My husband was on a service call when he noticed a tiny kitten. He asked the people where they got it, because
his daughter Amara wanted one, and he would see if there were any left. It turns out the kitten was a stray, so the
couple gave him the kitten. He took a picture of it, and sent it to Amara in the hospital. She put the picture
up in the hospital and had a "Name the kitten contest" Out of all the suggested names, she chose Lola. The cat
never responded to that name. Soon it became apparent that the kitten was not a female, so we had to come up with a
new name. By this time, my daughter had passed away. While in the hospital, she had a stuffed cat her sister Abby
had given her by the name of Clyde. Amara took Clyde everywhere with her, even into surgery. The nurses told me
the first thing they learned when caring for my daughter was not to move Clyde. She would become upset and panic if
it wasn't by her side. So, we chose the name Clyde for her kitten. The first time I said "Clyde, come here", the
cat came running. It was almost as if he knew he was destined to have the name of his absent owners most treasured item.
A Wonderful Organization
If anyone has a sick child, there is a great organization out there that can help. It is the Shriners. When
my daughter was first diagnosed with JRA at the age of 8, she needed someone who specialized in pediatric rheumatology.
As a patient at Shriner's Hospital for Children in Chicago, she got the best care available. She needed to go every
two months. The Shriner's provided transportation, meals, and a hotel room. For us it was a 9 hour drive to Chicago.
We couldn't afford the expense of travel and lodging. It was a Godsend to have these wonderful volunteers help us.
And all help is provided without charge. Even the doctor's volunteer their time to treat the kids who come to the hospital.
You can be sure they are really committed to helping kids, since they take days off from private practice and are not paid
for their services. I would urge anyone who has or knows of a child in need to contact their local Shriner's organization
for more information.