Words of wisdom from one parent to another

Many parents tell us that their child’s medical journey brings about a roller coaster of emotions. It’s a ride that doesn’t always allow the passengers to stop and process someone else’s words of wisdom.

But what if the advice came from a parent who just got off the roller coaster?

Our parents may not be able to relate to exactly what other families are going through, but they can share what they’ve learned from their own experiences. Here, we pass on their words of wisdom and hope they bring comfort to other parents through the ups and downs of the roller coaster.


Photos by Katherine C. Cohen20151120_ThanksgivingElla-2

Carrie, Ella’s mom

“It’s such an impossible thing to leave your child every night. Whenever you leave the hospital, your heart breaks again and again. So make it worth the torture. Sleep, eat and breathe. Then go back strong.”



Kerry, Molly’s mom

“Be honest with your emotions. Cry when you need to, and laugh when you want to. Don’t keep it all in. You are human, and it’s OK to feel this way.”



Jessica, Avery’s mom

“Slow down. Tune in. ENJOY. Tell stories at bedtime, be silly, play on the floor, make a mess because it’s fun, and don’t clean it up right away … there is always time later to do the grownup stuff.” 



Christine, Murphy’s mom

“Be strong for your child because they need you the most at this time, and you need them as well. I remember being upset and crying while feeding Murphy and when I looked down at her, she was staring up at me with those big eyes as if to say, ‘Mom, why are you crying? I’m going to be fine.’ I guess I needed her to tell me that.”



Joel, Robbie’s dad

“Live your life. Raise your child the way you want to raise him. Treat your kid like you’d treat any other kid. He just has a different set of rules.”



Christine, Nora and Callum’s mom

“A medical journey is made so much more bearable with a good support system. Sometimes you are lucky enough to have that support system already in place, and sometimes you have to seek out a support system for yourself.”