Sarah is what I would describe as fierce. Not in the scary way. She is a fierce friend, in that she will stand with you in the deepest hole, on your darkest day, hold your hand and say "let's do this". She is an even fierce-r wife and mother.
Sarah and Mike's son James was born with Epilepsy and a number of developmental delays. If I thought Sarah was a tough friend, I had no idea how strong she was until she became a mom - the role she excels at, and one I truly admire her for.
Sarah spends every waking second researching, educating, advocating, calling, lobbying, writing, praying, arguing, hoping and sometimes screaming - to make James' life comfortable, and assist him in becoming the man she knows he can be. Sarah pulls no punches, and will stop at nothing to provide a quality of life for her son that she knows he deserves. Whether throwing a benefit concert to raise awareness for Epilepsy research, or penning her first children's book for families dealing with tough times... you name it, she will do it - if it helps her son and her family get through.
That means travelling to New York to visit with a world-renown specialist. It means driving 2 hours, 4 days a week to get James the treatment and therapy he needs. It means heart stopping moments in the middle of the night when a seizure hits... it means silently praying next to a hospital bed... It means going without sleep, without extras, without "me" time...and never once. Not once, have I ever heard her complain.
Due to James' condition, Sarah had to stop working. This meant that Mike's hours became longer, and like Sarah, time for self got shorter...but not once did he complain. And I know it kills him to be away from his family - but he does it willingly if it means his children are taken care of.
Sarah and Mike also make sure that through all the doctors visits, ER trips, therapy sessions, and so forth, that Liv is reminded day in and day out - how amazing she is and how much they love her. Like Sarah's little "date" with Liv where they go to McDonald's, eat hashbrowns, and Liv just gets to vent. Or ask questions. Or just have some much needed mom time.
And spunky little Liv is an even bigger "fierce" girl. She is James' biggest fan, and strongest body guard. That little girl is going places.. her heart, her drive, and her compassion are unparalleled at such a young age...even by most adults I know...but I'm not surprised - she gets it from her parents.
For four years, I have watched Sarah, Mike, Liv and James, as a family, ride the rollercoaster of fear, doubt, challenges, brick walls, milestones, set backs, victories, losses and then some...together, they stand strong and get through - without complaint, or self pity... its what you do for family.
Recently, Sarah and Mike went through a rough patch - 3 calls to 911 in a week...James couldn't snap out of seizures and there was nothing they could do. My heart broke as she described the ups and downs to me, and I tried to keep my sobs silent... my tears do her no good.
No matter how strong your love, how fierce your heart or committed your purpose - sometimes it is not enough. Sometimes, you have to ask for help. Sarah and I spoke today about starting to look for grants to help out with their medical costs... which grow by the day. After I hung up the phone, I thought, grants are great - but they take time...and sometimes, time isn't a luxury that is affordable.
So here is where I can hopefully do some good by the Dodge's. I'm asking everyone I know - everyone on my friends list, to donate $10. That's $5,000. That equals 5 months of therapy for Jamie. Multiply that by friends of friends, and maybe we can reach that $52,000 goal. I challenge 5,200 people, to give $10. And, dare I say, you're not constricted to $10. $5, $25, $50, $100... give what you want, give what you can.
$52,000 would allow Sarah, Mike, Liv and James to breathe easy in terms of paying for treatment - covering therapy and all the extras, at least for a while. Oxygen, medications, OT, PT, Speech, durable medical equipment, special diet requirements, etc. One year of not having to worry about paying for assistance that their son/brother needs. One year of milestones, growth, and hope.
Can you imagine.
As Sarah would say.. Let's do this.
A tangible face
I wish Epilepsy wasn't a disease,
I wish it had a face,
So I could meet it sometime,
Just name the time and place.
I wish we could stand toe to toe,
I could spit forth my rage and hate,
instead I stand crib side silent,
and am helpless while I wait.
The silent sneaky stalker,
slithers into my house at night,
parents 'sleep restless and fleeting,
baby's sleeping should be right.
I have no cure or answer,
worth trying, it's been done,
Epilepsy, oh hated face,
be gone and leave my son.
DonationsSee top donations
- John & Jill Meich
- Jennifer Meich
- Keith Tremblay
- Helena Lindo
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more