McGee March Madness: Kim Bosse's Essay
Before I begin, I'd like to say that this essay will not be easy for me to write, for
more reasons than it being another assignment. The cause I will be writing about relates
to me in a way closer then I'm sure any of you have experienced. My 10 year old sister,
Kathleen, has a severe case ofRSD, or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy- It is rare, and
most doctors have never even heard of it. I would like be able to explain to you how
much pain she feels on a 24 hour basis, but that would be impossible. It is terrible for
anyone to go through with a disease such as this, and that is why I feel that a majority of
the money earned through the March Madness and Spirit Week collections should be
donated to Child Life services at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. While my sister
was an inpatient there, the amount of entertainment they provided helped her, and many others, get through their day.
First off, I will do my best to describe just how awful this disease is. It can all start with an injury as simple as an ankle sprain. That's how my sister's started. One day when she was getting ready for her softball game, my mom called to say that she'd
bought my sister a present. When Kathleen heard the news, she got excited and started jumping up and down. She stepped on one of the laces from her cleats, and twisted her ankle. After about a week of staying off it she seemed to be recovered, but then things started to head downhill. My family and I went on a week vacation to New Hampshire.
We were doing a lot of walking, and my sister began to notice that her foot started hurting really badly- My dad brought her to a walk-in clinic, and when we returned to
Connecticut, she had a cast put on it. This, however, only made it worse. Her foot began
throbbing with pain constantly. My parents brought her to the hospital to have the cast
taken off, but that didn't solve anything. From that day on, my sister has felt a constant,
almost intolerable pain from her foot all the way to the top of her thigh. After many
attempts, we finally found a doctor who diagnosed her almost instantly with CRPS. CRPS,
or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, is a nerve disease in which the brain sends false pain
signals to nerve endings in a specific location in the body, leaving the affected area
EXTREMELY sensitive to the touch. It is only curable through intensive physical
therapy. At first we were relieved to have at last found someone who knew what they
were talking about, but then it only seemed as if my sister's condition was getting worse. At one point, she couldn't get off the couch, or even boost her self up with out assistance. Even then, she'd begin to have a flare-up, or a time when the pain seems to multiply,
which have lasted anywhere between 2 minutes, and 5 hours. Can you imagine feeling a pain that is said to hurt worse than both cancer, and dropping a large jar of pickles on
your open foot for hours, even days at a time? To make matters worse, she has to endure hard physical therapy every day. I'm saddened just thinking about how many other
thousands, even millions of people experience this everyday. As a matter of fact, there is
a student in McGee suffering from this same disease. Wouldn't you like to help her out,
along with all of the millions of others who suffer from CRPS each year?
The organization I feel we should donate money to is not a charity, but actually is
a group of people who work at the hospital. They provide various types of entertainment
for patients, such as clowns, arts and crafts, and gaming systems like PlayStation and
Wii. Because there are so many patients in CCMC, Child Life works as hard as they can
to acquire all of these things, but there are constantly shortages and waiting lists for
everything. Actually, when I visited my sister, she told me about how the whole "checkout" system works. There is a sign up sheet for the Wiis, PlayStations, and laptops.
There's only one Wii on floor six, the pain floor, and very few laptops. How is a child
supposed to take get their mind away from their pam if they've nothingto do or play
with? If we donated money to the Child Life service group, they'd use the money to buy
a lot more technology and activities to help kids focus their mind on something other then
pain. If it wasn't for Child Life, I don't know if Kathleen would've learned to control her pain as easily. They really are a great group, and deserve all of the credit they can get along with our support.
Our March Madness program is a wonderful opportunity to help many important
causes from all around. In the past few months, I alone have heard of four separate cases
of this disease, three of them being students at Berlin public schools. These girls all were
hospitalized on the same floor of the Children's Hospital, and all were positively affected by what Child Life provided. If a group like this will go to such great lengths for young
children, don't you think we should give them a hand and donate our penny drive
proceeds to them? It would absolutely be the right choice. I can promise you that you will not regret this.
April 8, 2008