Kiki’s Story as told by her amazing and inspiring mom:

Sunday, February 24, 2013
“you’re daughter has cancer!”
My heart stopped beating, the clock stopped ticking and and I felt so light headed I thought I was going to pass out. In an instant my whole world collapsed around me.
I held my daughter in my arms crying uncontrollably while things a parent never wants to think swirled through my head.
She looked up a me and said “mama, what matter?”
I looked over at my husband and watched as tears streamed down his face and hit the emergency room floor, he didn’t know how to answer her question. In fact the doctors didn’t have the answers either. Three weeks prior, she was diagnosed with what we thought was a harmless virus but here we were, one month after our baby turned 2 not knowing whether she was going to make it to 3. We sat answerless for 3 days not knowing what type of leukemia she had, what stage it was at or what her survival rate was. I have never been so lost in my life; and here our beautiful baby was, fighting for hers. Minutes molded into hours, hours into days with each day bringing an answer. Our daughter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and thankfully (it) had not yet spread to her brain or spine. We were blessed!
When you think of your baby having cancer you never think you will find any blessing in it. Six months ago, if someone had told me that my daughter would be diagnosed with cancer and I would find blessings, moments of serenity and that one night I would break down, cold and alone crying on the bathroom floor and find my dreams and purpose in life, I would tell them they were nuts. Cancer eats away at anything healthy, how could I possibly find anything positive in this, but I did and I have. I appreciate the things in life I took for granted 6 months ago. Our hugs are tighter, their kisses are softer and my words and voice are much more gentle. Sometimes it takes a miracle to make you look at a situation differently, in our case the lessons we are learning from our daughter fighting this fight is “our miracle”. We parent differently, we love differently but above all, our family is developing a bond that will never be broken; not even by cancer.

Smiling Eyes Project

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August 8, 2013
As the founder of Smiling Eyes I can't thank you enough for sharing your incredible story of love, of faith, of strength and of blessings. It's truly amazing how faith and blessings work in our lives to help us become the people we are meant to be. Kiki is a blessing to so many and her story will be as well. Thank you as a mother for sharing your honesty and your fears. Many more parents going thru this exact story will breath a breath of fresh air in reading this and feeling like they are not alone thru your honesty. Im praying for continued healing in Kiki, continued perseverance and strength for you all and above all a continued faith to know that you are all loved. In love, Christine Kufske

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