Giving Tuesday is today, December 1. One big reason I am giving? My eight-year-old daughter Alexandra.
Alexandra loves playing with her friends, being outdoors and getting out on the ice with her local Burlington amateur hockey team. Hockey, in particular, is her happy place. But, earlier this year, Alexandra’s life changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS).
Now, interrupting my daughter’s favorite activities is an ongoing and painful chronic condition. Like other children with CVS, she turns pale, gets nauseated and weak, stops eating, and starts to vomit. It has led to not one, but multiple scary trips to the ER and several admissions to the UVM Children’s Hospital.
CVS is characterized by recurrent, stereotypical bouts of intense vomiting interspersed with periods of completely normal health. The vomiting is invariably accompanied by what has been described as the most intense kind of nausea a human can experience.
Time in the hospital can be scary and seem like it lasts forever. When she was at the UVM Children’s Hospital, Alexandra was entertained by toys, movies, and arts and crafts — all which were provided by the Children’s Miracle Network and money donated by the community. These things really helped her get through tough times and long days.
In the midst of battling her illness at the hospital, my daughter asked what she could do to help other kids. Since then, she has hosted a school bake sale to raise money and has teamed up with The Village Scoop in Colchester to start an annual ice cream fundraiser. It makes me proud to see her give back.
That’s why she gives and why we give – because of the care and attention our daughter received, and the care she was given during her stays. We encourage you to join us and give on Giving Tuesday on December 1! Donate to the UVM Children’s Hospital. Contributions go toward the latest treatments, technologies, and research therapies that can change children’s lives.
Alison Leclair is Alexandra’s mother and lives in Winooski, Vermont.