Thursday, October 4, 2012

Casen Buswell

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors—
We borrow it from our children.”
~ Native American proverb

Normally, I think that people use this quote in the context of being more environmentally friendly and such. Maybe that’s exactly what the proverb is meant to resonate—who knows?

But I’m using it in a different context today—something a little more immediate and more intimate.

I’m normally not one for politics or preachiness or advertisements or anything else of the sort, but I just couldn’t pass this up. I came across this article on Yahoo! News a few days ago, and it REALLY got to me.

This is about a baby boy, Casen Buswell, who lives in Washington State and has an extremely rare disease, called glomuvenous malformations plaque type. You can read the article to get an idea of what this disease does—it sounds horrific. And it is so rare that Baby Casen is one of only 14 known cases in the entire world. Yes, you read that right: 14. Not 1400 or 14000 or any other amount of zeroes tacked on to the end of it.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,

14—this one is Baby Casen

I’m not a doctor or a scientist. I don’t have any affiliation with the CDC or any medical facilities or organizations. But I’m wagering that having only 14 cases worldwide has got to make this one of the most rare diseases out there—if not the number one rarest. And, being so rare, there is only one facility in the world that treats this disease.

The problem is: it’s in Belgium.

And Baby Casen needs monthly treatments.

Baby Casen needs monthly treatments in Belgium.

The distance from Puyallup, Washington (where the Buswell family lives) to Brussels, Belgium (where the medical center that can treat Baby Casen is) is right about 5,000 miles.

The Buswell family is expecting this entire process to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. To help raise money, they’ve started a fund online that can be accessed here.

Let me make it clear that I’ve never met the Buswell family, and—pending some rather peculiar twist of fate—I’m sure I never will. But now that my son Emerson is born, seeing and hearing about other suffering babies hits me about 1,000 times worse than it ever has before. (Am I exaggerating?—maybe a little. But not as much as you’d think.). Emily (my wife) and I have been incredibly lucky the past few months with Emerson, and any time I hear about another baby who isn’t so lucky, it breaks my heart (even writing this is causing me to get all teary-eyed!).

Emily and I aren’t rich—ha! We already don’t particularly have quite enough money for our own needs. Regardless of this, we still pay tithe to our church (mostly for philosophical reasons, at least on my part). But I’m pretty sure our church could live without our little tithing check once or twice so that we can put that money towards helping Baby Casen. So that’s our plan.

To be clear: I’m not asking anyone to do anything about this except read the article. The Buswell’s goal for this fundraiser is to hit $50,000, and it’s closing November 30th. As of the time I’m writing this post, they’ve raised $18,776 so far—not yet halfway there. Really, it’s nothing to me if you choose to contribute any money to the cause. It’s not my child; he’s nobody I know; it’s certainly not like I’m ever going to ask you if you donated anything. I’ll never know what anybody does with this information. I just wanted to make sure more people hear about him and his situation, so that—just maybe—the Buswell family can get just a little closer to saving their seven-month-old son.

I would ask you to do the same thing if Emerson was the fourteenth baby in the world with this disease. Just read the article, look at the pictures of Baby Casen (there are many on the fundraising website), and do what you will.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors—we borrow it from our children.

We are borrowing the earth from Baby Casen and from my son Emerson.


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