Inspired By My Sister

From the moment Madison, my sister, was born she spent countless hours of her young life in and out of doctors offices. Ear infections, asthma, pneumonia, strep throat, thrush, sinus infections, and bronchitis—it was always a new diagnoses, a new course of treatment. But the big picture was constantly being overlooked, why was she always sick? Multiple ear tube implants, tonsil and adenoid extraction, upper and lower endoscopy and there was never an end to the illnesses.

At the age of 7 Madi was diagnosed with Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID). Despite its title it really is not a very "common" disease in which the immune system does not function properly to fight infections. As with many diseases, there are options in the course of treatment. Currently Madi receives weekly IgG infusions subcutaneously.  This medicine boosts her immune system so she can participate in “normal” daily activities like being in the 7th grade and not get sick by every germ she encounters.

Being a bystander on this journey that started pretty much as soon as Madi was born was often times very difficult. Although I was a child myself, I felt my parents' concern and frustration, which impacted our family. I believe that witnessing my sister's struggles is thereason I decided to go into nursing. It exposed me to the trials and tribulations of coping with chronic illness, and how important caring nurses are not only to the patient but the whole family. As a junior nursing student as University of Delaware I am reassured daily that this was the best decision I ever could have made. I credit my sister for a lot of things in my life, but I thank her everyday for being the reason I decided to become a nurse.

Through my best friend and roommate Sydney Scheiner I was introduced to Lori’s Hands, and specifically Edna and Warren Watt. These two people have been bringing so much joy into my life since Fall Semester of Sophomore year. After I left their house on my first Lori’s Hands visit I knew I would return shortly. Little did I know I would have the opportunity to see them at least every other week and be blessed with all their warmth and love. Lori’s Hands has become one of the most important aspects of my college career and I am honored to be a member of a club filled with so many people who want to make a difference in the lives of others.

Written by: Brianna Hafetz