When I was younger, I was a handful to say the least.
As a toddler, I ran away from my mom to parade through a jungle of jackets in stores. During recess in elementary school, my friends and I formed an Elite Monkey Bar Team, and every time we flipped and twirled in the air, our teachers lectured us for being too ‘dangerous’. Whenever my parents had ‘adult’ parties, I would strut my way past our guests—a microphone and karaoke machine in hand, proclaiming myself the official entertainment for the event.
I guess you could say I wanted to be heard. But, aside from everything, I was an average kid growing up in the suburbs. From an outsider’s eye, there was nothing unique about my world, and I was lucky.
Some kids will never know our ordinary.
Every day, 43 children’s lives turn away from the mundane and are introduced to a different reality. Weekly appointments with white coats becomes their ordinary. The walls of their elementary school crumble away as things become too ‘dangerous’. Playgrounds are a distant dream within hospitals, and the hall’s distinct, sterile scent becomes the only air they breathe. To outsiders, they are fragile. At an age where these kid’s eyes should be cloaked with ignorance, the world around them begins to introduce words far too complex for even adults to fully comprehend. Their world—their family’s world—revolves around time, and somehow, everything seems to be traced back to the cancer.
But, despite what frailness those outsiders might see, we see them. We’ve seen that incorruptible strength each child holds inside, and we’ve seen the beauty their lives bring to the world. With Purpose has heard their voices, and as I’ve listened beside this group of wonderful people, I’ve travelled back to the time I held that mic in my feeble hands and wished to be heard.
These kids are not different. They simply bore different circumstances, and for that they are stronger than me, than all of us combined. And, since I’ve joined With Purpose earlier this year, I’ve realized that their voices deserve to be heard a lot more than mine ever did.
I’ve realized that’s why I’m here.
We want to work together to make those kids’ voices heard. Through all the ‘ordinary’ privileges we’ve been given, we will fight alongside them to make their journeys broadcasted above all else. We’ll speak for them, and we’ll share their families’ love for them because they deserve to be a central part of our minds. There needs to be change because these children should be the future. They are the change and triumph we need, and we will use all of our resources to help them. In my mind, that’s our mission.
And for a while, I’ve wanted to meet these kids we’re cheering for, look them in they eyes, and say, “Your voices are our power.”
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