As the sisters got together and brainstormed what we could do this holiday season, we threw around a lot of ideas – 12 days of fudge recipe, our favorite Christmas cookies, even 12 days of giveaways . . . but nothing felt right. Then we had a new idea- what if we found 12 families who could use a little bit of extra help and love this holiday season?
Last year we were blown away by the thoughtfulness of our readers as we helped one family who was going through a hard time, so this year we decided that we would go a little further and help 12 families! To us, we feel the most joy when we focus on what the holidays are really all about and we believe that the true meaning of Christmas is to love and serve others. With that being said, we are so excited to bring to you our 12 Days of Giving Back!
December 1st through the 12th, we will be introducing you to 12 different families who were nominated by our readers as people who could use a little extra help this during this time. We received HUNDREDS of nominations and each story touched our hearts. The 12 that we chose really had an impact on us and we knew that we needed to help them.
With each post, we will tell one family’s story and share ways that you can help this family in need. Even if you don’t have money to donate but would still like to help, we will be donating $1 for every recipe that is uploaded to our new recipe sharing site, My Recipe Magic (up to $100 per day). If you would like to share your recipes and help donate to the family, CLICK HERE for the instructions to get you started (it’s easy!).
Day 3: Austin Greenhalgh
Austin’s sweet Mom, Amy, shared her experience about Austin’s battle with cancer:
Austin was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on August 29, 2012. He is an energetic, curious, loving, sweet little boy that brings much love and joy to our family. That summer he just wasn’t himself. He had little appetite, no energy, lost weight, and had severe pain in his joints. We suspected something was wrong but when the doctors sat us down to tell us it was cancer, our world came crashing down around us. It’s not something that as parents you ever think you will have to face and the panic you feel is overwhelming. No parent should every have to see their child suffer. You feel so completely, utterly helpless. You ask, “Why us? Why our boy?” But there is no answer. Nothing and no one is to blame, though that doesn’t stop the immense guilt you feel and the wish that you could trade places and be the one to be sick instead. Eventually, you come to accept this new “normal” and learn to deal with all that comes with it. You learn to find ways to laugh and have fun amidst all the pain and illness. We have had to let go a little and let Austin be a kid when he can, let him play with friends and go to school even when we would rather keep him in a bubble to keep him safe.
Austin’s treatment plan is 3 ½ years long. We live in St. George and frequently drive the six hours to Primary Childrens Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah for Austin’s treatment. This puts great strain on our family finances. Austin takes daily oral chemotherapy and gets frequent lumbar punctures and chemotherapy in his spine and infused in his veins. These poisons, while hopefully are saving his life, also cause severe and painful side effects. He lost his hair, has nausea and vomiting, headaches, and severe bone pain. He has needed blood transfusions and his immune system is so weak that he is very susceptible to illness and any fever lands him in the hospital.
Through all of this pain and discomfort Austin has maintained a positive attitude. He is an excellent student and completes his homework from home without complaint when he isn’t well enough to go to school. He rarely complains, even when he feels so sick. He teaches us daily what it means to be happy and grateful for all that we have. His smile can brighten the room. He loves playing jokes on the hospital staff and once emptied an entire can of silly string on a surprised nurse’s head. He loves jokes and his giggle is infectious.
Every day, we pray for a cure for each child that is battling Cancer. These warriors are among the strongest that you will ever meet. To be allowed in their midst is amazing. We are so grateful for the honor and privilege of having Austin in our family.
Reading Austin’s story just brings me to tears. Being a mother of two boys myself, I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through this. Austin’s sweet smile and awesome attitude remind me how much I have to be grateful for.
Please help spread the word about Austin and his battle against cancer. Every little bit helps!
We also know that for many of you, money is tight. So during these next twelve days, for every recipe that is uploaded to our new site (My Recipe Magic) we will donate $1 to the family who we spotlight each day (up to $100 a day). For instructions on how to upload a recipe, CLICK HERE.
You can make a donation (of any size) to Austin and his family click here:
Thank-you for your prayers and support in Austin’s behalf.
All money donated during the 12 Days of Giving Back will go directly to the families and the specific bank accounts that they have set up through PayPal or fund me accounts. All families chosen for this have been thoroughly screened and we feel you can donate confidently, knowing that your donation is going to a most-deserving family.