We all see stories of difficulties on the news that surprise us. A family whose child becomes ill from toxins in their home. Another family who loses a parent in a freak accident on vacation. Sometimes it is a statistically nearly impossible medical complication. Most of the time, we see these news stories and subconsciously shrug them off as something that happens to “other people” and would never occur in our own family or circle of friends
Since I have been working at Flight1, and involved in other nonprofits in our community that serve children, a consistent surprise for me has been just how common medical difficulties and even loss is. Every child in our program, by definition, has had a health crisis affect their family. Often, it isn’t a finite as a single surgery or a parent’s treatment for a condition, but the death of a family member or a condition that will be with someone in the household for their whole life.
When I talk to families impacted by health challenges several times a week, I start to metaphorically see them everywhere. Maybe that family in the grocery store is struggling with a new diagnosis. The single parent in the restaurant could be a widow or widower. For me, my work at Flight1 has helped me to be more compassionate in every area of my life. Any family I know could become a Flight1 family, if a health crisis visits them and the kids need some confidence building.
I am grateful for the opportunity to do work that opens my eyes to the many paths of life that are exhibited around me. It is our hope that someday Flight1 will have the capacity to help all the families around us that qualify for our programming. Every day there are more.