Miracle Monday: Adding a glimmer of hope to hospital visits during the holidays

SPOKANE, Wash. — The holidays are a magical time for most. When Kellie Herring’s son was diagnosed with leukemia though- it felt like anything but that. This year, he’s in remission and they’re counting their blessings two times over.

When Kellie thinks back a few years to when her son was battling leukemia through the holidays, she remembers it was elements like the Cowley Park Light display that added a glimmer of hope to their stay.

In November of 2018, Izaiah was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

“That was the day after Thanksgiving. We were here until a few days before Christmas that year so we experienced the lights, and all the activities they did for a lot of the kids since we were here most of the holiday season,” Kellie told us.

Since that point, they’ve still spent a good amount of time at the hospital. This past January, Izaiah finally made it to remission.

“Being in the hospital over the holidays is definitely trying,” Kellie recounts.

Because of that, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital does all it can to make it as normal as possible, and as bright as possible. One of the more beloved experiences each year is the “Santa Store.”

“He actually goes up with volunteers, from the hospital, they have it all set up where he can pick a gift for his mom, dad, each of his siblings, they help him wrap it, it was amazing,” Kellie told us.

The Santa Store gives kids the chance to shop for others, as they normally would. Only at this store, it’s all shopping at no cost. The impressive gifts are donated by corporate groups and individuals, oftentimes, former patients.

“He really enjoyed it, especially when he didn’t have a lot to look forward to that year,” explained Kellie.

The Cowley Park Lights add a touch of magic each and every year- for those staying there, and those driving by,

“Every night we’d look out and sometimes even after he’d go to sleep, I’d sit there and look out at them too. So, definitely gives you hope,” Kellie said.

The lights now serve as a reminder of how far they’ve come since that time.

Kellie remembers what it felt like, “Especially when you’re in the hospital like that, you don’t know if you’re going to see it another year.”

They’re filled with gratitude to be on this side of it now, but their hearts are out to those going through it now.

“I also think about the families that are still in the hospital, experiencing it for their first time this year, it just kind of makes it emotional.”

For her family, it was holding on to as many traditions as possible that got them through.

“It gives you hope that you’re going to get out and spend time with your families,” Kellie said.

If you’d like to support programs just like this one, you can donate to the Children’s Miracle Network. 100% of your proceeds will stay right here in our own community.

You can donate here.

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