Monday, July 27, 2009

Chiara's Wings

Today I was provided with a good dose of perspective. Today I realized that someone very close to me needs my help. Today, someone I love has received horrifying news.

My very good friend Stefano’s daughter, Chiara- a beautiful five year old, has been diagnosed with one of the most degenerative forms of muscular dystrophy. It has been confirmed, after months of invasive testing and endless waiting, that she has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). This disease affects all voluntary muscles as well as the heart and breathing muscles. The symptoms start early and worsen rapidly, as the patient is rendered defenseless.

Chiara has been given a maximum of seven years to live- and in those seven years, her condition will worsen, she will suffer, and her kind and loving family will watch their beautiful little girl disintegrate before she reaches the age of 12.

 I am not a parent, nor am I a member of Chiara’s family but what I am is a friend that has spent time with this little girl and I have watched the faces of her parents crumble as they describe the heartbreaking circumstances and wonder what they could have done differently to protect their daughter.

Chiara must now begin treatment in order to prolong her life, while her loved ones wait for a cure that does not yet exist.

Chiara is sick and she and her family need help.

Therefore, I am asking you- all my faithful blog readers and family and friends to help me because for one of the first times in my life, I feel absolutely helpless.

You will find a link on the right to place a donation under “Chiara’s Wings.” Any amount will help, I assure you. And I promise that your contribution will not go unnoticed or unrewarded. (You can also donate anonymously).

Please feel free to e-mail me should you need any further information about the disease or Chiara and her family;

Lastly, I would like to note that I know we are in the midst of a financial crisis. I know that there are very few people out there with the ability to donate exorbitant funds at a time like this. But what I do know is that I have spent my life surrounding myself with generous and kind individuals and I know you understand the importance of providing help at a time like this. Therefore, your contribution will be doubly appreciated. I wouldn't ask if it didn't mean the world to me.

As soon as I get my hands on one, I will post a photo of Chiara and maybe you too will understand the importance of this little life that will soon be lost.

With your help, Chiara’s family will hopefully be able to shoulder the financial burden and therefore, will be able to provide the best treatment and care for this little girl.

I am always talking about perspective. There are days when I feel like everything has gone wrong. There are days when I feel empty. Today, I realize that I have always had everything as long as those I love are safe and healthy. I realize that I took this all for granted and focused on trivial burdens as excuses to pity myself. I wish, today, that I could take it all back. I would take a million of those days to give Chiara a normal and healthy life. I would take a million of those days to help her family feel at peace again. Regrettably, none of this is possible.

Now what is left is hope. 

This is for Chiara. And this is for everyone who will help Chiara’s family. Thank you. You are all truly wonderful.

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