9.16.2013

My Hero Is 10 Years Younger Than Me

Last November, I wrote this post with a heavy heart. My sweet cousin Tatum was diagnosed with Retnioblastoma - a rare form of eye cancer. Everyone who knows Tatum was absolutely devastated that such a young, beautiful, spunky girl was going to have to fight the nasty monster that is childhood cancer. It suddenly became real for everyone in our family.

You hear about cancer in the news everyday. You hear about it taking the lives of children much too young. You hear about what it destroys, what it hurts. While your heart aches desperately for those families and you pray for them continuously, it doesn't feel real. When that same monster ends up taking over someone you know, love, and need in your life, it suddenly becomes real... And you realize how much more attention those heroes need.

Little Tate found out that she had beat her monster on May 1st, 2013 and I've gotten to see her a lot more since she's been home. We got to have a few play dates this summer and a girls night after her benefit this weekend... And the best part is we got to do all those things together CANCER FREE!


I love this little lady so much. Every single day I am thankful for her life, smile, and beautiful little soul. I have witnessed no greater miracle in this life than her healing and getting the chance to celebrate her life on Saturday was a huge blessing to so many people in our community!

{Me / Tatum / Tatum's mom, Lisa}

Tatum's mom, Lisa, and I have grown close the over the past few years. Despite living hours away, she always takes time to message me on Facebook and ask for an update on my own health and treatment. At Tatum's benefit this weekend, she gave me the biggest hug and took nearly 20 minutes out of her busy schedule to catch up with me and tell me that their family prays for me every night. The faith of this family blows me away!


I got a teary-eyed reading back that post from last November because I remember feeling the exact words I typed:

"The faith this family has in God is incredible and the attitude of their little girl and her big sister really proves that they are living by faith and not by sight. Because of Tatum's attitude, there is a different kind of fight in me. This little girl is changing the way I fight my arthritis. Even when it hurts, even when it's hard. If Tatum can get through this, I can get through the obstacle that's been placed in my life."

I love you so much, Miss Tater Potater... And I'm proud to say that my hero is 10 years younger than me!

15 comments:

Jennifer Stephens said...

How fun are you two! Love the selfies! Happy Monday.

Stephanie said...

This is a beautiful post! Brought tears to my eyes. You two are beautiful!

Amanda aka Manda said...

Such a beautiful post! I just love how your heart and love for Tate shine through!

Pamela said...

Awww this is so cute!!

katie_shannon said...

This is so beautiful

~Dawn~ said...

So happy for little Miss Tatum! She is a true hero and such a little fighter. I have loved following her Caring Bridge site and cannot believe one of my blog heros (you) is her cousin! Such a small world!

Much love to her and you and your entire family!

Meghan said...

Looks like you guys had a great time together! Cancer stinks, but especially when it happens to kids, looks like Tatum didn't let it get her too down though! *hugs* to you both!

Brittany said...

That is so great that you both can be there for each other :)

Becca @ Becoming Adorrable said...

She's so precious! After working in childcare for 8 years, I know that kids can do amazing things that adults never expect them to do.

Dawn said...

Not everyone gets to meet their hero, I gave birth to mine. Cancer changes your life, but it doesn't have to be in a negative way.

Megan R. said...

So sweet! SO happy that she is cancer free!

Brianne Bracco said...

Such a sweet sweet post...so glad you got to enjoy sometime together..she looks great :)

Tayler Morrell said...

Wonderful!
My mom had melanoma in her eye and lost its sight during the battle.
Our Fairy Tale

Kenzie Smith said...

This is such a sweet post (: So happy she is cancer free and I'm glad that you two have been able to have more playdates!

Lauren ONeill said...

Yay!! I'm so glad little Tatum is cancer free. That must be such a hard thing for a child to handle. That's so sweet of you to spend so much time with her. I bet she loves it!

Lauren
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