Today marks four months since five-year-old Chad Carr left for his forever home in heaven.
I can’t fathom the pain his family is experiencing right now, missing him so, so much. I deeply admire Tammi and Jason for their strength to wake up every day and keep living for themselves and their sons, CJ and Tommy, while I’m sure the pull to see Chad again is very, very real.
The Carrs and other parents who have lost children must feel so torn apart. Focused on living for their children on earth who deserve their love and affection while a part of them longs for their children that await them in heaven.
It’s no wonder they have bad days.
A Big Award for A Little Boy
On March 20, Tammi and Jason were in Cincinnati for The Cure Starts Now Gala. Little did they know, they would receive the Lauren Hill Full Court Press Award, given to the person who has made the biggest impact on DIPG over the past year.
“We had no idea that was coming which resulted in an off the cuff speech in front of 800 or so people,” wrote Tammi on Facebook. “I have no idea what I said in between my tears! Our boy continues to change the world! Wish you could have been there to see this one buddy!!”
Tammi posted her own photos of the event and the award, but nothing compared to seeing the photos of her acceptance. The emotion in her face was mixed with despair, exhaustion, longing, and appreciation. I cry every time I look at them.
An Inexplicable Reach
I’m not even sure Tammi and Jason can put their fingers on what gives Chad the ability to impact others the way he has.
Jason said in his College Gameday interview that aired the weekend after Chad passed away, “We have this reach … this kid has this reach … and this disease needs that, so that hopefully a few years from now when a kid gets diagnosed, they can say, ‘He’s got DIPG and this is how we’re going to treat it.’”
The Carr family’s willingness to use their platform to raise money and awareness for DIPG has boosted what was an already diligent effort put in place by other heartbroken families.
All of these families somehow find a way to put on a happy face, smile for the cameras, and get through each day, even though fighting the urge to crawl under the covers and sleep for days has to be utterly exhausting.
An Ache That Never Dulls
Four months or forty months, the longing for a lost child never goes away. Chad will always be sorely missed, as will these other precious children who were unfairly taken by DIPG.
Advocating for a cure doesn’t snuff out that longing, but it gives it a purpose: to keep other families from having to suffer through a loss without hope.