For the past couple of months, LesLee Hacker has been living a nightmare -- every mother's worst nightmare. Seemingly overnight, her beautiful 10-year-old daughter Lauren (also known as "Lolo") went from being a normal fifth grader at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School in Omaha to being a very, very sick patient at Children's Hospital & Medical Center. LesLee thought her daughter had the flu. High fever, lethargy -- I would have thought the same thing. So I can't imagine how she felt when Lauren was diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukemia, a very fast-growing form of cancer. Watching her daily reality change from one of homework and recess to one of chemotherapy treatments and bone marrow extractions and spinal taps.
But according to LesLee, the hardest part of the whole ordeal for Lauren has been the loneliness. Because of the high risk of infection, Lauren hasn't been allowed many visitors -- just the occasional Skype session with her classmates. Until last week.
Last week, the students at St. Margaret Mary's were thrilled when they woke up to an unexpected snow day. But Lauren's classmates didn't spend their day off throwing snowballs at each other or going sledding -- instead, they found a patch of snow at Children's Hospital in view of the sixth floor windows (Lauren's floor), flopped down, and made snow angels for their ailing friend. They used blue water to paint the words "Lolo's Angels" in the snow. They waved signs reading "Go, Lauren!" and "Lolo, go!"
And Lauren, looking down from a sixth floor window, laughed. For the first time in a long time.
As a mom, when I think of how much this gesture must have meant to LesLee, I want to burst out crying. There's no question that these kids were snow "angels" to Lauren and her family -- and to everyone who hears this story.
What's the kindest thing you've ever heard of someone doing for a sick kid?
Image via Jody Morris/Flickr