Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Hematology, Oncology, Transplant Unit (HOT Unit) in hopes of bringing some Christmas joy to a beautiful eight-year-old girl named Dafne. Dafne has been living in the HOT Unit for over a month now. Just like all of the other kids on the floor, she has been undergoing grueling treatment to fight the cancer in her abdomen.
With the help of Paxton’s Momma, Danna, and the Team Paxton Captains, we put together some gifts for Dafne, her parents, and her six brothers and sisters in hopes of bringing a bit of Christmas spirit to their hearts, along with a grant from Team Paxton to help the family make ends meet while they focus all of their energy on getting Dafne well again.
Walking down the hall towards Dafne’s room, I was hoping that she was having a good day, that she was up to having visitors, and that we weren’t going to be an intrusion. When I walked into the room the first thing to greet us was a big, beautiful smile. Even though Dafne was tired from treatment, and hooked up to many medication lines and monitors, she was an absolute ray of sunshine. Her strength, positivity, and humor (she is hilarious!) had us all smiling and laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Dafne’s mother, Maria, greeted us with the same beautiful smile. A gracious and lovely woman, I was in awe of her strength. Mother of six, she has an abundance of love to give her family, and she gives all of it to them and the doctors and nurses treating her daughter. We shared photos of our kids, and we talked about family and faith. Dafne’s hair had just been shaved the day before, and she showed us the braided locks of soft chestnut hair carefully wrapped in a bag to show to her family.
I brought my camera to capture our visit together, and after getting Dafne’s permission, we agreed that I could be her paparazzi for the morning. After visiting awhile, we heard the wonderful news that Dafne was scheduled to go home the next day (today) and would be home for Christmas with her family, the best Christmas gift of all.
Merry Christmas everyone.
I’ll eat you up I love you so,
Team Paxton Assemble!
Dafne’s family could really use some help. With six children and a recent job loss, it is really hard to make ends meet when every bit of energy they have is focused on fighting this horrible cancer. We’re hoping that Paxton’s Army of Love can find it in their hearts to help this gracious and deserving family. No matter how small, any help would be an amazing gift to them. Whether it be gift cards for food, or pay a utility bill, or perhaps even something special for the kids, we can make a huge difference in the life of a beautiful girl who freely gives her light to those around her. If you want to help, please contact Sheila Dodds at SDodds@chw.org. Sheila will be able to help you make a donation or offer other kinds of help.
The best gift you’ll ever receive is the feeling you get when you give of yourself.