ChaiBites: When Our Warriors Become Our Heroes
While we love sharing stories of our big events and programs, at Chai Lifeline we know how important the every day little things are. In that spirit, we’re proud to launch ChaiBites, a recurring collection of snack-sized stories to brighten your day!
Everything happened so fast. Isabelle called me one day, she hadn’t been feeling well, I left work one day and didn’t go back. When she started chemo, and the medication was in a particular bag, her Dad asked her what kind of superpower she would get from it, and it started from there.
It started with one. His aunt wanted to make Isabelle a cape, because she’s a superhero. Soon, her and her daughters were making capes for as many kids who are going through treatment as they could.
In the meantime, Chai Lifeline was coming to visit every day. Their support was unmatched, so we decided to send our capes there. Each cape has Isabelle’s handprint on it, and comes with a poem that someone wrote about her struggles and how she’s a superhero.
Mya was diagnosed with leukemia just after she turned 5. Today, she’s in maintenance chemo, which she can do orally at home, and in less than a month, she’ll be done. Chai has been with us every step of the way. They bring us hot meals when we’re in the hospital. They set Mya up with a Big Sister: they have such a great time together, I’m often jealous of the activities they get to do! And when Mya wanted an iPad during her treatment, Chai was right there.
Through this whole thing, Mya’s been my hero. At 6 years old, she went away to Camp Simcha for a full two weeks, and when we got a chance to talk, I could tell she didn’t miss me like I missed her. And at Camp Simcha, my hero got to fly. I mean that literally, she went zip-lining! Camp Simcha had everything! An amusement park, limo rides, anything she wanted!
My first concern when she was diagnosed was that cancer was going to take her childhood. Camp Simcha helped Mya take it back.