Last Saturday, I headed to the ballpark with Helena for her softball team’s double-header. As we pulled up to the field where the Xtreme team was slated to play, we saw a blood mobile parked alongside the field and signs just about everywhere announcing Lauren Green Day. Lauren is a six-year-old from another team who was just diagnosed with leukemia.
All of the players attended a brief ceremony honoring Lauren and then they wore green wristbands in honor of their friend. Lauren stuck around the ballpark for a bit, wearing a mask across her nose and mouth since she’d already undergone a couple of treatments and was already at risk for an infection.
On the way home, Helena asked a lot of tough questions, prefacing her thoughts with the statement that I must know something about Lauren’s situation since I know a lot of stuff about cancer.
“How did she get the leukemia?”
“Could Celia or me get it?”
“Will she be OK?”
“What will the doctor do to help her?”
“Why does she have to wear a mask?”
It was Helena’s first encounter with someone who looks a bit like her and who likes to play softball just like her facing a serious health crisis. I wish I could have offered better answers to Helena’s tough questions.