Donation Link: http://yogathon.yogareachesout.org/goto/AlyssaHalePrettyman
Motivation: One lucky person who donates will win 2 tickets to see Lady Gaga at Fenway park on the Right Field Roof Deck party - food and drinks included!
About YRO: Yoga Reaches Out is a charity event that raises money for Children's Hospital and other powerful charities that support children's charities. As many of you know, Children's Hospital holds a special place in my heart.
My Story & My Dedication to the Cause: In 2010 my son, Jackson, needed cranio-facial surgery for a condition known as craniosynostosis. One side of his skull fused too early - meaning one side of his head and face could grow - and one side could not. The surgery was scheduled right after his first birthday. I think it's obvious that putting your baby through and medical procedure is hard enough - not to mention one that requires a neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon to work on his skull and face.
What a lot of people don't know about this time in my life is that my grandmother was also losing her battle with Alzheimers and dementia and that my stepfather was next door at the Brigham fighting for his life after crashing his helicopter during Jackson's first birthday party three weeks earlier. Our family was stretched so emotionally thin that we literally had to just keep our heads down and put one foot in front of the other. By the time Jackson's surgery was through, we had lost my step father, Bruce. By the end of the year, we had lost my grandmother, Mary. It's hard to untangle those stories from Jackson's at this point in my life. It's hard not to mention the incredible grace and courage of my mother through it all - but that is a story for another day.
Why add these details in this post at all? Because when I reflect on this time in my life - and even while walking through it - I remember thinking that the part of it at Children's was, strangely enough, the least stressful part of all of it. The staff - from Doctors and nurses to the clowns and cheer-up crew that came by post surgery - were all incredible. I was kept well informed, I was confident that we were in a position that so many around us were not in - we had a solution, and things were going to be okay. I will be forever grateful that even through this challenging time, I was given a sense of peace in one small corner of my life knowing my son would be okay when I wasn't sure about pretty much anything else.
I remember the waiting room during the 7 hours Jackson was in surgery. I smile when I think that one of the many things YRO has done has been to provide a yoga room at Children's for parents and families waiting for their child to complete a surgery or treatment. That people who have very little emotional breathing room are given a small slice of space to put on their own oxygen mask so they can get back up and carry their children and families forward with a little extra charge in their batteries.
So if you can spare even $10 - you can smile knowing that $10 might make its way down the pipe to cover a moment of peace for a parent or child who needs it.