NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE
The 615 will be holding their 3rd Annual Music Benefit Festival, No One Fights Alone, on Friday, September 10th at 6:15 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. There will be live music featuring the John Beatrice Band from Farmland, a silent auction, and food will be provided, but bring your own drinks and lawn chairs. This year’s No One Fights Alone Music Benefit Festival will raise funds to help the families of 12 year old Skyler Esparza, the son of Tony and Jennifer Esparza who has been suffering from leukemia and 8 year old Bella Hawley, the daughter of Lance and Devann Hawley who suffers from aplastic anemia. Special guest speaker and one of our first year recipients, Brittani Overton-Carlton will be sharing some of her story and how community makes a difference. Come enjoy the evening and support these families at 615 N. Williams Street, Portland, IN!
365 days ago, this picture was taken.
The night of August 20th, 2020, I googled “random bruising on young kids”.
The emotions that filled my body were paralyzing as I read all of the leukemia symptoms.
It all started with a petechia bruise on her earlobe around Easter of 2020. One little bruise that I remembered from 4 months prior. It was the symptom that I read, the symptom that was crippling. The symptom that when family were telling me it was nothing, I already knew. I knew what her results would say that next morning when she went in for labs.
The same lab results that brought me to my knees as I begged God. The results that drown you as you fall to the ground. The results where you don’t even remember how to walk or talk or even breathe, let alone attempt to be the strong one for your innocent child.
I’m so thankful for where we are today, but my heart is also hurting extra for all the moms who have received harder news than we received. And to all the moms that have just received or about to receive those crippling results. You guys aren’t alone. Your children, the sick one, will be the one to help you through. They’re stronger than you or anyone could ever imagine.
Most of the time, I’m just going with the flow and taking it all in. I never really “process” the crazy, hectic life that we were given. But occasionally, like now, it sneaks up on me. It puts me on edge, my nerves are shot, my stress level is an 11, my brain never shuts off, the worry never stops.
A week later, Bella was diagnosed with Severe Idiopathic Aplastic Anemia and later diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome as well. We are still unsure if the two are related, as Aplastic Anemia can be brought on by a multitude of different things.
August 20, 2021, Bella is 5 days shy of being 6 months post bone marrow transplant. So much has happened in the last 365 days but today, we’re grateful.
Early Jan 2021, Tony & Jennifer Esparza were told their son, Skyler had AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia).
Family & friends knew Skyler was a fighter and very strong willed, but he had a battle ahead of him.
He started chemo immediately and spent several months in the hospital. At times the family had to be apart due to Covid restrictions. They’ve had to learn how to navigate a hard road ahead of them during this past year.
In June, Skyler got to go home for good (except for his monthly checkups). He has monthly checkups and blood draws. Skyler has battled and fought and continues to do so.
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