Jasmine’s Auntie Anita is back in Louisiana after visiting for a week. She is now feeling very similar to many of you who are following Jasmine’s journey from a distance, wondering how to help from far away.
Anita wrote this post with practical ways to help when you aren’t close by, and it’s a different list than a previous post on ways to help:
Being far away from those you love and are hurting is a special kind of difficult. I was so blessed to travel home last week and what seemed like a whirlwind trip to be able to provide a small amount of relief for my sister and myself, honestly.
Seeing my beautiful girl still joking, smiling, crafting and laughing was such good medicine. Spending time with the people who love her was more of a blessing to me than I was a blessing to them. Being back home means I now must bless from a distance.
There are so many of us who are far away who want to be a blessing. Here are some tangible ways to bless the Adams family and Jasmine from a distance. We post this list with no expectations whatsoever, I just know that when those you love are struggling it’s helpful to know what to do if you can’t be nearby to help.
- Pray, pray hard, and keep praying! Nothing is more tangible and real than the presence of God in the midst of Jasmine’s fight. Many of you posted her ribbon and the word HOPE as a frame on your profile picture, and our hope for a Leukemia cure is in Christ! If you’re not “religious” that’s ok, give prayer a chance to give you hope. It works! God is real and he loves our Jasmine fiercely!
- Give blood in Jasmine’s honour. While I was in Canada at the hospital, she received blood or parts of blood several times. Although it’s unlikely Jasmine will receive your blood, there are so many children and adults who will! We are so much more aware of that need now. In the US, the American Red Cross website will direct you to blood drives near you. In Canada, Canadian Blood Services website will do the same. This suggestion came from one of Jasmine’s favourite nurses on her paediatric oncology unit at Alberta Children’s Hospital.
- Give gas money. Lately, Jasmine has been able to go home on a four-hour pass a few times. She loves to go home even for just a little while, as it helps her feel a little more normal and she gets to be in her own space. Christine and Brad drive about 30 miles each way to the hospital, and they would never ask for money themselves. Even the GoFundMe was started by a friend and our family continues to be amazed by the generosity. This is a marathon, not a sprint for them. Christine spends most days and nights with Jasmine and Brad drives back and forth with supplies. Brad also drives Jasmine’s caregivers to and from the hospital, and gas is expensive, as we know. I checked the donations page recently and I saw someone gave 14 dollars. I was so overcome with thankfulness. I know of several people whose gift was a financial sacrifice. No gift is small! Our family is overwhelmed with thankfulness for each and every person who took the time to give. We know none of you had this donation budgeted but you gave anyway! Thank you is not a good enough word to express how we feel. **For those local, you can donate Shell gas gift cards as well.
- Wear orange and post. We will be doing regular scheduled Wear Orange Days as Jasmine moves through her chemo schedule. I tried to screenshot or save all the pictures I had access to on her birthday and afterward. My phone is bursting with pictures and videos of all of you wearing orange. We were completely in awe of the response; Jasmine couldn’t believe it! We were lifted up by the love and support. I was going to post the pictures and thank as many of you as I could but there were simply too many to post even a fraction. On the first day of each cycle of Jasmine’s chemo, we will wear orange and we will make sure you know when to wear it. Orange has never been my favourite colour but now it stands for an abundance of love and hope like I never imagined. Jasmine’s schedule for chemo is subject to changes as we move forward, so we will post and share when to wear orange.
- Wear a Fight Like a Girl shirt. Currently, there is no one in charge of making large quantities of these shirts, but Christine and Jasmine want anyone to have one that wants to. So, you can have one made if you know someone who can make one, or you can make one yourself. If you need the logo, I (Anita) have it and I can send it. Jessie Taillon and Sarah Blackaby (cousin Daniel’s wife) have the logo as well, and we would love to share it with you. We also have a version that says Jasmine’s name on it. The Adams family is touched by each gesture of support, whether it’s a gift of money or simply wearing her logo and praying for Jasmine.
- Bone Marrow Donors are needed for many children and adults with Leukemia as well as other diseases. We have never been as aware of this need as we are now. At this time, we have no reason to believe Jasmine will need a marrow transplant. We believe and claim that chemo alone will cure her AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). There is a need for donors who are willing to give to many deserving patients. Donors have some side affects like fatigue, pain and dizziness but none of these things are as severe as the diseases of children and adults who need a bone marrow donor. Visit Be the Match for more information about bone marrow donations.
- Send a Food Gift Card. If you’re near enough to buy an Alberta Children’s Hospital cafeteria gift card so Christine can eat close by that’s wonderful. Jasmine loves the pancakes and sausages from the cafeteria as well and it’s nice for her to get a break from hospital food. If you’re far, you can buy a gift card for an app like Skip The Dishes. Christine and I ordered Vietnamese on this app one of the nights we were at the hospital together late. This app allows you to order from a local restaurant and it is delivered to you, like Uber for food. Christine has some dietary restrictions and keeping her healthy is very important. There is currently a Meal Train for meals but gifts like these provide another option for both Jasmine and whoever is with her. It also means Christine or whoever stays does not have to leave Jasmine to get food. Buy a Skip the Dishes gift card here. When you buy a gift card, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Give the gift of Peace. The amount of messages received by Christine and Brad is immeasurable. They are so thankful for all the love from each and every person who has messaged or called or checked on them. However, they cannot possibly answer even a fraction of the messages. They are completely focused on Jasmine. They are praying and fighting with her to cure her Leukemia. It is all-consuming and they have little to no time to be in contact with anyone. This doesn’t mean they don’t read messages or appreciate the massive amounts of prayer and support, they are simply living their primary calling of taking care of their family above everything else. This is more than a full time job, it’s 24 hours. Don’t stop praying or supporting them through this, we just understand that they can’t lose focus on God and their family. Join Jasmine’s Army on Facebook and read Jasmine’s Journey blog. These two places have the most recent information and are our best source of specific prayer needs. Feel free to contact those of us not on the front lines of care. We will respond as much as we can and we will communicate as much as is possible with the Adams family.
Again, the support we’ve received as a family is overwhelming and we are in awe of everything God has done. We see all the posts and each one is so important. We read the messages and are touched. We see the donations and we are amazed at the generosity. There is nothing like family. Some family you’re born into and some you can count on to come around you when you need them. Both of these groups are so present and real to all of us! Jasmine is in the eye of a love hurricane. There’s no better place to be.