It was quite a day. I have attempted to write this post a couple of times and I have had no idea how to start. So over the nest week or so I will try to write several posts about the experience. There were so many people,cameras, phones, volunteers, cables, pages of production notes, families, sponsors, activities and lights. It was overwhelming, exciting, nerve racking and fun. Our day started with special passes that labelled us as an On-Air Interview family. We were all sent to see hair and make-up. The girls and I were thrilled with all the attention and special pampering. Jason and the boys took it all in stride. Before the telethon even started Liam had rehearsals for the opening of the show and a voice-over to record. I was so nervous for him and just wanted him to have fun. He did a fantastic job. There were so many special memories packed into the six hours in which the telethon was on the air that it is hard to explain them all!
I was amazed at all the volunteers that answered phones, ran activities and crafts for all the kids, handed out passes, kept us organized and delivered us to where we were supposed to be, when we were supposed to be there. I was amazed at the families who bravely told their stories so that we could share in their journey. I rejoiced at the the amazing miracles that have occurred and I wept at the courage of young lives that were shortened too soon. I prayed for the families that were currently living in the hospital with children that were fighting illness and disease. I was astounded at the amount of caring by the doctors, nurses, social workers, support staff, hosts and the television crew itself. Many of these people could have just come and did their jobs really well and the show would still have been great. What I saw in many eyes though was an urgency, a passion to fight back the darkness that surrounds sick children and their families. I experienced compassion and empathy above and beyond what was required. It was more than a job to them and many could not contain tears of joy and sorrow as the day unfolded.
The was so many people that stood out and over the next few posts I will attempt to give you a glimpse of some. I realized that Connie Smith (one of the main hosts beside Liam in the red) did not lend her name and her talent for this show just because she was asked. I believe she did it because she generally cares about the kids and their families. There is something inside her that compelled her that day (and many other days) to give her herself away. I am not sure if I ever saw her sit down the whole day. Even when she was not on interviewing families, she was talking to them, making sure they were having a great time and calming nerves of first time telethoners. She remembered all the children's names, I mean all of them, even brothers and sisters. She amazed me.
I was reminded on telethon day that God is always working even when we may not be aware or we do not recognize His presence. Just because we don't acknowledge Him does not mean that He is not real. I saw God's fingerprints all over the people I met at the telethon, all over their stories and all over their actions. It was a humbling experience.