and rushed us into a room to start blood tests etc. Within an hour of arriving Dr. Alan walked in with the news that Mikey had B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Cure 4 The Kids: How would you best explain the experience of your son’s diagnosis and treatment. Some have referred to it as a roller coaster ride.
Ashley: Who ever told you that it's like a roller coaster ride is absolutely correct! :) Mikey’s journey has been so intense and filled with so many ups and downs it's crazy. He has had many side effects that have really taken a toll on him. It's been very hard for us, as it is for all families who go through this. I'm a single Mom, so I'm his one and only caregiver. Luckily we have amazing family and friends who are always here for us. My parents have always been very close to us, and for the first year and a half my Mom was very involved helping me care for Mikey. She would go to every appointment, come over and help with daily stuff, and was just always there. She passed away last year, so that's been extremely hard on Mikey as well especially going through all of his treatment. My Dad has since stepped in and taken her place and never goes a day without spending time and helping with Mikey. We are extremely lucky to have such a great support system. Mikey’s diagnosis really has effected our entire family, I think it's because we are such a close family. Everyone was devastated when we all first found out, and it has honestly changed all of our lives. None of us wake up in the morning and ever take a second for granted anymore. It's been a huge eye opening experience for us. Also for our close friends, I've been told multiple times by so many people that Mikey’s journey has impacted them and helped them see what's really important in life. We are praying the last 7 months of treatment go smoothly, poor guy hasn't had many smooth days up until now.
Children's Specialty Center has been absolutely amazing to us since day one. First let me just say that I 100% believe Dr. Alan was on call that night for a reason. He has been my saving grace and I honestly don't know how well we would have gotten through these past few years without him. The Children’s Specialty Center staff has been so loving, kind, and caring with Mikey since the moment we walked through the doors. They have given him amazing care, I've never felt scared having any of the staff take care of him. They are all trained very well and know how to care for children. I've talked to other families who live in neighboring states and compared the level of care and they aren't getting near as great care as the patients at CSC are. As a parent I feel it takes a special kind of person to care for children, there needs to be a high level of compassion and nurturing on top of just simply being well-trained and educated and I definitely feel like every staff member we've ever dealt with has all of that.
Cure 4 The Kids: As a single mother and with a child going through treatment, I would imagine you are plenty busy. Why did you decide to also create a fundraiser through the sale of the Scentsy warmer to benefit Cure 4 The Kids Foundation?
I was approached by a friend of mine, Ginger Forbes, who sells Scentsy products. She told me about a fundraiser she had done for a mutual friend with a brain disease and wanted to know if I would be interested in doing a fundraiser for childhood cancer. Since Mikey was diagnosed I've become very passionate about spreading awareness. Mikey has a huge following of supporters, so I decided it would be a great way to spread awareness while also being able to give back. Mikey and I had already previously talked about starting to give back now that he's getting closer to his treatment end date and the first place we wanted to donate to was his clinic. It holds a very special place in our hearts. So when she asked where we wanted to donate the funds to, it was an easy answer and when I announced it to all of the people who were helping support this fundraiser they were all equally thrilled. I've mentioned many times to them how much we love the clinic, so everybody was very excited to help Mikey achieve his goal of giving back.
Cure 4 The Kids: Parents can provide a lot of advice that many of our current and future families will find helpful. What advice do you have for parents?
Ashley: Advice for new parents would be to take one day at a time. It's an extremely hard path to be unwillingly placed upon, but your baby needs you so just stay calm, breathe, and take life one day at a time. Also, educate yourself and others. It is amazing the amount of people who have absolutely no idea what it's like to either go through cancer or love some one with cancer. It's not something I'd wish on anyone, however teaching others about this journey is extremely important, so bring awareness.
Cure 4 The Kids: Advice for our staff, based on your experience?
Ashley: Advice for the staff is to honestly just keep being amazing. I imagine it's incredibly hard to watch these kids suffer everyday, especially knowing that some of them don't have long left or finding out that some of them have passed away. It breaks my heart to see these kids when I go in with Mikey, I can't imagine how hard it is to create bonds with them and not have the hoped for outcome. As hard as that has to be, we need you guys! We need people like you to be so loving and nurturing and help us heal our babies. You guys are angels on Earth and we need you to keep doing what you're doing.