GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 18

g r a n d pa rt n e r s f o r g r a n d pa r e n ts Three Generations of Healing By Sean Morrison When doctors diagnosed Samuel Klimas, then 10 months, with cancer in 2008, his grandparents immediately summoned their four children – Sammy’s aunts and uncles – and devised a support system to help the family get through treatment for the unexpected and life-threatening illness. “I CliCk to view video t is amazing what comes out of parents,” says Kathy McMahon, grandmother to Samuel Klimas. “I saw my youngest child mature into a good advocate for her son. Molly [Sammy’s mother] made all the decisions. We took the supportive role.” Grandparents like Kathy and her husband Jim McMahon, according to families staying at the Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins, add that dynamic charisma essential to keep the lifeblood of the family flowing when a child faces a medical crisis. They travel thousands of miles, step in as the primary caretaker when parents near exhaustion, keep siblings active and entertained, and serve as a family counselor all while watching two generations of offspring go through what could be the hardest time of their lives. And most, like the McMahon’s, remain humble: “Support is the most important thing,” says Jim. “Certain things that Molly forgot, we picked up on.” The Believe In Tomorrow National Children’s Foundation, headquartered in Baltmore, Md., runs The Children’s House just across the street from the Johns Hopkins hospital’s entrance, where the Klimas family stayed during their child’s treatment. The organization provides hospital housing for critically ill children – in addition to respite housing and adventure programs – with an emphasis on bringing the family together through the healing process. Grandparents are no exception. “Over the past 27 years I have often been amazed at the many acts of love and dedication that I have witnessed from grandparents,” says Brian Morrison, CEO and founder of Believe In Tomorrow. Grandparents regularly travel great distances for their families. The McMahon’s made multiple trips from Boston to Baltimore for Sammy’s chemo treatments and then stopped over at the Klimas’ home in West Virginia, where Jim disinfected every surface of the home with fervor to prepare for the family’s arrival from the hospital. “I think we were a little over the top in the beginning 18 GRAND JUNE 2009 elizabeth ryan photography
http://www.believeintomorrow.org http://www.believeintomorrow.org http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRW0Dt7DkIM

GRAND Magazine - June 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - June 2009

GRAND Magazine - June 2009
Contents
GRAND Central
Poppy Joe
A Whole New Ball Game
Happy Trails
Pool Safe
Running Together
Notes from the Peanut Gallery
Ask GRAND
Inspirations
Leaving a Legacy
Writing Small Moments
Resources
GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - intro
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - GRAND Magazine - June 2009
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Cover2
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 3
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 4
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 5
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 7
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 8
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 9
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 10
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 11
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 12
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - GRAND Central
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 14
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 15
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 16
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 17
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 18
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 19
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 20
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 21
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Poppy Joe
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 23
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 24
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 25
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - A Whole New Ball Game
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 27
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Happy Trails
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 29
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Pool Safe
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 31
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Running Together
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 33
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Notes from the Peanut Gallery
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 35
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 36
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 37
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Ask GRAND
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 39
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Inspirations
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 41
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Leaving a Legacy
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 43
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Writing Small Moments
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 45
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 46
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Resources
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 48
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 49
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 51
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 52
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 53
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Cover3
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Cover4
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