Commentary

Lilly

The people at McMaster Children's Hospital are saving one child at a time and we don't know what the impacts will be. Lilly might save the world.

By Kevin Somers
Published March 05, 2019

Lilly, a beautiful, heroic, kind, creative, thoughtful, perfect little girl is in McMaster Children's Hospital, fighting. I met Lilly when she started attending The Writers' Club three years ago. In a room of bright, shining stars, Lilly's twinkle stood out.

A sick child hits the family just as hard. Lilly's younger sister, Scarlett, who is only 10, is as brave, talented, and wonderful as her sister. Their mother, Shelley, has been recording the family's harrowing journey on Facebook. The apples fell close to the tree: like her daughters, Shelley is a terrific writer. Her prose are beautiful and gut wrenching.

https://www.facebook.com/Lillybear19/

In one of Shelley's most uplifting Facebook posts, she shares the emotional experience of watching Scarlett and Lilly shave their heads together.

Sadly, visiting Lilly at Mac, I knew the route. My beautiful, wonderful niece, Julia, had been there, too. Julia, who is now 18, is beyond a cousin to my daughter; they're best friends. The two quirky, funny, kind girls are blessed to have each other and it warms our hearts to see them together. Julia makes everything better.

Words can't express our gratitude for The McMaster Children's Hospital and the people behind it. Julia, my sister's only child, is our family's miracle.

Julia has histiocytosis, a horrible, rare affliction, the treatments for which are in the early stages of development. The disease was aggressive and life-threatening when Julia was a baby and small child. Julia's situation was bleak, so in desperation, she was given cancer treatments and prayers were answered. I can't imagine parents who deny their children the divine miracles of scientific discovery.

Unfair infliction upon an innocent notwithstanding, David, Lilly's father, Shelley and I talked about how fortunate we are to be right here, right now. The people at Mac are saving one child at a time and we don't know what the impacts will be. Lilly might save the world.

Piggybacking on her success, Julia's miraculous recovery enables and encourages further research. Humans are genius and insatiably curious. Someday, easily accessible cures and vaccines will be developed and no one will have to endure childhood disease. Miracles happen.

Sometimes, it takes a child to raise a village. When Julia was at Mac, the outpouring of support and sympathy was remarkable. Friends, family, and strangers went out their way to encourage Julia and my sister. It changed, everything.

Lilly has had a similar experience. Shelley's most recent post speaks to the love pouring into Lilly's room and the impact it has on their (fighting) spirits. Please, pray, hope, think of, or throw your arms around Lilly.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted March 10, 2019 at 15:37:23

"Sometimes, it takes a child to raise a village."

Well said!

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