This past weekend was an MPS family gathering at the Miller park zoo in Bloomington. It was a chance for Illinois families to gather, eat, enjoy the zoo and lend support to one another. We haven’t gone to a lot of gatherings, but when one is coming up I always get very nervous and anxious. It stirs up a lot of emotions and just being around farther advanced children is sad. (I mean that with all the love in my heart!) Something happens when we gather with other families. It’s almost like a peace comes over me and I’m not scared or nervous anymore. I find comfort in talking with other families who are affected. It’s almost like we’ve been friends forever. Being with other people who completely “get it” is something that fills a void like no other. Then there are the families who have older children that I just want to say thank-you to for loving their children so unconditionally. These families have a strength like you can’t believe. I admire you and you all have such a special place in my heart. I also feel like we are very fortunate to have gotten Livia’s diagnosis so early. There are some families that don’t get their child’s diagnosis until they are much older and much more advanced in the disease. Keeping Livia stable and on Genestein is going to give her a much better chance for some sort of treatment. We are so hopeful and optimistic that something is going to come out soon. I really feel that is another reason why I am so at peace with this. I’ve learned that my gut instinct is usually 90% right. My intuitions about a lot of things throughout my life have usually been right. My entire life I always felt like something bad was going to happen in my life. Not necessarily to me, but something bad. Well, that has presented itself. So, my gut tells me that Livia is going to be spared in some way. I don’t quite know what that is going to look like, but I really feel like something good is going to happen in her life. I think I’ll hold on to that “peace” and if I’m wrong, it’s provided a strength for me to get through each day.

Thank you Val and Steve for such a nice event. Your family is beautiful and all the work you and your family did for all of us was so thoughtful!

To all the families we got to meet, thank you for taking the time to know us and lend support.

The Elston family, all of your children are so beautiful and fun! We will be life long friends!

Stef and Beeba (Jut and Jayden, too) Without you in our life, things would be much darker. You bring so much light and love into our lives. We love you unconditionally and cherish your friendship.