More than likely if you are reading this then your child, or a child you know, has been diagnosed with cancer. For that I am truly sorry. We know exactly what you are thinking, feeling, and asking.
On January 22, 2008, our 5 year old son, Darian, was diagnosed with Osterosarcoma in his left leg. What started out as an ordinary doctor’s appointment due to some leg pain, turned into a parent’s nightmare.
The purpose of this website and the Darian’s Gift foundation is to help you in any manner we can and to use our experiences to help you on the journey that you are about to take.
4Him2Day– Children’s Cancer Resource Foundation was founded in January 2010 to support local families in treatment for pediatric cancer through financial assistance, physical acts of service, “Family Days” and emotional support. In 2016 we changed our name to Darian’s Gift.
The Darian’s Gift website provides information for families when they are first diagnosed with pediatric cancer and helpful resources as they go through their journey. The Darian’s Gift website provides links related to the disease, treatments and other organizations, as well as testimonials, news and events, and volunteer opportunities.
Cancer affects more than just the sick child. It affects every member of the family, from the parent spending hundreds of dollars on gasoline and eating meals in the car while traveling to treatment, to the sibling that cannot afford to participate in their favorite activity. For the sick child, waiting sometimes hours for treatment to begin, the latest video game can make all the difference. Darian’s Gift helps meet those needs. These needs may be met through pre-paid gas cards, video games, hospital café credits, groceries, restaurant gift cards, and more.
For a family dealing with cancer, life continues to move forward. The lawn still needs to be mowed, leaves raked, oil changed, and potentially remodeling may need to be completed to accommodate the sick child. Darian’s Gift has a team of volunteers ready to help maintain the home life or recommend other organizations that can help provide resources.
A great deal of a family’s time is spent in treatment, playing catch-up, or planning for the next treatment. So Darian’s Gift wants to help families take time for “Family Days”. These moments may be as simple as an evening out for ice cream or a day trip to a baseball game or fun center. While the family is out Darian’s Gift volunteers may take advantage of the opportunity to bless the family with a service project as well.
A sick child is a tragic situation and everyone has fears, questions and pains. At some point, everyone needs someone to talk to. Darian’s Gift provides that ear to listen, shoulder to cry on, or prayer of support during these difficult times.
Darian’s Gift provides Financial Assistance, Physical Acts of Service, “Family Days” and Emotional Support for the purpose of helping families create“Moments of Joy”. When going through treatment these moments may be what carries families through difficult times. For other families these moments may create a lasting memory to hold onto, which may not have been possible without Darian’s Gift support.
Every family treating for pediatric cancer is on a different journey and has their own needs. Darian’s Gift is there to support every family through their journey.
The day started out as any other day. It was MLK day 2008 and we were taking Darian into the doctor because he had been telling us his leg had been hurting him for a couple of weeks. Darian was a typical 5 year old boy who loved to run, jump and play. We had stairs at our house and one of his favorite activities was to jump down as many stairs as possible – so the idea of him hurting, twisting his knee, or spraining his ankle was an everyday occurrence. But this turned out to be different.
30 hours after that first appointment, which included 2 sets of x-rays, our first trip to Portland, an MRI, and finally a late night biopsy, we heard that word we never thought we would hear. The word that never should be said in relation to a child: Cancer.
Darian was officially diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his left leg, located right above the knee.
Darian spent the next 10 months in treatment. Three weeks “on” with chemo treatments, followed by 1 or 2 weeks “off”. We spent hours in the car commuting to Portland and spent many nights in the hospital. Things that seemed strange and daunting at first become second nature for us.
Looking back, I’m not sure how Darian did it. All the shots, all the drugs, all the procedures, all the surgeries. But he did. Sure, there were good days and bad days, but throught it all, Darian was amazing. His spirit and attitude were an inspiration to everyone.
After 10 months he was done! No more drugs, no more surgeries, no more nights at the hospital. All scans and tests came back clean. Darian and our family were moving into the next stage of this journey.
I wish I could tell you that after treatment Darian went back to school, played little league in the spring, and will grow old…
I wish I could say that Darian will use his story to inspire and encourage others…
I wish I could say that Darian is a happy and healthy 9 year old boy now this Summer of 2012…
There are a lot of things that I wish for now regarding Darian, but unfortunately for us, and all that loved Darian, that is not the case. At his 3 month check, they discovered the cancer had spread to his lungs and there wasn’t anything else that could be done.
On April 29th, 2009, God determined that Darian had fulfilled his purpose here on earth and called him home to Heaven.
Abby and I were very fortunate and blessed to have been given the privilege of raising Darian for the short time he was here with us. Darian might no longer be with us physically, but his spirit and attitude will remain with us forever.
Thank you for letting us share Darian and his story with you
As a result of this experience … and in an effort to help other families dealing with pediatric cancer, 4Him2Day was founded in January 2010, and became incorporated February 22, 2010. And the story is continuing to be written…