Now that Catherine has a name, we can focus on her legacy. Wayne and I have a strong desire to do something to help others and create a legacy for our Catherine.

When the news of Catherine’s diagnosis was fresh, friends and family provided meals for us. We would get a phone call asking if we were home so a meal could be dropped off or an Edible Arrangements bouquet would show up at the front door. We were extremely appreciative of these generous acts of kindness. I do not care to go to the grocery store when my life is cruising along in an acceptable manner. But when my life is in shambles, going to the grocery store feels like running two marathons on the same day without training. These meals meant the world to us.

As we reflected on the first few weeks of this journey, we were trying to figure out a way to take what we had learned and experienced and find a way to help others embarking on their own journey with a child who is ill.

What if we could provide meals for families when they first learn their child’s diagnosis?

Obviously, we can’t physically prepare meals for everyone whose child receives a devastating diagnosis. But we can provide gift cards. That might just work.

What should we call this program?

“Catherine Cares” crossed my mind the day we named Catherine. Later that same day, Wayne and I were washing the cars. At one point he walked passed me and said, “Catherine Cares.” My jaw dropped. “That is the exact name I was thinking,” I replied. We both smiled. We knew we were on to something.

Before we got too far in the planning process for establishing Catherine Cares, we wanted to run this idea passed our doctor. At our next appointment in early November we asked Laura if families would appreciate gift cards to restaurants when they learn their child is sick. She said there is a huge need for this. In fact she was excited at the potential. She confirmed, to the best of her knowledge, nothing exists like this for families. Then we shared the name: Catherine Cares. She didn’t reply right away. The name gave her the chills. She loved it. Laura was 100% on board.

We wanted to run our Catherine Cares plan passed Karen, our Fetal Care Team nurse coordinator, as well. What will Karen think since we are still in the middle of our own journey?

We called it- Karen loved the idea, but she was obviously worried we were trying to take on too much since the hardest part of our story had yet to occur.

We reassured Karen that Wayne and I will be open and honest with each other. We will speak up if we need an emotional break from Catherine Cares and the other one will respect that need.

We also explained to Karen how we needed this. We needed to be productive and focused on something positive. This was our outlet for our grief. We could not sit by and wait with our grief any longer. We had not been able to control anything about this situation. But what we could control was how we chose to handle this situation. Catherine Cares was our choice. Catherine Cares is more than just a nonprofit to us. It is our daughter’s legacy and we are determined to make it a powerful one. Catherine Cares is family.

Karen could see she wasn’t going to change our minds. We appreciate her love and concern as well as her support.

Now it was time to get to work. There are too many families facing a similar journey. They need to know they are not alone.