One of the things I wished someone prepared me for before becoming the CEO of a charity is how much of a roller coaster your heart must go through. Every day, I am privileged to meet with, and learn about the stories of families. To hear what their child must go through, battling a life-threatening condition. Riley is one story that stands out.
This little kid has had to face so much taking on leukemia, being socially isolated, and having to navigate through a Covid world, where for any child on chemotherapy it would be terrifying and scary. On top of these challenges, Riley lost his dad suddenly last year. He must now somehow figure out how to keep moving forward.
It amazes me just how resilient kids like Riley are. He just keeps going. As much as I love seeing his progress, he recently shared one post that was so special, it became the the reason for this article.
Riley Rang The Bell.
Ringthe bell, for any cancer family is what we think about “all the time”. It is the one sound that you wish you could hear every day and you wish for it to be rung louder than any church bell ever made. When Riley rang the bell he was letting everyone know that he had finished his treatment. He had scans taken and the results had came back negative, in other words all clear.
Riley chose to wear his Supertee on the day he rang the bell and that is an image that captures everything I want this charity to be about:
He faces some new challenges now – returning to school and adjusting to a new way of life and these present new and unknown territory for Riley and his mum to navigate.
In a boxing match, ringing the bell indicates the beginning or the end of a round. One stage of Riley’s life has finished and yet another is just beginning, and something tells me that this kid is going to be taking home the belt.
Go get em young man, go and ring that bell.