A few weeks ago I saddled up to our Mac computer...the hub of our customer service emails. It is always an adventure in spam, color questions, wholesale query... a multitude of glassybaby interest is hosted there. When I clicked on an email from Karen Gerstenberger I met these words:
"I am the mother of a daughter who is recovering from surgery at Children's Hospital in Seattle, and I am thinking that glassybaby would make a wonderful gift for our nurses and doctors. I would need to buy in bulk, since we have spent most of our time here since October 2006 (in the ICU on the Hematology-Oncology ward and now on the Surgical-Recovery ward...)
What has unfolded since this moving email...Katie is home (welcome home Katie.) Her parents purchased 58 glassybaby in a plethora of color to give as thank you gifts, gifts of gratitude to Katie's caregivers at Children's Hospital.
To illustrate the weight of their journey...Karen explained to me the rarity of her daughter's cancer. One in a million adults receive this diagnosis...it is rarer in children. The surgery that Katie underwent took a grueling 18 hours; however the outcome was miraculous in success terms, zero margins were left of the tumor that was partially attached to Katie's heart. This is such a personal, sacred experience for the Gerstenbergers. Karen was generously open to my sharing their story. I got the distinct impression that strength is gathered from the critical mass of compassion and care that they have received and continue to receive. (To learn more, go to: www.caringbridge.org/visit/katiegerstenberger.)
Karen came for their order yesterday on the way to Children's Hospital. Katie was in the car. Lee offered a glassybaby to Katie as a kind of "go girl" homage. Katie chose Big Sky, which seemed somehow poignant to me as the world just beckons this brave kid to emerge cancer-free.
Until Next Time...Nicola