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  • Madeline Dunlap MS, OTR/L

To The Families With A Child In Need

You are doing exactly what you are called to do in this world. Your child is blessed to have you!

As an occupational therapist and working in the pediatric world, I have had the pleasure of working closely with many families and their children with all abilities.

So I write this for all the families that have a child in need of your love, support, and voice. You have encountered so much from unexplained seizures, a newly diagnosed genetic syndrome, a cardiac defect diagnosis, prolonged sickness, frequent hospitalizations, an autism diagnosis, a brain injury, a rare form of cancer, or something else that has been difficult.

You, my friend, need to be reminded that you are needed, loved, supported, and appreciated. Your strength and dignity shine boldly through each and every phone call from the doctor, therapy visit, hospitalization, g-tube feeding, breathing treatment, family outing, birthday celebration, milestone being reached, and overall fearlessness of the future.

Wow, you are brave and I admire you for it.

I want you to know that you are meant to be that beautiful child’s biological, adoptive, or foster mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, or whoever you may be to that precious being. You are making a difference whether you see it or not. And you are the reason they are doing so well. YOU ARE THE REASON.

Please never forget that. Never forget that your voice is what carries them through. Your determination is what gets them that special equipment that they need but insurance is pushing back. Your strength is what allows them to flourish and grow to be who they were called to be, just as you were called to be for them. You are incredible and have something to be proud of.

Thank you for teaching me to be grateful for every milestone achieved, big or small because to one child a milestone that is considered small to some, is so big to others. I get to use this motto every day when I provide therapy services to my children. Every skill met deserves a celebration.

So, today, we celebrate you and your bravery as you are faced with many challenges every day but continue to show grace, choose joy, and teach gratitude!

I’ll leave you with this verse: “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” - Matthew 6:34

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