To all of our families and alumni of All About Me, as well as our community...we have recently been touched by one our children who has become ill. Sydney is a two and half year old gem and the sister of Chase Ryan who also attended our program. We have shared Sydney's story with our current families and have received amazing support and desire to help the Rancourt family. This is the contents of the letter that I have passed on to our current families.
It's Monday and just another work week ahead that involves getting the children off to school. Sydney is getting ready to come to school and have her breakfast as she does nearly every morning when she arrives. Dad drops her off, gets his kisses goodbye and off to his daily routine.
Mom calls shortly thereafter to let us know that there is a possibility that Sydney may be picked up early because a test Sydney recently had done showed there was a growth near her tonsil. At around 10:30 a.m., Sydney was picked up and taken to Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland. By that afternoon, Sydney had undergone surgery to remove the growth and there was great concern about Sydney's airway and her ability to breathe. She was intubated to help minimize swelling in her airway and heavily sedated. An MRI performed later in the day showed that the growth goes up through her nasal passage toward her eye. Later that evening, her airway swelled to the point that she needed to have a tracheotomy. The parents were told of the high risk of this procedure and that they should say "Goodbye" to her in the event that she did not survive this risky procedure. Sydney has since developed Pneumonia and Strep and is fighting for her life.
In the 20+ years Donna and I have been taking care of children, we have never had an experience like this with one of our own children. We know the pain and hopelessness that we are feeling and it is unfathomable to wonder what Sydney's family is going through.
We have talked with our children about Sydney and they are aware that she is in the hospital and is very ill. We have put together an arrangement for Sydney with pictures of all of her friends as well as a special message from each one of them.
We are attaching an envelope with this letter and asking you to send kind, encouraging words or a special picture from your child. Obviously, Sydney's parents, Ashley and Ryan, have had their daily routine come to a dead stop. They have been told by the doctors that Sydney has a very long road ahead of her that could include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or all of the above. And within days, Sydney will be transferred to Mass General in Massachusetts. We are also asking everyone if they would be able to contribute anything financially to help this family during this difficult time. Any amount would be a help--there is power in numbers and if we all join together it will make a difference.
Unfortunately, it takes situations like this to make you stop and think about what is really important in your everyday life. We are forced to reprioritize our thoughts and think about life in a different way. It is precious and sacred and everyone here at All About Me are going to stand behind this family and do what we can for our little girl.
How dare we gripe about Monday mornings......
- Tim Ward
- Lindsay G
- Ashley Pooler
Organizer and beneficiary
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