On December 7, 2010, we got an email from a very nice worker named Sandi, from Starlight Children's Foundation. She was calling to let us know Kacey was accepted into the program. I was thrilled with this news! You see, Starlight has something called Great Escapes. It's a program that helps sick children and children with chronic conditions get out into the world and enjoy events that normally wouldn't be financially available for a family that struggles with financial burdens of a child with chronic illness. It gives these children a chance to meet other children that might be struggling with the same sort of illness, it gives them a chance to get away and try and put aside their daily struggles with the illness they have. It also gives Moms and Dads a chance to interact with other parents...something all of us need!
As Starlight says, "When a child is seriously ill, everyone in the family is affected." It's true! I can't tell you how many times I've had to drop what I was doing to care for Kacey. I've had to cancel plans because she couldn't function. We've had to leave places because of blood sugars. I've had to give my 100% attention to her until she comes up or down into a safe blood sugar range. I've been subbing in a classroom and they've called me out to care for Kacey or I've had to leave because she was so high that she was sick. I've lost countless hours of sleep during the night to care for her...thankfully she was able to sleep through it but then she wondered why I was a walking zombie the next day. It not only affects me and Frankie but it also affects Kayleigh as well. When Kacey is grumpy then they have those sibling fights....then God help me when Kay has PMS and Kacey has a high blood sugar....LOL! Talk about a House War! Whew! But it was hard for Kayleigh to understand WHY we had to leave places when Kacey's sugar got out of whack. Now, she DOES! But I know it used to make Kayleigh mad when we'd be having fun somewhere and Kacey would drop low and we'd have to stop so I could care for her....or she'd go high and we'd still have to stop so she could drink water with a case of the grumpies. It's hard! And thankfully Starlight KNOWS how hard it is for families and they offer a chance to have some family fun and try and set aside all the daily struggles we face.
There is a process to go through to be accepted for Great Escapes. We had to fill out an application and send it in. There are requirements for this program.
(From the site)
To be eligible for acceptance into the Great Escapes family activities program, a child must have a serious illness or a severe chronic medical condition that significantly affects their day-to-day existence. To be considered medically eligible for the program, a child must have a medical illness or condition that falls within one of the following categories:
Applicant has a life threatening medical illness Type 1 diabetes
Condition significantly restricts mobility Yep, when her blood sugars are high/low
Pain and discomfort from the condition cannot be controlled or surgically repaired Unfortunately it can't :(
Condition requires significant and ongoing medical treatment Yep, every single second, minute, hour and day of her life
Condition is progressive Yes *sigh* :(
If the condition is not progressive, it must be current
WOW! Yes, we qualify.
The GREAT news...we will be attending our first Great Escape on Saturday, December 18, 2010 for Disney on Ice in Richmond! HOW EXCITING!!! My girls have never been to Disney on Ice (yeah I know, bad Mom!) They are soooooo very excited about it! We are looking forward to a wonderful family day as well. I will be sure to post pictures!
THANK YOU STARLIGHT for such a wonderful program! I'm thrilled about getting more involved with this program and I'm looking forward to sharing it with others.