CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION

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Sebastian was sick all weekend. He ran a low-grade fever, didn't sleep well, and consequently was miserable.

We found out on Monday that he had his first ear infection.

I feel awful that he's in pain. When I think about it, the anxiety builds until I have to remind myself to breath and divert my attention to something else. I've never experienced this kind of ache before and the fear sometimes keeps me awake at night. My thoughts race from some dark place imagining all the bad things that could happen and are happening in the world.

Being a parent is without question the most vulnerable experience imaginable. The love is indescribable, the concern, unwavering. It's inconceivable that there are parents living with the constant fear that their child won't get better. But there are.

I am deeply touched by organizations like St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital that never turn a family away because of their ability to pay for treatment. The work of St. Jude's staff is nothing short of miraculous, saving and giving hope to children and their families.

Marlo Thomas & Jill Seiman

It was with great honor that I took Sebastian to meet Marlo Thomas, daughter of St. Jude's founder Danny Thomas, and Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, to celebrate the launch of their partnership program, Cause for Celebration.

Guests who schedule a party at any Build-A-Bear Workshop store across the country have the option of adding an additional $10 donation to their party to benefit St. Jude's research. In honor of each guest's donation, Build-A-Bear will send a $10 Build-A-Bear gift card and personalized card signed by party guests to be presented to a St. Jude child at a party held for them in the hospital when they reach a milestone in their treatment.

Here's the description from Ms. Thomas herself and a look at the adorable "Marlo Bear:"

As part of the morning's festivities, Sebastian and I had the opportunity to sit down with both Ms. Thomas & Ms. Clark to discuss the program. I'll never ever forget this interview with Sebastian quietly sitting on my lap:

Glamamom: What does it mean to you to carry on what your father started? Why is it so important?

Marlo Thomas: I hadn’t really intended on doing it. My father always said that it wasn’t our promise, my sister, brother, and I. He said, 'When I’m gone I don’t want you kids to think you have to take it over.' But as soon as we started visiting the hospital, they call it the 'St. Jude fever,' once you go there it's so completely irresistible. You’re meeting moms and dads who came just terrified and now they have hope in their eyes. Their children had death sentences from other cities, literally death sentences being told they have 4 months to live. I met one mother who said to me that she’d already picked her child’s funeral music. Imagine as a mom what that would do to you? Then she heard about St. Jude by going on the web.

No matter what, if someone gives you bad news about your kid, go on the web and type in the disease and the names will come up. A lot of times it will be St. Jude but it could be someone else. What you really want to do is find out who’s doing research on the disease that your child may have. Don’t accept these naysayers, just know that there is some help somewhere. About 48% of our children now come because their mothers and fathers go on the web.

Maxine Clark: Some people can say you’re mixing something that’s really fun with something that might be sad but the fact is that cancer that happens to children doesn’t know any socio-economic division, it just happens and we want parents as much as possible to know about the wonderful services that St. Jude’s has if they ever need it or if they know someone that should ever need it. We’ve all heard about it over the years but as Marlo says, until you go there and get St. Jude’s fever, you don’t really know what the possibilities are. It's almost like a theme park for children with this terrible disease. The way they treat them so special as if they're on an adventure that’s going to find them a new life, which they were told they wouldn’t have.

We’ve heard year after year that mothers want things for their kids to do that aren’t always about the child, that might be about somebody else besides the child. Having a birthday party at Build-A-Bear is a fun experience but now there’s away to give back. It gives a chance for another child to have a birthday celebration of their own. It’s a chance to learn at a young age that you can do something for somebody else at the same time.

Sebastian was also invited to make a special St. Jude Bear, which he took very seriously.

Here he is giving his bear a heart. Future heart surgeon?

Cause for Celebration

Whatever he becomes, I hope he's compassionate and turns his fear into acts of courage.

{I was not compensated for this post. For more photos, visit Glamamom on Facebook.}