who we are
what we do
tommorows children

 

 

 

 

 

   I am unsure where to start so I guess I will start at the beginning.  It was the early morning of June 12, 2004 when I was awoken by our puppy.  I went in to the room where my two sons slept to find my son, Michael, covered in vomit.  I attempted to wake Michael but he was incoherent.  I woke my husband and we called 911.  Michael was rushed to Hasbro Children’s Hospital where we were told Michael had a ruptured brain tumor and needed emergency surgery.  We were devastated.  Michael was 13.  The wait for the over 6 hour surgery was unreal.  There are no words to explain what you are feeling.  After surgery Michael was put in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where he stayed for over a week.  Shortly after he went to the 6th floor we were told he was moving to Spaulding Rehab in Boston.  Our wonderful lives were changed in an instant.  What were we going to do?  We had two other children to care for but I was determined to be with Michael during his rehab and recovery and my husband needed to go back to work.  The next few months were extremely difficult.  I was in Boston with Michael, my husband was working and when he wasn’t he was with us.  We were blessed to have such amazing family and friends to help with Eric and Lauren, my two other children. 

         

            It wasn’t until Michael returned home in September of 2004 that I found The Tomorrow Fund.  I was desperately looking for help to install a ramp for Michael as he was coming home in a wheelchair.  Unfortunately, the insurance company told us it wasn’t a necessity.  They actually told me to have a neighbor help me in and out of the house with Michael.  I then turned to The Tomorrow Fund.  I will never forget the voice on the other end of the phone telling me that, Yes, the Tomorrow Fund would help us with this.  From that day forward, they have been a big part of our lives.  After Michael got settled home I quickly volunteered on the committee for The Stroll.  It may have actually been the first one.  It was an amazing experience to give back.  Not only did they help with Michael’s ramp, but years later they had granted Michael scholarships for his college.  We will forever be thankful for The Tomorrow Fund.

            Today Michael continues to amaze me.  Although he continues to walk with a walker he never lets that stop him.  He drives a car, has a wonderful girlfriend and will graduate from Rhode Island College in May (a year early).  Michael is a double major of political science/public administration with a minor in history.  He has applied to Roger Williams Law School and is patiently waiting to hear if he has been accepted.  He has remained cancer free since that horrible morning on June 12, 2004.

            We look at Michael’s illness as it took us on a different path in life.  This was not the path we would have chose, however, along the way we have met some amazing people and organizations like The Tomorrow Fund and we know how beautiful the world is and there are people out there who care.  Thank you The Tomorrow Fund.

                                                                        All our Love, The Hartley Family