Hand Out

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I beg for donations and money
to help fund research into my daughter’s rare genetic disorder.
I find the asking agonizing,
embarrassing and rather humiliating.
Who wants to feel like they have to request help from other people?
Like everyone else, I want to be self-sufficient and care for my children.

I push down my pride and ask friends and acquaintances for favors:
-To perform at the fundraising event;
-To volunteer to work the concert;
-To donate goods or services.
My stomach knots with each request
and I fight feeling a profound sense of shame.

I remind myself I’m doing this to try and save my child’s life
and the lives of other people who live with her progressive disease.
Why should this task generate feelings any different than what I experience
as I do her day-and-night-in and day-and-night-out regular care —
dispensing medications,
tending her g-tube and bringing her to countless medical appointments?

I know, intellectually, that most people really don’t mind my asking,
this fundraising-for-charity-business being the most socially acceptable
form of begging.
If I can work up the courage to ask,
most people are more than willing to lend support —
sing, provide a keg, bake a cake…

Sometimes, I think of how painful it must be
to be truly out of options and out of luck and out on the street,
where asking for change could mean you see tomorrow or not.
Just like every injection you give yourself hurts,
even if you have to do it every day,
I bet that daily ask stings devastatingly deep.

—-

Hey, by the way, want to help? https://cystinosis.org/how-to-help/donate

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 25

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