To all the very special people who “journeyed” with us
There are no words to adequately express the deep gratitude we feel in our hearts for all the incredible love and support you gave us during James’ illness. You not only helped to lift an enormous burden from our shoulders, but you empowered us to do our very best for him.
We did not win the final battle, but we want you to know that the journey itself was still, in many ways, victorious. Personally we experienced a tremendous spiritual victory as the dark days of fear, when James was given virtually no hope, melted away. We watched in awe as thousands of people joined The South African Bone Marrow Registry in their personal attempt to save him. With your support, and that of The Sunflower Fund and SANBS, the registry grew from 35 000 to 42 000. Because of this, the miracle of life can now be given to someone else whose only hope is a bone marrow transplant.
Doctors in Johannesburg initially wanted us to take James to Great Ormond Street in London and the financial obstacles were enormous. Again we watched in wonder at the amazing generosity of our community and the sincere effort which so many people put into innovative fundraising. Approximately R150 000 was raised for The Baby James Fund and once all the medical bills have been finalized, the remainder of this money will be given to The Sunflower Fund.
Through an inspirational network, we found our way to Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic and the wonderful “Haem Team” in the Bone-Marrow Unit. Their expertise and their genuine compassion made our 2 ½ month stay in hospital a positive one. The fact that they always did their very best (no matter what the circumstances) was again a powerful lesson for us in the generosity of the human spirit.
Our personal farewell to James was done in the intimate moments we had with him at the end and so, the service in Maritzburg was really a thanksgiving for us. Again we are so grateful to all those who could share this time with us, and for all the messages of sympathy and the generous donations that were made to The Sunflower Fund in memory of James.
Our two-week break in the Cape was lovely – a second honeymoon, but it is wonderful to be back home and Andrew is looking forward to teaching at Carter High after the mid-term break; while I am excited at the prospect of working for The Sunflower Fund to continue to grow the registry in KZN.
Together we all lit a candle for James – a symbol of love and hope. We want you to know that this light will never be extinguished. Because of you, it still burns brightly – it shines in all our hearts. The miracle still happened… For us personally, it was a beautiful spiritual surrender and for our community, it was a powerful working together.
Thank you for shining!
With all our love and gratitude
Andrew and Lara Edmonds