Claire Parker

Claire_Mommy







Claire Parker

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Claire Parker

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Author/s: Connie & Jordan

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Claire’s Small Footprint Makes a Big Impact


John 3:16 “For God so loved the world He gave his only begotten Son so that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.”

Tomorrow Sunday, May 17, 2015 marks the one year anniversary of Claire’s passing. I do not like to say death because truly she is more alive than any of us. Another mom who lost her child calls it a “Heaven Day”, and I think that is the perfect name. Rather than tell you about Claire as we approach her Heaven day, I would rather share the story of one of our newest children. Claire’s memory lives on through the foundation and the families that it touches. Please keep our family in your prayers tomorrow. We ask that the Lord draw us even closer tomorrow, fill us with joy, comfort our soul, and bring peace beyond our understanding.


Hello my name is Yolanda Moore , my son Joshua Moore (age 4) has always been a very energic child. At the beginning of May (around may 6th) josh started having pain in his right arm, I just assumed he slept on his arm wrong. I told him the pain would go away. Two days later after the arm pain developed he seemed more tired than usual. I figure he had been tired from pre-k so i let him rest. Later in the night both his legs begin to give him trouble, he cried complaining of pain. The pain seemed to be hurting him everywhere in his legs, I wasn’t for sure what was happening. I had no car to drive him to the ER so late, and the public busses had already stopped running. So I gave him a icepack and he slept through the rest of the night.

On May 9th 2015 He woke up telling me how much he was in pain. I knew my son loved eating candy so I thought I’d try to gain an understanding of where he was hurting in his legs by asking him to walk to the kitchen table and grabbing a piece of candy for himself. In my mind I figure kids love candy, I doubt he’d turn down an offer to eat candy so early in the morning lol. Well at that point I was mistaken, as my son tried to get off the couch and walk toward the kitchen table where the candy was, he instantly started crying. I immediately ran to get dressed and caught the next bus heading toward the hospital. I had never seen my son in pain so much. While approaching the hospital I had to carry him toward the ER, he was in so much pain he couldn’t walk. As I explained to the nurses and doctors what happened to Joshua they all seems very shocked as to what was going on with him. They started to perform their normal routine running test and asking lots of questions. After being in the ER for a couple hours while test were being run on josh’s blood, a doctor came back to talk to me and explained that the 2 previous blood test came back and it was a possibility Joshua could have leukemia. I felt dizzy, I felt my body fall out the chair” I guess that’s what you call an outer body experience” I hadn’t fallen but it felt like I did. I could feel my body become heavy. I didn’t know much about leukemia but I knew it was cancer. Joshua was admitted to 5100 floor that same day/hour and more test was being done. I met so many nurses, doctors, etc I couldn’t keep up with it all. I hated seeing so many test being performed on my son and I hated seeing him in pain.

I spent my Mother’s day may 10th 2015 in the hospital with my Joshua. I just wanted the doctors to find out what was wrong so they could cure him.

May 11th 2015 after many test and procedures was given and performed on Joshua, it had been confirmed that he had ALL leukemia. I didn’t know how to feel. I was scared but I knew josh was scared also, so I held back my tears. I hadn’t felt so helpless in my life. I felt like I couldn’t do anything for my child, he was scared, in pain, and was looking up to his mom to help him get better so he could go home. May 11th 2015 changed my life. I was glad that leukemia was a disease that could be treated, I was also glad that the doctors found out what was wrong with my son josh, I was even more glad that they could start treatment for him right away. I was only upset that this disease had attacked my son and had him down. I held strong and kept my tears in for a while.

May 12th 2015 that changed, I broke down and cried plenty of times throughout the day. I felt like I could no longer be strong. Josh received his spinal tap, bone marrow aspirations and port procedure today. He was very strong for doing this, he’s such a brave little boy. His procedures went well. On this day I also received my Claire parker foundation box. I was excited to read about another person story who went through what I’m going through now. I started reading the book that was in the box, blessings for the morning and on page 10 the message really caught my eye for reasons I felt were related to what I was going through. The message this box carries is very strong! I have faith that my Joshua will make it through this all. I thank you(Claire Parker Foundation) and your family for what you all do to help others like myself!

Thank you and God bless!

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Where is GOD

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Sometimes Jordan will look at me and say, “How did we get here?”

Where is here? Life without Claire. A place of constant mixed emotion, trials and struggles, and a new perspective on life. I miss the innocent and naive way I use to look at life before Claire passed away.

