During the year that hospital became home, Toby spent most of his waking hours in bed. Moving was difficult. So we used a wheelchair to get to surgery, radiation and countless middle-of-the-night emergency scans. And we carried Toby everywhere else: to the bathroom and the IV room, to look out the window as the world spun madly on. And we cried as his body withered, his little bones pushing through skin.
He was 4 years old, the age when children laugh and run like wildfire. He could not walk more than a few steps.
When Toby returned to kindergarten, we pushed him to Henry Street in a stroller. High dose chemotherapy had destroyed his blood counts, immune system, and stamina. Over the course of 6 months we wore out two maclarens while weathering the disapproving glances of those who thought he looked too old for a stroller.
After a year Toby began to walk again.
At first he could only manage half a block, but we learned to scope out places to rest. Soon he could string together a path of steps to the front door.
This Saturday Toby will walk 4.5 miles in Central Park with his brother Yoni and friends, to raise money for pediatric cancer research. He will walk for the ones who still battle and for the children we have lost. A chain of steps for Erin, Max, Sam, Erik, Gus, Carter, Jack, Ellie, Courtney, Austin, Santi, Christi, Eden, Emily, Lucas, Penelope, Nathan, Kendall, Spencer, Pierce, Sydney, Brody, Katie, Xinxin and sadly, many, many more.
If you live in the New York area and would like to walk with Toby, please visit kids walk for kids with cancer for more information. We would love to see you! If you can't make it please consider sponsoring Toby. His fundraising page is here.
Thank you for being with us on this journey.
Ed Clark, Christmas Guest
9 months ago