Parents who have children with rare diseases know the struggle of seemingly innocent questions and conversations.
“How is your child doing?”
“Why can’t your child play today?”
“How strange! He/she was fine just yesterday!”
What parents seem to hate the most is when their child stops becoming a wonderful individual and, instead, becomes the “sick kid” in the eyes of others.
Suddenly, instead of wanting to know if your child is also obsessed with Elsa (though really, what child isn’t obsessed with Elsa?), these parents want to know how your child can possibly get through the day.
“Oh, the poor darling! Bless her heart!”
“What’s your son’s name?”
“What does your son enjoy doing?”
“What’s your son like?”
See? I told you it wasn’t that hard.
That’s really all it takes to make the life of a parent, whose child has a rare disease, that much easier. Honor their child, and not their disease. And above all, don’t pity them. They don’t want pity; they just want their child to enjoy their life.
Just because a child has a rare disease doesn’t make them any less a child, who likes to have fun, laugh, love, and discover. If anything, children with rare diseases teach others, especially their parents, about the power of joy, happiness, and not letting setbacks get in the way.