Six months ago, we were strangers; today, we are the best of friends. Four families have come together in a strange city, all to face a challenge we never would have imagined. But as we have learned, blessings arise in disguise so many times, and the one here is obvious—truly wonderful friendships.
We have all recently been heaved into a new family; our “Nevus Family,” which welcomed us with open arms. Just before the 2010 Nevus Outreach, Inc. conference, three of our four beautiful nevus-owning babies were born. The fourth, Sully—the seasoned veteran of the group—was almost one-year-old at the time. Three of us came together at the conference—Beth, mom to Sully (South Dakota); Merilee, mom to Brooklyn (Montana); and Christine, mom to Joshua (Arizona). The fourth, Amie, mom to Zac (Arizona), found her way to our group just a couple months later.
It turned out these four strangers had a lot in common. Even more than that which brought us together. But it was the situation that caused our introduction which allowed us to be together again just a short time after the conference.
All of our families had planned to travel to Chicago for surgery with Dr. Bruce Bauer. Sully, actually, had already undergone treatments with him, and was scheduled for more. For those who have never encountered Dr. Bauer or his staff, they are a wonderful and loving group of people. Wendy, Dr. Bauer’s right-hand woman, happened to know that the four of us were friends, and graciously scheduled all four of our upcoming surgeries within two weeks’ time so that we could share the experience.
Knowing that we would all be in Chicago around the same time, everyone ensured that their plans allowed at least one day of overlap so that all four families could get together. Once that was in place, Beth took the reins and planned a wonderful Nevus-family reunion. She arranged for her hotel—the one she always stays at when in town—to donate a banquet room to the cause. When we all arrived, the room was decorated with “spotted” partyware, and she had made cookies that donned either “spots” or the key phrase “Got Spots.” She had gifts for all of the children, and each one of them now has the famous Wonder Cape she loves to promote—a little token of strength for each of our little superheroes. These come from www.wondercapes.com.
All four families, two of us a few days post-op and two of us a few days pre-op, enjoyed the evening of dinner, conversation, laughter, anxiety, and even relief. And in the end, we were all thankful for being brought together through our Nevus family. The love and support we have for each other is as strong as if we had grown up together. Plans for future “reunions” are already in the works, and they can’t get here soon enough.
So, while we came together out of an unfortunate and heart-breaking situation, we have found that there is always a bright side.