The sun use to shine more brightly, tomorrow seemed more exciting, and the days were less painful. However, I have grown to realize that these things do not make my life better or give it purpose. This world and the things in it were created for us, but enjoying them should not be our sole pleasure or comfort in life. I do not know what the future holds for our family. Will this pain ever subside? Will my son grow up to be healthy? Will I be able to have another daughter? Despite all the questions and unknowns, I refuse to move forward in fear. Honestly, I do not move forward with excited anticipation either. I approach tomorrow with the knowledge God is in control, but that Satan is actively at work in the world. I am deliberate not to elevate my expectation of the future, so that there is less disappointment and more room for God to move. How can I live the rest of my life with the sobering reality that bad things can and will happen? How can I step into the next moment knowing that I am not protected against future tragedies just because I have already experienced one? Serve. Fulfill my purpose. Give my life as a living sacrifice to the Lord. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son will bring Glory to the Father.” John 14:12-14 I may not know why Claire had to leave us early. I may not know when the next hard day will be. I may not know how we are going to get through the rest of this life without her. But I do know that my purpose in life is to serve God. Knowing that gives me a reason to get out of bed, a reason to go back out into the world, a reason to keep living. God has a plan for me, and I want to fulfill it.

John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. “

God chose me to be his child. He chose me to be Jordan’s wife. He chose me to be Claire’s mother, and he chose me to serve him with this life I’ve been given. When the days gets hard, dark, or confusing I cannot throw my hands up at God and quit even if that is what I feel like doing. Sometimes it is too hard. Sometimes I hurt so much I feel alone and completely abandoned. Those are the moments when God reaches out. About a week and a half ago, I read that the Northern Lights were going to be visible in our area just after dark. So Jordan, Derek, and I got in the car driving north to find a high spot on a mountain, away from town. As we were driving we came to the crest of a hill with open fields on both sides. From there we had a perfect view of the Northern lights and the North Star. The star was more brilliant than I have ever seen. It looked close enough for me to reach out and touch. The night was calm, the air was still, the sky was clear, and I instantly felt at perfect peace. In that spot, at that moment, I felt the Lord’s presence surround me. Despite everything I have been through, everything I have felt, I departed from that place smiling. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 On that night, in that place, the Lord reached down and rejuvenated my soul.

Isaiah55:8-11 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it”

There is too much death, sickness, disaster, poverty, war, hatred, and godlessness in our world today. There are so many times that I find myself saying, “Where is God?” Mothers lose children, why? Children lose fathers, why? Christians are being persecuted, why? Countries are destroyed by natural disasters, why? People are starving and living without clean water, why? Then I stop and think about how our world continues to push God away, why? So many things do not make sense from where we stand because we have such a limited view compared to God. I think back to the night I saw the North Star. I look up and see the North Star, but the North Star can see so much more looking down. The Lord is seated at his throne in Heaven watching the Earth spin, and He is in control of everything. Each of our lives is just a single thread in the garment of life that he is weaving. Even though it seems as if He may be making a mistake right now, He isn’t. Romans 8:28 “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” These moments of distress that we encounter will be incorporated into the grand design creating a more intricate and beautiful eternity then we could imagine. The world may not make sense, but God’s promises will never fail me. The hope I find in his word will sustain me. “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare.” Psalm 25:15







claireparkerfoundation.org

claireparkerfoundation.org

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Claire Parker Foundation

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Beyond the box

Many people are still unsure about exactly what our foundation does.  I am writing this blog in attempts to answer that question.  We strive to be there for our families from the first day of diagnosis to the end of their treatment. Most people only know about our boxes, but that is only the very beginning.

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Our foundation is currently partnered with Duke Hospital, UVA Hospital, Roanoke Carilion Hospital, and Brenner Children’s Hospital and we are in the process of adding another. When we partner with a hospital, we make sure they have Claire’s Care Boxes on hand. When a new family is diagnosed the in-patient child life specialist will take a box and deliver it to the family the day they receive a pediatric cancer diagnosis. The day Claire was diagnosed, Jordan and I had no idea we would not be returning home. We were completely unprepared, and I am sure many other families face the same. Our Care box aims to meet a family’s most primary needs, my husband calls it a one week survival kit. The box is filled with hygienic products, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, a journal, a devotional (if the hospital allows), and a $200 visa gift card. The first days are overwhelming; learning your child’s illness, reviewing treatment options, meeting doctors, adjusting to a new normal. Our goal is to take away the stress of meeting primary needs, so that the focus can be on the child. Phil 4:19 “my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Within the box there is also a contact form that parents have an option of filling out and sending back to us. If they chose to do this it begins the next phase of support. We financially support all of our families monthly until their last treatment. It is not dependent up on economic status nor do we ask for proof of medical bills. We send the families the support, and pray that it will meet a need and alleviate a burden. It helps cover the cost of eating away from home, gas, car maintenance, taking time off of work, medical bills, etc. Battling cancer can bring about many unexpected costs, and we pray that this reduces some of the financial strain. Galations 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ”

