Chad was a young boy dealing with problems many of us can’t comprehend. Issues at home, including violence, abuse, neglect and other stresses left him struggling in life and in school. He joined the Family & School Services (FASS) program at Family & Children’s Place and began to make progress. He fit in well with his peers and enjoyed art; his raw talent impressed staff.
Then came a diagnosis of leukemia. Chad’s life, his progress was interrupted in the most frightening way possible. His work with FASS was put on the back burner and all attention focused on his treatments and recovery.
When told of his diagnosis and prognosis, his FASS classmates were shocked. “Some stood with jaws open, some covered their mouths with their hands, some teared up,” staff said. But just as quickly, the students queued up question after question: What does this mean, what can we do, how can we help?
The students made a banner supporting Chad, letting him know they miss him and sending along their prayers and best wishes. They wrote cards and letters of support, strength, encouragement and perseverance. The letters were attached to the banner and sent to Chad. It now hangs in his window, in clear view, with its words of support.
The students keep tabs on Chad and his treatments, sending along reminders they wish him a full and speedy recovery and look forward to him rejoining their FASS activities.
Kids who face issues, difficulties and challenges themselves, but through the help and hope they get from staff and each other through FASS, have found a means to bond, to learn and grow and succeed, to show a sense of purpose and passion – for themselves and for another.
Amazing kids, amazing program, amazing results.