Saturday, July 19, 2008

Posting Smiles on Children's Faces

We have just got back from a very special 5th birthday party. It wasn't for just one person, but for many people.

The party was to celebrate 5 years of 'Post Pals'.
Post Pals is a fantastic organisation existing to help put smiles on the faces of children whose lives are dominated by treatments in hospital and in the home and for their siblings. All the children are called 'pals' and their stories are featured on the Postpals website People can then read about them and send them 'smiles' through the post through letters, cards and gifts to help cheer them up when they are going through the mill. It is a lovely idea. We have only just got involved with Postpals. William is not yet a 'pal' but will be soon. The site is full of children whose difficult lives are brightened up by receiving their smiles. I know that William, Hope and Ellie will feel the same.

As you can see, Postpals have already put big smiles on their faces (Hope and Ellie were also smiling and laughing but not captured on the camera - William hardly stopped smiling!). We were invited to the party a couple of weeks ago but I only told William yesterday in case he wasn't well enough. He was so excited and kept talking about it. He loved every minute, especially the ventriloquist/puppetier. The puppets were performing bursery rhymes and often got them wrong - MUCH to William's amusement. I have never seen him so involved in an enertainer. His giggles were very infectious. He also shouted down the microphone to help a koala who had forgotten the words to his nursery rhymes. We had a fantastic barbeque and William enjoyed smelling sausage rolls, cheese straws and sweets. Thank-you so much to everyone involved in such a fab afternoon.

The children were given balloons and a party bag and William was given a 'chemo duck'. This is a lovely cuddly duck in pyjamas and with a Hickman Line and IV splint. They are designed for children with cancer but William uses the same lines. He has already called his duck 'Thomas' - which goes to show how important it is to him as NOTHING has ever been named after his precious engine before. Thomas had IV drugs and TPN with William at bedtime and I have been instructed to make an illeostomy and put a stoma bag on. Thomas is about to undergo surgery when I have finished this blog. I will post a photo of him when he has recovered tomorrow.

There was a display of photos of all the Postpals at the party. I am fast learning how small the world is becoming in the internet age. I recognised many faces from other sites and message boards. It is so fantastic to be able to keep in touch with people who are in similar situations. It makes life a lot less lonely. It is great to hear from new people commenting on my blog. I love reading comments on here. It helps keep me going and I am going to spend some time over the weekend reading blogs of people who have got in touch with me here. This network is so special to people who are stuck in at home a lot of the time through their own poor health or because they are looking after others. I am so glad to have found the transplant kids forum as well. Although there are some very sad stories, on the whole, it seems a very positive place to hang out and I am looking forward to getting to know people on there. A few words of encouragement now and then are so important. It is so important to give and receive support. I am going to look out for opportunities to send some smiles to other Postpal families when they are going through tricky times. Please have a look at the site - maybe you could help spread some smiles too.

Post pals -

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