Happy Mother's Day to All the Strong Moms of Seriously Ill Kids

For most parents, coping with a “sick child” means dealing with strep throat, a stomach ache or an ear infection — not a serious, chronic, degenerative,  debilitating, incurable or potentially fatal childhood disease.

Ever heard of Batten disease? It affects boys and girls, usually starting between the ages of 5 and 10. Symptoms include loss of vision and seizures. Over time, the child experiences loss of muscle control, wasting of brain tissue, progressive sight loss and dementia. There is no treatment or cure for Batten disease and it is always fatal, with death usually in the late teens or early twenties.

Batten Disease is just one of many devastating, often fatal childhood diseases families live with every day.

Most of you will never know the pain of that. Count your blessings. 

In honor of Mother’s Day, SickKids Foundation, a children’s health nonprofit, released the 90-second commercial. In it, there’s a mom praying in a church pew, a mom screaming and bashing her fists against the steering wheel in a vacant parking lot, and a mom breaking down in tears as a nurse explains how she’ll have to care for her sick infant. Those watching can almost feel the anguish. Almost.

Then, each of these moms literally wipes away the tears, picks herself up, and gets to work. It’s remarkable.

The organization’s message? “For every kid in hospital who’s missing childhood, there’s a mom staying strong.”

Unlike most ads you watch, take action after you see this one. As SickKids implores, stand with these moms to “help their kids get back to just being kids.” And may you never have to know this kind of strength.

This Mother’s Day, let’s not forget the moms of children who can’t say “Happy Mother’s Day.”