Sarah’s Story

Aug 6, 2015

Sarah Shaughnessy

We can remember the exact spot where we got the call from the pediatrician asking us to pull over. We can remember the call, the shock, and our daughter who was scared, frightened, and crying in the back of the car. No one ever prepares you for having to tell your child they have cancer.

And so started our journey with cancer. Our life now has two chapters…one before Leukemia and one after Leukemia.

Sarah was admitted to Presbyterian Hemby Childrens’ Hospital on May 30, 2014. She spent the first two weeks of treatment in the hospital. My husband and I split shifts-one of us would be at the hospital while the other was on the home front caring for our other two daughters. We were juggling the learning curve of what life with a child with cancer entails, and keeping everything else running smoothly and somewhat “normally” for our other two children. Definitely, the hardest thing we have had to juggle as parents.

One of the organizations that made our hospital stays a little more comfortable, is an organization called Claire’s Army. During our time at Hemby’s Children hospital Claire’s Army provided us with a large bag from Thirty-one filled with items that were carefully and thoughtfully picked to help families manage their unexpected stay at the hospital. They also organized local restaurants to provide dinner free of charge to families one day a week. This army of dedicated and loving people helped make our long stay a little more comfortable.

Later in Sarah’s treatment we were treated to a Charlotte Checkers hockey game at the Time Warner Arena. Claire’s Army was there and passed out Visa gift cards to the families attending. Just being able to be together as a family to enjoy a night of not thinking about cancer, treatment, or expenses, was amazing! We had a beautiful and memorable time that night.

Throughout this past year we have said many times how strong the force of love is. Claire’s Army is an incredible force of love. They are an army of dedicated, compassionate and loving individuals who make things a little easier for families going through the hardest of times. We are forever grateful for them.