Even though the skies were grey today, I got up with a song in my heart ready to celebrate life. I carefully applied my make-up, donned my best outfit – complete with my high-heels. On this day, I was headed to McMaster Children’s Hospital but not in my comfy shoes and clothes to sleep in Mia’s hospital room or to pull her in a wagon through the halls. Today, my high heels would click confidently through those same halls alongside my beautiful daughter, brave son-in-law, and smiling grandchildren – as we made our way to a luncheon and a press conference.
This was a day of celebration – a day to meet executives from the hospital and Scotia Bank as they gathered to introduce their new poster child – our very own Mia. Scotia Bank representatives from Southwestern Ontario banks were there to receive their posters and encouragement to begin the next “Smiles for MAC kids” campaign so that children just like Mia can receive the treatment they need to live long healthy lives.
I couldn’t have been more proud of my children as they stood at the podium and humbly addressed City Mayors, Bank personnel and Hospital CEO’s and Presidents. Jonnie spoke saying, “We believed God for Mia’s Miracle and we followed the protocol outlined by oncologists here at MAC Kids. I have no doubt in my mind that Mia would not be cancer free and sitting here today without the amazing care that she received within these walls from people that you recognize as doctors, nurses, social workers and cleaning staff. However, these are all people that my family recognizes as angels. They see incredible suffering every single day and yet they continue to press on – treating every patient as if it were their own son or daughter.
It took a lot of prayer and an entire team of people here at MAC Kids to bring my daughter back to health and I would like to publicly thank every health care professional and every single donor that has ever given a penny to this hospital. Thank you Scotia Bank for raising dollars to support MAC kids. Because of each of you, my daughter has been given a second chance to live. You have made the celebration of life possible for thousands of children in this region and you have given our daughter, Mia, back to our family.”
Afterward, the President of MAC Kids, Dr. Peter Fitzgerald, shook his head and told me how remarkable it is for Mia to be doing so well after battling stage 4 neuroblastoma. Dr. Fitzgerald performed two of Mia’s surgeries and clearly recognizes that she is indeed a miracle.
On my drive to the hospital this morning, I pondered the familiar words of Psalm 91 and 121 and I played familiar songs like, Mighty to Save and Awesome God. I remembered how these had inspired my faith on almost daily drives to MAC Kids as my family placed their hope and trust in the living God and in the healthcare professionals assigned to Mia’s case.
As I made my way home this afternoon, I passed familiar pit stops at the side of the road where so many times I had pulled over and jumped out of the driver’s seat to quickly hold the bowl for darling Mia as she was sick. As I passed each one, I wiped a tear and thanked God for His mercy, for His healing power, for His strength and for His peace that passed all understanding on so many of those trips.
I thanked Him that after not eating anything for 10 months and not even remembering how to swallow, today Mia ate TWO sandwiches – yes her mother and I watched as she snuck another one from the food table:) At the press conference, she could hardly contain herself when she saw the cupcake tower and she devoured her cupcake in no time as she hugged “Gilbert” her new 2011 MAC Kids stuffed animal.
Yes, today I wore high heels to MAC kids – celebrating the mercy of God’s plan for Mia’s life – every clickety clack telling the world that my God is indeed mighty to save!