photos taken November 2011
Courage is the word that came to mind when I first met Nikki and Callahan. They are fighting a battle against childhood neurological diseases. They have been fighting this battle since they learned of Eliza's diagnosis of MLD. The organizations that they have founded in Eliza's honor are: Eliza's Wish and TeamGive.
This year they have displayed courage in fighting for Callahan's recovery. He broke his neck during a relay bike race 6 months ago. Read more here. As I read Nikki's posts just after the accident, I was again amazed by her, "If I have learned one thing in the past four years it is whether we have a smile or a frown on our face our situation is still the same. Sometimes my attitude is the only thing I have control over. I am a strong believer that we are given challenges to refine us and help us become more charitable and compassionate people. There are always things to be learned. Callahan has mentioned time and time again that he now knows what Eliza goes through each day. She knows what it is like to be trapped in a body that does not do what her brain would like it to do. She knows the frustrations of not being able to itch her nose when she wants to or manipulate objects in her hands. My father-in-law and I were just discussing tonight how maybe this is a very big part of what we are supposed to learn. Callahan has been out raising awareness for neurological diseases for teamgive and now he can empathize with these individuals on a whole new level. Reality continues to sink in and I am understanding more and more what a difficult road this is going to be for us but I hope that we can look back later and see that we grew and hopefully became better people because of it."
When we had a few opportunities to spend time with them at the beginning of Callahan's recovery he talked about the miracles. The miracles of people in the right place at the right time...bringing equipment (neck brace) to the race and not knowing why...and answers to prayer. They were focusing on the blessings and not the hardship. He is doing amazingly well and has come so far. Their determination and and optimism have been so inspiring to all who know them. They wouldn't say this about themselves...but they are truly heros. Nikki made this video- Callahan's road to recovery: