This post was written by Linda, Bobby’s mom.
Bobby was 3 when he was diagnosed with Leukemia in 1975. By December of 1976, the doctors were offering us little hope for him. He spend the 2 weeks before Christmas in St. Christopher’s hospital fighing a Staph infection. Our family was at a very low point with all of our energy going to help Bobby in his fight. At that point a vacation was the farthest thing from our mind. It was during this time that we were told a Philly police office, Bill Sample, who was starting an organization to put some sunshine into the lives of kids who were suffereing from catastophic disease. They offered to send the whole family to the Poconos for a weekend. Bobby loved the snow and I didn’t know until a few years ago that Bill had a nurse ask Bobby what he liked and he told her that he loved to play in the snow. We knew that he would enjoy the trip, but we weren’t sure if we should go. This was before any ‘Wish’ organization existed and we were told that they were having difficulting getting anyone to take the offer. We had no idea what that trip would mean to the whole family.
We went on the trip and for that weekend we forgot about doctors, needles, and Bobby’s condition. We ice skated, went sledding, and snowmobiling, and Bobby learned how to play pool. A number of original volunteers with Sunshine, who also worked at the hospital, came along on this trip. Bobby made so many new friends that our clinic visits after that weekend took twice as long since Bobby had to say ‘hi’ to any of them that we could find.
During this time, we were given little hope for Bobby from any of the doctors. In the middle of all of that, Bill and the Sunshine Foundation gave our family a period of pure happiness and wonderful gift – memories of Bobby, and the whole family, smiling from ear to ear. The foundation that Bill created is aptly named. This group continues to bring Sunshine into the lives of kids with illnesses and their families.
Thank you, Bill and Sunshine Foundation. This is a gift no one can ever take away from us.