My Unsung Heroes


Amount of time Jenna has received treatment: 14 months
Amount of time Jenna’s health has been affected: Over 5 years
Hours of support given by others: Priceless

When someone you love falls ill, you learn a lot about yourself and others. You can use challenges to strengthen your faith or let it fall by the wayside. You can choose to be grateful or you can choose to avoid dealing with life. I was praying for guidance and in thanksgiving this morning and was reminded of the “unsung heroes” that have supported Jenna and me for so long.

My husband, Chris, has been our foundation. Someone asked me once why he didn’t go to Jenna’s appointments. To put it simply, he works. He works so that we have health insurance, so that I can take care of Jenna, so that we can afford groceries. What many don’t know though, is that he works through excruciating pain…several doctors have told him that he needs a complete hip replacement but that they don’t want to do the procedure for at least another five years. So he deals with the pain the best he can and works for all of us.

If Chris is the foundation, then my son Joe is the stone wall built upon that foundation. It’s not easy being the brother who isn’t sick, but bless his heart, he’s been there every step of the way for all of us. He picks up where Chris or I can’t, takes care of himself, and is always looking out for Jenna and me. “What can I do to help, Mom?” Sometimes that simple phrase brings tears. He’s a good man and he could just as easily have made the choice to pull away, to live his own life the way he wanted, but instead he has chosen to stay close and to help take care of all of us…I’m so proud of him and know that some day a lucky girl is going to realize just how much you can tell about a man by the way he cares for his family.

My mother. I don’t even know where to begin. She supports us in so many ways. Mom has the shoulders we know we can cry on, the ears that hear what we’re not saying, the words to boost us and a heart of gold. She has shared so much of herself and we know that we’d be lost without her. Mom has the power to take the foundation and walls and turn them from a house into a home filled with love and support.

My sisters and their families. Chris’ family. Our community of friends and my Facebook Support group. Jenna’s LLMD and his staff, our local family doctor, and others. Others who have shown kindness and compassion, understanding and acceptance, not just toward Jenna, but towards all of us – because we’re a team fighting to do what needs to be done. Without all of them, I know, in my heart, that we never could have made it this far. So today, just like every day before it, I gave special thanks to God for my unsung heroes because we would be lost without them.

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