Our cousins, Sarah and Brendan had a gorgeous, healthy baby boy, Charlie in April of 2016. Heartbreakingly, sweet Charlie got sick and passed away after only two weeks. I vividly remember sitting at the funeral and watching Sarah and Brendan, and their little boy Keegan as well as the whole incredible Cavanagh family. My heart ached for them all as did every other heart in the church. My sister-in-law, Laura Jean, and I sat next to each other and quietly talked about how we didn’t know how you move forward with this kind of heartache. The gorgeous family pictures with Charlie and the eloquent words spoken from the alter cast a beautiful glow throughout the church. It was a heartbreaking day.
As I continued to read their updates on Facebook, I learned that they were partnering with the Glen Ellyn Park District on a Glow in the Park Lantern Walk at Lake Ellyn Park. I had never heard of a glow walk and clicked through to learn that you could purchase a lantern before or during the event and that a portion of the lantern costs would go to the Charlie’s Corner Foundation. Charlie’s Corner had picked Lurie’s Children’s Hospital as the beneficiary from the glow walk in honor of Charlie. The funds raised will go toward research and to helping families be together when they have a sick child.
Tony and I brought our five-year-old twins, Stella and Sophia to the glow walk event. We met up with Tony’s parents, Tom and Loie and tons of extended family. The event was amazing! What a fantastic collaboration and partnership! Sarah and Brendan turned out a huge crowd that clearly adored the Cavanagh family. The Glen Ellyn community was out in full force and you couldn’t help but smile as kids danced to the children’s band, bounced in bouncy houses, did face painting, and played games. People munched on hot dogs and brats while lounging on blankets and chatting with family and friends.
As I took the girls around to the bouncy houses and games I talked to people and it was so touching to hear the stories of how people were connected to Sarah and Brendan. The sense of community was so powerful. We stopped at a lawyer’s table to play Bozo buckets and learned that they were neighbors of Sarah and Brendan. What caring people and it was clear this community is committed to taking care of each other.
Please visit Charlie’s Corner to learn more about the Charlie’s Corner Foundation and their great work. Please consider supporting Charlie's Corner and watch for future family events!
I continue to be in awe of amazing family and friends that have turned their heartache to help others. Love them all so much.
My sister-in-law, Sam, the Ream family, the expansive Team Ream community, and the Torts keep fighting in honor of Sam's husband and my brother-in-law, Brandon Ream. The Team Ream Foundation is committed to preserving the memory, growing the legacy, and carrying on the fight, the will and determination of Brandon Ream for future generations. The mission of the Team Ream Foundation is to assist the everyday lives of financially disadvantaged individuals in State College and surrounding areas who have been affected by cancer and serious medical conditions. Read more on how you can join the fight and support the Team Ream Foundation. And, Amazon friends you can select Team Ream in the charity AmazonSmile program!
My lifelong Tri Delta friend, Kristi Horner started the Courage to Caregivers organization to help others after she lost her brother. Courage to Caregivers is committed to providing hope, support and courage to caregivers, families and loved ones of those with mental illness Read more about Kristi's passion for helping others and Courage to Caregivers.
Thanks for reading. Keep cherishing the glow of the love of your family and friends and keep fighting.