I'm actually not sure why I do this to myself. Why every year on December 5th I feel the need to dig up this picture and sit and stare at it with tears in my eyes. The rush of emotion hits me like a brick wall each and every time I glimpse this image.
My 9-month old baby - the day he was admitted to Rady Children's Hospital to be treated for Kawasaki Disease.
If you search my blog you see that every year around this time I relive the memory. Every year the first week of December kicks me in the rear and brings me rushing back to December 2004.
I know that far worse things have happened to other parents as far as their children are concerned. The stories you find on the Internet are heartbreaking. In truth, we were (are) so amazing lucky. Not a year passes when I don't realize that. But the fact is that still, 7 years later, many people have still not heard of this life-threatening disease that affects almost 10,000 kids a year and is the #1 cause of aquired heart disease in children. And, 7 years later, doctors still don't know what causes it.
Thanks to the Internet, Facebook and Twitter, more people are learning about Kawasaki Disease. One woman even credits Facebook for saving her child's life. I get that. Had the social network been around back in 2004, I would have posted the picture above and one of my "friends" would have known someone who knew someone whose child/niece/nephew/grandchild had also had KD. I still get emails all the times from friends of friends who pass on my story to help a family also going through it.
I tell my story not to elicit pity. Not to make you want to cry or hug your children tighter. But so that you KNOW the symptoms. So that you are educated in what the disease looks like and how to spot it even if your doctor doesn't.
For more information on Kawasaki Disease, please visit: