TWENTY FOR TILLY

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My heart breaks as I share this story with you. Earlier this year, my friend Carmen and her husband Kyle had a beautiful daughter Tilly – a little sister for their gorgeous son Jock. At Tilly’s standard eight week check up they were shocked to find out Tilly has Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and in order to have a chance to survive she must undertake two years of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants.

This family’s life has been turned upside down. Life as they knew it changed, as Carmen and Kyle took on a roster of one looking after their son, whilst the other stayed in the hospital with Tilly. Every time they leave the hospital they don’t know whether it will be the last time they will see their baby girl alive. With a depleted immune system there have been a few close calls but little Tilly is a brave and courageous fighter.

Most parents of small babies are focused on them reaching their milestones of sitting, rolling and crawling. Tilly has a different set of milestones. The next milestone for Tilly is a bone marrow transplant.

Imagine the stress of being utterly helpless to do anything to heal your daughter, other than sit by and watch as she undergoes multiple surgeries and is constantly pumped full of chemicals to kill off this insidious disease. Add to that the stress of day-to-day expenses and mounting medical bills, when neither you nor your husband can work for fear of possibly missing precious moments with your critically ill child. The Swains are proud people and have not asked anyone for help, but you don’t have to be in their shoes to know that although we can’t help eradicate Tilly’s cancer, we can help ease the stress of monetary concerns by assisting this family in need.

A fundraising page has been started to help the Swains where we ask you to donate $20 for Tilly. This small amount may not make much of an impact on your weekly budget, but will mean the world to a family dealing with unbearable stress. Please find it in your heart to help and to share this story.

I will keep you updated with Tilly’s progress and hope to report in the future that she has grown into a happy and healthy little girl, with no memory of her difficult start to life.

WASTED PLACENTAS

I had a bizarre conversation the other day that began with a friend saying ‘Hey, guess what I had on the weekend?’ then followed with ‘my friend’s placenta!’

I know how that sounds as I had visions of a slab of slimy placenta served up on a silver platter, but she went on to explain her friend had her placenta encapsulated (a process where they dry, grind and encapsulate the placenta into handy little tablets). Apparently it assists new mums to avoid postnatal depression, helps with healing after the birth, keeps iron levels high and results in vitality and a sense of well-being. If refrigerated properly, the capsules are said to last a long time and may even help a woman through menopause. My friend had been feeling run-down so her friend suggested she try a placenta capsule. The next day she said she was bursting full of energy and couldn’t believe how good she felt!

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This conversation led me to think about the four wasted placentas I had that were just discarded as medical waste. Based upon my friend’s rave review of placenta capsules, I would have had a lifetime supply of capsules for all my family and friends to feel amazing!

The only other use I have heard of for a placenta was a ceremonial one where a friend of mine stored her placenta in the freezer until her child’s naming day and then planted it under a tree to symbolise that the child can always return home. I really liked the idea of the planting of the tree, but not so much the months of having to push the placenta aside to rummage through the freezer in search of meat for the nightly meal!

 

The idea of using your baby’s placenta may turn your stomach, but it is something that many cultures have promoted for centuries, not to mention animals in the wild do it. Maybe now that you can have your placenta dried and ground in handy capsules, we may see a removal of the stigma attached to consuming this source of rich nutrients.

 

If you used your placenta, I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a comment!

 

 

(Image courtesy of arztsamui, freedigitialphotos.net)

PASSIVE SMOKING

It was a clear and warm Autumn day and I felt so blessed to be out walking my dog along the lakefront, breathing in the fresh air whilst watching others out also enjoying this lovely time of year.

As I walked towards a young mum with a beautiful baby girl in her pram I had to do a double take. She was holding a cigarette whilst pushing the pram, and I watched as the smoke from that cigarette wafted straight into her baby’s face.

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I felt anger well up inside me as I struggled to understand how this mother could choose to fill her lungs with poisonous smoke. If it’s not bad enough that she doesn’t want to care for her own health, it is just wrong on every level to inflict passive smoke on her infant child.

There is an analogy for smoking that I use when talking about the habit with my kids. I ask them if someone told them that licking toads would make your breath stink, may give you cancer, could reduce your lung capacity, may give you premature wrinkles, would cost you thousands of dollars a year and you would become addicted to it, would you think it is cool to take up licking toads? Of course they say ‘No!’

I struggle to understand with all the health issues and the cost of smoking (it literally is money up in smoke!), that anyone in this day and age still smokes. If there was ever an incentive to give up smoking, wouldn’t the health of your innocent baby be reason enough?

I’m sorry if I have offended any smokers, but that baby can’t stand up for her rights and any decent mother wouldn’t put her child in a situation where she is exposed to having to breathe smoke into her pristine little lungs.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of tungphoto, freedigitalphotos.net