Date published: 03 December 2014 by Jessica Homer
My daughter Kia has battled health problems since birth. Kia has a genetic disorder that’s so rare, it took seven years for doctors to understand.
Those years involved regular trips to the hospital with several illnesses (some life threatening) tests and visits to different specialists. The emotional and financial strain on our family was enormous. I had to give up work and we couldn’t afford a mortgage on just Dean’s wage. It was hard juggling my time between the hospital and home, especially when my son, Brayden, started school. It became too much.
Kia desperately needed a bone marrow transplant after an intensive course of chemotherapy which caused her hair to fall out. That’s hard if you’re a 12-year-old girl. Following the transplant Kia had to spend 42 long days in hospital isolation.
We went from isolation in hospital, to isolation at home.
It was just before Christmas when Kia came home, but her immune system was so low she couldn’t go outside for three months and we had to be careful who came round. I found it very hard to cope. It was then that we were referred to Rainbow Trust and we met out wonderful Family Support Worker, Carol. From the minute Carol walked in she gave us a whole new lease of life. She was someone else to talk to, someone for Kia to have fun with and a different voice in the house which really took the pressure off me. much needed relief.” Carol spent time with Kia making Christmas cards, which led to Kia winning the Rainbow Trust Design a Christmas Card Competition.
It made me realise what Christmas is really about
For so many years we wondered if this would be Kia’s last Christmas. Having her home was just wonderful and made me realise what Christmas is really about – everyone at home together. Kia is 16 now. Every year I watch her place the star on top of the tree and it reminds me of how far we’ve come. I think about how much Carol and Rainbow Trust were there for us – and still are now.
There are so many other families, like us, that need the very special support Rainbow Trust gives. You can help Rainbow Trust reach more families this Christmas by donating through their 12 Ways of Christmas appeal.