Posted by Carrie Sue, not Carey Sue
For most of our children, a day without electricity means an adventure while staying wrapped up with blankets. You can bet the dust is blown off the antiquated board games. No one in the house remembers the rules that go with Scrabble. And it is hard to resist a good round of flashlight tag even though you are supposed to be "saving" the batteries.
Then you've got the "we're are without electricity" dining dilemma. You're family is down to the last loaf of Wonder Bread (pictured, baby not included), a fresh container of peanut butter, two jars of applesauce, and a handful of stale marshmallows.
I talked to our seven year old friend Rickie via his mom's cellphone shortly after the power went out and he said it was going to be awesome.
His mom, Carey Sue confided that she was worried about Rickie's cystic fibrosis. Manual chest percussions weren't nearly as effective as the treatments he received while wearing his vest.
By the time the power was returned to the 2,300 customers in Grosse Pointe, Rickie had missed three treatments that required electricity. During my last phone call with Rickie before the energy was restored, his voice was barely recognizable. Thick with mucous and deep from chest congestion, seven year old Rickie, bragged about everything he played with that wasn't electric.
"Mostly I'm playing with Star Wars guys and Matchbox cars. Then when I get bored I line up the Star Wars guys and use the Matchbox cars and play bowling 'til they are all knocked over. Oh, I've got a Hulk guy too but he doesn't stand very good. I need guys that stand good so I can bowl 'em over."Long story short, my people, is once the power was restored and roads were cleared Rickie was in the doctor's office and the decision was made not to admit him to the hospital but to send him home with medication that included a minimum of four weeks on two antibiotics, and treatments are now four times a day instead of two.
Remember this plea? Well, we are at that point in time. Are you interested in making a huge difference? Have you got an envelope and a stamp? Can you spare five minutes to jot a quick message? Seven year old Rickie would love to hear from you!
Many of you have already responded and Rickie's mom has a small stash left of your mail to share with him during the long treatments. If you thought about responding during the first request and it slipped your mind ... well here is one more opportunity.
The unfortunate thing about cystic fibrosis is even when Rickie's come through this bout of congestion, you will have yet another chance to send him mail the NEXT time he gets ill.
And why do I feel so passionate about helping? I'll tell you why right now. On January 6 of 1996 I lost my chronically ill daughter, Madeleine. She was the same age as Rickie, seven. She had an undiagnosed degenerative neuromuscular disorder, but she died from complications with pneumonia.
Life's come full circle for me and through foster care, David and I are looking forward to adopting our two youngest children (a boy age seven and a girl age five) that we've been calling our own for the past two years.
I look at my healthy happy seven year old and know that he has two perfect lungs. I see his pink cheeks on his flushed face. I remember back thirteen years to a point where I watched another child of mine struggle for oxygen and never quite get enough no matter how much work we did on those lungs, no matter how hard we tried to get all the gunk removed ... well it was never quite enough to make a difference.
I won't continue, but this isn't about me. This is about making a difference for Rickie and right now, while his lungs are out of commission he still has an active mind and a busy body. Make a difference, send him a card and tell him someone in another section of our great land is thinking about him.
Contact me, Candid Carrie at carriestuckmann at gmail dot com and I will get his address to you right away. Be sure to put Rickie in the subject line. Thanks.