A letter from Stella's parents:
Everyone, and I mean everyone, has been so incredibly kind and generous! The words "thank you" are simply not enough. I hope that one day I can figure out a way to be worthy of your support, but the truth is I certainly do not feel that way. As I have said all along however, Stella certainly is. She is so so incredibly strong. She has been through so much in her four short years and we are so thankful for your support. We want everyone to know how much you all mean to us and we love all of you.
Stella is a fighter. She is not going down without a fight, and I believe in my heart that she will beat this. She has a long road and we truly appreciate you all walking it with us. It really helps to have you all by our side. To everyone, thank you, we love you!
-Corey and Ashley Henry-
Ways you can help:
Specifically for Stella Henry
There is a an account at Great Southern Bank specifically dedicated to Stella's medical care. You can deposit into the account at any time.
Great Southern Bank
150 SE Todd George Pkwy
Lee's Summit, MO 64063
300 SW Ward Rd
Lee's Summit, MO 64081
Anything to make Stella and Michael smile. Sometimes being kids they don't full comprehend the big picture. So its nice to get something specifically for them, because it means more than anything to see the kids smile.
Stella likes painting, jewelry, dressing up, Barbie, animals, and playing outside.
Michael likes Chiefs and Royals, Xbox, sports, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Avengers. The typical 14 year old boy stuff.
More ways to help:
Mow their lawn.
Restaurant gift cards.
Bring coffee over and help get their kids dressed for school.
Wash their laundry and/or do the dishes.
Provide care for their pet. Walk the dog, bring over dog food, take pet to vet or groomer appointments, provide pet sitting during extended hospital stays.
Create a blog post for them to update friends and family.
If you are close with the family, offer to drive them to the appointments.
If you are present during an appointment, take notes. Exhausted parents can have foggy memories and be overwhelmed with the influx of information.
Entertain their siblings. Take them to sporting events, waterpark, on a playdate.
Help their siblings with school and activities. Take them to sports practices, games, help with homework.
Knit a cap or scarf.
Listen. Don't listen to respond, listen to hear.
Provide them with music. Whether you make a playlist, or play an instrument.
Text them. You may not get a response, but they will know you're thinking of them.
Give them small items to take with them for entertainment during long hospital stays.
Send fun and lighthearted cards or treats in the mail.
Visit them in the hospital if it is permitted. Ask the family beforehand if they are comfortable, and explicitly if there are any vaccinations or health checks you need to have before visiting.
Make them laugh. Send them the funny meme you just saw, forward an amusing video, and don't be afraid to joke with them when you talk with them.
Remember: if you stop by their house, try not to stay too long. Many families on a journey with a medically complex child suffer from exhaustion. It can be overwhelming to have house guests for longer than a short visit.
What to say when offering help:
Sometimes when people say "call if you need anything" its hard for families who are going through a crisis to think of what they need in the moment. Here are a few other things you could say instead:
I'm going grocery shopping today, send me your list and I'll drop it off on the way home.
I can pick up your kids from school this week.
I made dinner for you, when can I drop it off?
I know you're not OK, tell me how you're feeling about everything.
I've booked a massage for you, the therapist comes to your house so you don't have to drive.
I would like to take your kids to the movies/park/somewhere fun so you can have the afternoon off.
I've got time off this week, what can I do for you and how can I support you?