SPOKANE, Wash. - There's a chapter in the story of Isaac Brincken's life that his parents, Laura and Cody Brincken, wished they could read over and over again.
That chapter is a look back at the hours and hours spent at the hospital reading to their son. Even though he was only a few months old, photos show how engaged he was. Isaac Brincken even had his favorite books.
"I think it kind of just made us like a normal family, in a sense," Cody Brincken said.
All of those stories were a distraction from his diagnosis.
The Brinckens found out before Isaac was born that he had a heart defect. They were prepared to face the surgeries to treat it. Then, another complication came.
Isaac Brincken was born with a rare disease called CHARGE Syndrome. It is an extremely complex condition that can include vision and hearing loss, developmental delays, and life-threatening defects, according to the CHARGE Syndrome Organization.
Laura and Cody Brincken cherished every moment with their baby boy.
“This was one of the few exciting, new, different things that he could see,” Laura Brincken said.
But all stories must come to an end.
“He was here in the PICU for five months and he got to go home for ten days. But, he had to come back and this is ultimately where he passed away,” Laura Brincken said.
Even after they lost their son, they returned to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital. They still had something to give.
“We just want people to know how strong he was and to know what a fighter he was,” Laura Brincken said.
So, they created Isaac's Bookshelf.
It rolls from room to room at the same hospital where Isaac took his first and his last breath.
“Sometimes I think, oh, one book isn't going to bring Isaac back or it's not going to make some other child's illness go away. But, we've had families email us and send us pictures with their kids and their books and just tell us how inspiring it was,” Laura Brincken said.
Every child can pick their favorite book to keep. That means the Brinckens are always looking for donations.
After KXLY 4's Ariana Lake first shared the Brincken's story, the news company decided to donate books as part of the Magic of Storytelling Campaign. Every year, sponsors team up with ABC and Disney to donate books to children.
In Spokane, supporters paid for 23,000 new books to go to 45 local schools for the Magic of Storytelling. Then, KXLY made another special delivery to Isaac's Bookshelf. The nonprofit now has 500 new books to add to the shelves at Sacred Heart.
That donation is one of many that Isaac's Bookshelf received from people in Spokane and across the globe.
Even though these parents can't rewrite their son's story, they are the authors of what comes next.
“I'd really like to expand to some other units and maybe other facilities,” Laura Brincken said.
Click here if you'd like to donate new books or money to Isaac's Bookshelf.
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