Most of you will ask what does concrete have to do with children’s health. I will tell how, with a story about my friend. It includes a yard of concrete, a circa 1948 cement mixer, a few shovels, some other miscellaneous tools and a Ford 150. I needed some help with this project so I ask my friend, he has a sick child, a 3 year old little boy, and both families have a few things in common.
My friend and I work in the same industry, his company supplies mine with needed material to finish our products. We have both worked in this line of work for many years, working hard and having major set backs in our careers due to the local economy changing. We are both young and have a lot of experience in what we do, and we use to work for competing companies before we met. The thing we both have in common that has the strongest tie is we both have children with autoimmune diseases. My two girls have Juvenile Diabetes and his little boy has ITP, an autoimmune disease where the antibodies attack the blood platelets (see links for more information). Being that Juvenile Diabetes ( or Type 1) is an autoimmune disease we have a lot to talk about, and we learn a great deal from each other.
Maybe the important thing we provide each other is someone that will listen with an ear of understanding. I can’t remember the author but it was said “ideology divides us, but tragedy brings us together”. Some of you will assert that neither of our families have gone through tragedy, maybe so. But I will tell you that children suffering from any autoimmune disease puts a lot of stress on families, Mothers, Fathers and siblings. Having a compassionate ear and taking time to listen might be the most important thing someone can do for one of these families. Taking time to read a few articles and familiarize your self with details about the disease and reading stories can not be far behind. Taking time to care takes effort, compassion and understanding. No one expects you to be an expert, but families with sick children need support and understanding.