by Jim Nintzel
Barbara Anderson got just about the worst news imaginable last year when her 18-month-old son was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. While Jude's prognosis is positive after some incredibly tough months of chemotherapy and other treatments, Barbara is doing what she can to help other people who are going through similar tough times. Chris Flora at Explorer News has the details:
It rained. But the sun came back out.
Oro Valley residents Sarah Bechman and Barbara Anderson watched their children enjoy the steady downfall at James Kreigh Park last Friday afternoon. A little bit of water didn’t stop Sarah’s daughter, 5-year-old Brooke, from riding the swing with an ear-to-ear smile.
And it didn’t stop Jude, Barbara’s 2-year-old son, from running around the playground in his new shoes — though he did trip once or twice while adjusting to them.
He got back up though. He didn’t cry. Instead, he wiped his hands off and continued life. At one point, Brooke offered her hand and led him back to the playground.
The moms watched on. They watched their children exude strength, optimism and kindness. They watched them enjoy themselves while others may have fled the park to dodge the rain.
But to Sarah and Barbara, rain wasn’t something to be afraid of. And it certainly wasn’t to Brooke and Jude.
“These are the best days,” Sarah said at one point. “These moments together.”
As it goes, some days aren’t as happy for these two families. Some are spent seeing the same old hospital walls, or the faces of nurses and doctors they’ve come to know and like, but would probably prefer not to encounter so often.
Brooke and Jude are battling leukemia.
As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Barbara has organized a blood drive next week at the Foothills Mall. Stop by the Red Cross Donation Center on the second floor of the mall, 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd., between 2 and 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 29, and Tuesday, Sept. 30, to share a pint with humanity. You can make an appointment by calling 1-800-733-2767 or setting one up online at redcross.org.