Try to imagine that your little sister is ill. It’s not for real so imagine away. Okay, so you imagined a cold, maybe a flu. Measles? Oh you’re a bit cruel. How do you feel now? A little bit worried about her, a bit sorry that she is sick. In this imaginary world that we are in she would be tucked up in bed by her mummy, couple of pills perhaps, a bedtime story and in a couple of days everything is all okay again.
Right, let’s take this a little further. Your sister is not just a little sick, she’s quite a bit sick. But no one really knows what is wrong with her. Lots of hospital visits, lots of doctors, lots of people looking at your sister. You want to play with your sister but you can’t really because she is sick and you don’t really understand why she isn’t getting better.
One more step to take. Quite a bit sick has now turned into life threatening illnesses. You have no coping mechanism to deal with this. Your world and that of your family seems to revolve around your sister. And then your little sister gets a running buddy, someone from outside the family who is thinking about her and running for her. Someone who doesn’t even know her.
And then BOOM, the final straw. Your sister gets a dog!! You know she’s ill, but a dog? Life can seem pretty unfair but you deal with it because your nature is so sweet and you really do care about your little sister.
A tough thing to grow up with when you are an adult, but as a 6 year old child? Almost unimaginable. Childhood should be a joyous time, a carefree time, a totally me time. My life should be about me!
And then, just like in all the fairy tales you read, it happens. The sound of clippity cloppity hoofs, a white horse appears and there sitting on the horse is the handsome prince. and he’s come to see you, not your family, not your sister but you. Now you are the focus of attention and you feel special.
Okay, okay so I’m not a prince and I can’t ride a horse but when I was matched up with Addey that’s what it felt like. Addey does have a little sister, Julie, who is very ill and she has coped with that so far, but now I can be there as her support, not her family’s and not her sister’s, although I hope to get to know them as well. I have my own children and I gave them both extra hugs last night. No reason.
Could you run for the sibling of a sick child? IR4 Siblings Fill the form in, join the Facebook group, make a difference.
Since I wrote this 2 years ago, I have flown over the States twice and spent time with Addey and her Family. We have “run” over 100 races together including an Ultra and our families have become so much closer. Julie is still sick and in and out of hospitals but I am glad that I have been able to be a small beacon in the darkness.