Steelee has had to live with her grandparents for a while. She has given up a lot over the past few years.
We are the Hardy Family and our youngest daughter Sarah Cole is our courageous kid. Sarah Cole was diagnosed with a Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma (brain tumor) when she was 19 months old. I, Cassy Hardy her mother, will never forget a moment of that day and everyday since. She had brain surgery to take out as much of this large tumor, size of a lemon on her tiny brain, out and biopsy to determine if it is in fact cancer.
Surgery went well but when she woke up we discovered she lost her eye sight in both eyes. She had low vision before but it was there. The tumor began growing in utero and was in tangled in her optic nerves. A few days later Sarah Cole ,still in ICU had her first seizure and we found out that her tumor is in fact cancerous. The surgeon was able to remove about half the tumor so this cancer still resides in our daughters brain.
Sarah Cole has had several more surgeries since. She is now 6 and still fighting this awful disease. She is mighty and fierce to meet our girl you wouldn't know she has been through 5 years of fighting cancer. She loves life and has taught me, our family, and so many more around her to appreciate every day the good ones and the bad.
We are a family of 4. My husband Eric, myself, our 9 year old daughter Steelee, and Sarah Cole 6. We have adjusted and settled into our new life pretty well but it has been very hard. My husband has taken on the role as the main financial provider because the first few years I couldn't work because Sarah Cole needed me around the clock. I think it was hardest and still is on our oldest daughter Steelee. Her entire world was turned upside down. Not only was something bad wrong with her little sister but I was gone too staying at the hospital with Sarah Cole.
My husband is a logger so because of his hours Steelee had to spend the weeks with my parents. Without our families support and our incredible faith in The Lord I do not think we could manage. I am so very proud of Steelee she does what she has to and even though she's scared and worried she carries on. I try my best to make sure we talk after every bad time and to make sure she knows how loved she is. Sarah Cole is a celebrity in our community so I worry Steelee feels left out at times.
Neither of my girls really have a wish list. They have learned to love whatever Santa brings because he's usually pretty good if he just finds things like I described above.
We are so thankful for organizations like courageous kids and Charleston Elves because this year Christmas was going to be very tight for us. Earlier this year Sarah Coles chemo stopped working and her and I had to move to Jacksonville Fla for 7 weeks. That put a big financial strain on us. We have never until this year participated in this part of courageous kids because we were doing ok and didn't want to take from another family that may need it more than us, but this year we do need the help. Thanks to your generosity our girls are going to have a very happy and Merry Christmas and for that we can not say thank you enough!