There are things you worry about as a parent. Normal things. Broken bones. Broken hearts. Hurt feelings. It’s universal and it’s normal.

Then there are the things that are bone rattling terrifying. These are the things that, if they ever happened, would trample my spirit. I’m unsure that I’d ever be able to recover from the fear and the anger.

But, I’m projecting. Truth be told, I don’t know what it’s like to get devastating, knee buckling news about the health of my children.

My cousin Nick and his wife Carrie do. Twice over, now.

They stared into the dark night a handful of years ago when their beautiful daughter Sophia was diagnosed with cancer, fought and passed into the light. Butterflies. Pirates. Smiles. That’s how people remember Sophia. She was five.

Nick and Carrie recovered from that, in part I project, to honor the spirit of that girl. They supported their two other children. They brought a new life into this world. They went back to school. They kicked ass.

Then, a few days before Christmas 2014, they got another batch of numbing news …

Their son, 11-year-old Aiden, was diagnosed with Oligodendroglioma/Oligoastrocytomstage III brain cancer. He’s funny. He loves hockey, video games, his younger brother and his older sister.


My wife and I have given money to a wide variety of charities over the years — for cancer research, heart disease research, to a local women’s shelter, probably to some wildlife thing. I’ve felt that it’s a moral responsibility to help where you can.

Last August, I read a post from a guy that I’d never met. He needed help while undergoing treatment for liver disease. You can read about that in The Plusses of Fandom post.

A couple months ago, I got the word that a dear friend had undergone a series of tragedies. The topper was that the ALS that he’d been diagnosed with just six months ago was progressing faster than anyone believed possible. That family needed help. Still extraordinarily sad about my friend Mark.

The Wife and I will continue to donate to institutions when we can. But, I have to say there is something immediately tangible and gratifying about helping someone directly.

That’s what this post is about.

Nick and Carrie need help. While taking care of Aiden, they’ll have to take days off work. They’ll have to travel to appointments. There will be medical expenses that will stretch their budget. They’ll need help taking care of their two year old son.

But, it’s hard to ask for help.

So, Nick’s amazing sister and her family set up a GiveForward account to help.

And I’m asking for your help.

Please visit the Farinella’s GiveForward page here

Do whatever you can.

On behalf of this little boy and his lovely family, thank you. Really, truly, humbly, thank you.