Letters from Parents

Dear Gilda’s Club,
I would like to take this time out to say thank you to everyone who was involved with Gilda’s Club guitar lessons.
This program has truly helped my kids in ways I would have never thought could help them since the death of there father.  My son I never knew had a gift for music until he started attending Gilda’s Club.  This program has truly reached out to them, I truly believe it helps the grieving process with the children when a loved one has passed on and the children really don’t know how to deal with the emotions that are trapped inside.  My daughter who has downs syndrome even had a chance to deal with her emotions and to be a part of the great group.
So I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the love and support that has been given to my children, this program is truly good for the kids and I hope it will continue to stay for a very long time.
Thank you,
Gilda Club Alumni

I wanted to express my appreciation for your efforts, concern, and initiative to make a memorable experience for my family, and especially my daughters, Jennifer and Lauren. Jennifer was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus (water on the brain) 9 years ago and has undergone 74 surgeries due to shunt complications. As a result she is unable to have the opportunity to do what most people take for granted every day. A simple trip to the mall, going to lunch, or even a movie can be a daunting task due to the constant pain and some times debilitating condition she has. She has been a country music fan for years now and when she received word that you were going to make it possible for her to attend the Toby Keith concert, she was thrilled.
This kind act of yours, gave her the motivation and determination to continue to fight with the struggles of a chronic illness. As you know, she was not feeling well that day, but she was not going to let it stop her from doing something she never gets the opportunity to do. You were helping her fulfill a dream and create some everlasting memories for her to hold on to and carry her through.
Lauren was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy about 9 months after Jennifer was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus. This condition was caused from a gymnastic injury when she was young. It causes the parasympathetic nervous system to go haywire and results in excruciating pain. They often say this is more painful than childbirth! Fortunately, Lauren has symptoms under control with medication now. 
Three years ago, Lauren came down with mono and two months following that started having daily headaches, fever, fatigue, swelling of joints, and rashes. She has undergone numerous studies to try and reach a diagnosis. Recently it was discovered that Lauren's vascular system is now going haywire for no known reason. Again, we will start medications this weekend to see if we can get her symptoms under control.
For both girls, there is no cure. With the medical complications that come from their diagnosis, both girls spend a lot of time with doctors, not a real fun place to be! Thankfully, Lauren is functioning and able to attend school. She is able to lead a pretty normal life. Unfortunately for Jennifer, the hospital is her second home.
The fact that someone like you, was determined to bring a special moment and dream come true for my girls was overwhelming for me as a mom. The warmth in my heart that was experienced as you brought my entire family together for a night out, full of fun, was an experience we will all never forget. Then add the extra treat of bringing my girls and I backstage to actually meet Toby Keith, was the icing on the cake! The smiles on the girls faces was absolutely priceless and what a gift! I have wanted an experience like this for my girls for so long and you made that dream come true for me and my family. 
My entire family and extended family would like to thank you for making our dream become a reality. It is people like you that give families and chronically ill children hope. It is amazing what a random act of kindness can do. Your kindness not only affected my family, but all of the friends and family that continually follow Jennifer's daily journey with Hydrocephalus.
Much Appreciation,

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