When we meet our families we not only send them financial support, but we also take the time to develop a relationship with them. We connect with our families, share stories, pray for one another, discuss fears and triumphs…we try to walk with them, encourage them, live life with them. Such a small portion of children experience pediatric cancer, we do not want them to feel alone or isolated, but loved cherished, and cared for. John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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Our foundation also tries to send gifts of encouragement to uplift the spirits of our children. Long stays in the hospital, intense treatment, and unwanted side effects can take a toll on even the smallest, most innocent children. Many of our older children have received an IPad to help pass the time during long treatments, our younger children have received toys, costumes, coloring books, etc. Sometimes my husband is able to get autographed memorabilia for sports fans. Each gift of encouragement is unique to the child that receives it, and it is sent with prayers of strength and comfort. Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

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The Claire Parker Foundation also sends gifts in memory of children who were not able to celebrate healing on Earth. We have lost several children already. My husband and I have been given the pleasure to pray with and guide families in the moments leading up to and shortly after the loss of a child. It is a hard thing to experience and communicating with someone who has been there can sometimes be helpful. Jordan and I have lost a child, and we still have no recipe to cure a broken heart. We just continue to extend a line of prayer and friendship letting the families know that they are not alone. Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep”

Our foundation also has a new program that we will be rolling out soon. We have been given the great pleasure to partner up with a dear friend of mine who also lost her young son to a complication with Leukemia a little over six months ago. This program will create and send onesies to babies battling cancer to help accommodate their central lines. It will allow the children to be more mobile and continue being playful without the hindrance medical tubing. More details on this will come later!!

I hope that this post has helped to clear up exactly what we do as a foundation, how we connect with our families, and how we strive to improve their quality of life. Jordan likes to say that these children need more than research. Yes research is important to find new treatments, create new protocols, and search for a cure. However, these things take time, and we want to improve the quality of life of our kids and families today. To do this we need your help. I know God has called us to this mission, turning our journey of grief into a mission of love and compassion. However, at times I feel like we have opened pandora’s box. Some days there seem to be more children, more families, and more needs than we can accommodate. As of today we have sent out over 60 boxes, we currently support 9 families monthly, and our numbers continue to increase.

Without the support of others, none of this would be possible. If you would like to get involved with our mission below are a few ways how:

1) Sign up for a one time or monthly donation atwww.claireparkerfoundation.org

2) Buy a T-shirt at www.emilykathryn.com or email me atconnie.parker@claireparkerfoundation.org

-the original designs (gender neutral) are available at emilykathryns store at altavista, va and online.

The new designs (for women) are also available at Emily’s store as well as through me.

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3) If you are unable to contribute financially at this time, help us spread the word, gain awareness, and

above all ask the Lord to guide and grow this non-profit organization in accordance to his will. He has
authority over all, and we seek his blessing upon this endeavor we have started in Claire’s memory.

If you every have any questions please feel free to message us on facebook, or send me an email at connie.parker@claireparkerfoundation.org.

Thank you and God bless!

Claire Parker Foundation

About

Since Claire’s passing we have desired to share the bright light and love that Claire brought those around her. Her 20 months of life strengthened our faith and determination to serve a greater purpose. With this foundation we will continue to tell Claire’s story while supporting, caring for, and reaching out to families in the midst of their own battles. God blessed us with Claire, now we wish to bless others with her memory through the mission of this non-profit foundation. However, we cannot do this without your support. The more help we receive the more we can pass along to those in a time of need.

What We Do

Claire’s Care Box

The first phase of our mission is to create Claire’s Care Box for families in need. Working with child life specialists at pediatric cancer hospitals, our boxes will be delivered soon after the child affected receives a diagnosis. Families given a box have an opportunity to connect with us and receive on-going emotional and financial support throughout their battle with cancer. We are currently in five hospitals: Duke Children’s Hospital, Brenner Children’s Hospital, Levine Children’s Hospital, UVA Children’s Hospital, and Roanoke Carilion Hospital. As our foundation grows so will our network of hospitals.

Read more

Check it out at claireparkerfoundation.org

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Claire Parker