Most parents will agree that every age comes with its challenges and blessings. But as parents watch their children grow up and face new challenges they also find time to enjoy the new moments together, too. This is as true for the Walsh family as it likely is for yours. With four children, ages 7, 5, 3, and 1, and a dog, the Walsh house is warm, bubbling with activity, and full of ample love and laughter.
When three-year-old Kiernan was having a bout of tummy troubles the day after Thanksgiving, Rebecca, a full time night nurse practitioner, knew that she’d be spending black Friday in a pediatric waiting room. This certainly wasn’t her first time taking a child to the doctor and it was not going to be her last. The doctor, unsure of the cause, passed mom and Kiernan along to an ultrasound to see what the trouble might be with a definitive answer.
When the technician began the ultrasound, it was quickly apparent that Kiernan was not having normal three-year-old tummy troubles. A cantaloupe sized Wilms tumor was unmistakable on his right kidney. The glow of the Thanksgiving holiday quickly evaporated and three days later, Kiernan was at CHOP prepping for chemo and undergoing major surgery. The next week, chemo began, the first round of 19 weeks worth of arduous treatment.
This is not the challenge most parents expect to face. This is not the childhood every parent hopes to enjoy with their child, but it is the tough reality this family faces. Rebecca is forced to take unpaid time to care for Kiernan – who is struggling through the terrible side effects of chemo. Despite the sleepless nights, the exhaustion, pain, and sores, Kiernan still manages to embrace life with the childlike hope and optimism of every three-year-old. Kiernan finds happiness playing with his siblings and dogs, but the sickness and treatment has taken a toll.
A routine medical procedure can cost a family thousands. 19 weeks of treatment following a surgery can cost a family everything. At Gethrr, we are committed to helping families manage their circumstances because that is what a community is there to do. Kiernan currently has a gofundme page, which has eased the family’s burden. But unable to use any more paid time, and illegible for FMLA, Kiernan’s parents need to focus on Kiernan and what is important. That’s why we’re working to help provide resources for Kiernan’s treatment.
We also know that while finances are important, cherishing your family – healthy or sick – is paramount. We want to give Kiernan and his family a way to treasure their memories, bond as a family, and maybe get a respite from reality. Every year we capture beautiful moments of happiness – in 2016 alone we (M2 Photography) photographed countless couples in love and families sharing their sweetest moments that are immortalized on film. We are going to give Kiernan and his family, a photoshoot to commemorate what’s most important – their family.
What are we asking you to do? Every dollar donated towards Kiernan’s treatment will go to exactly that purpose. If you’d like to give a little bit more, you can do so here. If you’d like to help us raise awareness for this cause please share it!