Friday, February 19, 2010

Two years ago today we received Tatyanna's diagnosis of LINCL. In the time since, I have learned to become a researcher and advocate, I have become stronger than I ever thought possible. I have learned that it's ok to live in the moment, to let go of what or who is not important and to celebrate the small things. I've seen that there is light and hope and beauty in the darkest places and that sometimes the miracle you pray for is not the miracle that you receive but that they are all around you just have to look -sometimes really really hard. :)

As put, rather insightfully, by one of the other Batten parents, "our children aren't dying from Batten Disease, they are living with it." I believe that if we focus on the negative then the disease wins and our losses will be far greater than the obvious. That isn't to say that there aren't bad days, that there aren't times when the pain threatens to overwhelm and the very act of getting out of bed is a supreme effort of will. I'm human, after all, there are days when my strength falters and my spirit is tired. But, I have to remember, this isn't about's about a little girl with more courage and heart than I have ever seen in another human. It's about a little girl who once radiated enough energy that she almost seemed to sparkle. It's about my sweet daughter who at the end of being poked and prodded for the millionth time still had it in her to smile and want to give out hugs to anyone around. Because of her, at this moment, I choose to celebrate what is good. Even when things look their bleakest, there is still love and laughter and life.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

One of the first Batten parents that I "met" in the days following Tatyanna's diagnosis was Miranda. Over the months that followed we talked on the phone, exchanged emails and supported each other through what can only be called a parent's worst nightmare. We evolved from recruits, drafted by force but eager to fight, into seasoned veterans with more knowledge about "trench warfare" than either of us could have anticipated. Optimism gave way to realism and although hope prevails, neither of us is naive any longer. We know the costs, we've watched the ranks swell and mourned the losses of so many courageous kids. Kids who had to fight so hard and ultimately lost their battle. On January 17th, Miranda and her husband Neil lost their beloved Hailey to Batten Disease. She was only 7.

Although their hearts are breaking the Goranflos are committed to the fight. Their son Carter also has Battens and unless a cure is found soon, he will join his big sister long before he's ever had a chance to live. The attitude of many Batten parents is very much one of "We may lose this battle, but we will NOT lose the war" Our kids can't die in vain. A cure must be found. Please, this Valentine's consider helping in the fight. Miranda and Neil have organized a fundraising campaign. It's simple, doesn't require a huge commitment and has the potential to be very effective. For the price of a box of chocolates this Valentine's Day, you could make a difference. You could be part of a miracle. Donate $10 (or whatever) and then tell 4 people to do the same. Ask that they tell four more. And on it goes! See, I told you it was simple! For more information, please go to Donations can be made through the paypal link on the site.