Our beautiful, healthy boy. Born May 29, 2017. Roman Daniel O'Brien. We can take him anywhere and he is so friendly and loving, definitely entertaining as well!
What we thought was a simple summer virus turned our worlds upside down. Roman had the same symptoms as a few other kids his age, including his cousin. So, we and the doctors did not think more of it. Towards the end of the week, Roman was still very irritable (very unlike himself) ... and appeared to start changing colors. We scheduled a sick visit for that Saturday morning. All seemed well, a slight throat infection causing the virus through the week...but, Roman's lips did not look healthy. The Pediatrician agreed to look into it and took a small blood sample. The results were: very low red blood cells. We were sent down to CHOP. We were reassured that we would need a simple blood transfusion and possibly some fluids.
June 22nd, 2019. Our world crashed. We couldn't move, talk nor answer questions. Roman was diagnosed with Leukemia. We were admitted to the oncology floor right away. Is this really our life? This happens to other people, but not us. Oncology? A two year old healthy boy? ...
(So, follow me on this...) We packed a small bag, had a crazy week with a sick two-year-old, left our 6-month-old with her grandparents and whatever milk mom pumped in the freezer... expecting to MAYBE stay one night at CHOP. Now, we have a room, a team of oncologists, a schedule bone marrow aspiration, no plan yet because they need to fully diagnose Roman. And life has stopped. We did not know what to do with ourselves, and being prepared for something like this is not what people like us have done. Or...anyone else that we know or can think of. Right or right?
A few things that are NOT easy within the first 72 hours of a hospital stay. Sleeping, leaving your child to use the restroom, answering questions, and calling your loved ones, making arrangements with work, planning on travel, stay, parking, other children, and eating. Families need a handout. Not because everyone struggles financially in the hospital, but because when there's a friendly hand looking out for you. It's nice. It's very nice actually.
We have created a platform so you can be that person. You can be the person that provided a meal ticket for the mom that can only call down to order food and they told her she needs one, or no food. You can be the person that provides some parking money for the dad that is driving back and forth and is waiting until after dark to save money. You can be the person that provides snacks to the Ronald Macdonald room, or extra funds to help someone pay a bill.
It doesn't take much money from just one person, but when we all come together and each help a little, it will create a serious movement. Waves of relief to those families.... the families that would NEVER wish this upon anyone else.
Roman the Warrior will continue his fight with you in his corner, and we are focused on paying that fight forward to help as many families on the ONCO floor. Join in, don't sit on the stands for too long. Every $5 will make a serious impact on someone going through this journey. They need to know they're not alone, and you're in their corner, too.
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Thank You for being a Warrior!
We'll be sending out periodic emails to keep you updated on our Mission and Roman the Warrior!