I recently was part of an annual walk to fund raise and support our area Children’s Hospital. This has been a family affair for 4+ years as we support our heart hero nephew, one of the children’s champions, for whom we walk.  He’s just six months older than my own four year old son, and he is thriving thanks to major heart surgery that he received as just a baby.

Each “children’s champion” at the race wears a special colored shirt, and I found myself thinking of each child, team of walkers (or runners), and their supporting cast of medical professionals, family, and friends. So many stories have brought us all here to walk / run for the kids.  I couldn’t help but feel moved by the enthusiasm and energy of the crowd of 16,000 all gathering for healthy kids. So awesome and beautiful!!

View of the crowd on the walk!
View of the crowd on the walk!

I’ve written about going Gold in September before here, and I have been meaning to write something about it this month.  The thing is – I really didn’t know what to say before, and to some extent I STILL don’t as a mother of two healthy kids. What authority do I have on this subject? I haven’t walked in the shoes of a “children’s champion;” I’ve merely been a supportive cast member, offering up my prayers.

And then I read THIS, written by my friend Aki, who I met more than ten years ago when we were studying abroad together. Her words describe so beautifully what I think we should all be reminded of daily.

Her post is a must-read: “It’s National _______ Month”

There are so many stories behind not only every awareness month, but behind the faces of each and everyone we meet day in and day out. We may have no idea what someone is going through, so we should simply “be present” and treat each other with kindness and love.

These words carry so much meaning coming from my friend. She has bravely opened her heart to share the story of her son Kai, who passed away at the age of 2 and 1/2 from a rare form of brain cancer.

In honor of Kai, my nephew, other children’s champions, or anyone facing a battle in life, let’s try to live our lives each day with more compassion for one another.