On March 25, 2015, a dear friend reached out and asked if we could talk. My answer was no. It was the one-month anniversary of Peyton's death and I was so distraught I couldn't even carry on a conversation. I was able to speak with her the next day and learned that her and her 12-year-old daughter wanted to host a golf outing in honor of Peyton and others who have been impacted by cancer. Eric and I had already discussed starting a foundation in Peyton's honor and immediately said yes. Heather, Tandess, and a small group of long-time friends had already begun planning. Eric and I got involved, and Peyton's Promise, Inc. was born.
Two years ago today, we hosted our first Peyton's Promise golf outing. Our goal was to raise $5,000 to provide memory boxes for hand and foot molds for one year. We more than doubled that, raising $11,500 and starting our own fund at Riley Children's Hospital. We have been able to add to that fund through other fundraisers these past two years, and the memory boxes are still being funded by Peyton’s Promise.
For our second golf outing, we raised $15,000 for the Hope in Healing Program at Riley Children’s Hospital, which provides support in many forms to families suffering the loss of a child. Combined with $5,000 from the Primrose Gray Eagle Spring Fling, we were able to donate a total of $20,000. While the Hope in Healing Program utilizes the funds for a variety of purposes aimed at helping those who are grieving, they have most notably been able to begin music and art therapy to aid children in discussing and dealing with their grief, as a result of this donation.
As we work to continue to support the Hope in Healing Program through this year's outing, we remain passionate about what this program provides for families who have lost a child. Eric and I have worked VERY hard to make it from day to day, and I don't think we could have done it on our own.
As we prepare for our third outing, we are proud of what we have accomplished and honored to have support from so many family members, friends and strangers. As we look forward to all of the things we still want to do through the foundation, we are keenly aware that it was our support system that kicked things off and have carried us through the past two years. I won't try to describe the utter misery and despair of losing a child, but we are so thankful to have a way to continue to share Peyton with others. He very much remains one of the most important pieces of our lives, and neither his death nor time will ever change that. Peyton’s short life was so much more than leukemia, and we want people to always remember the sweet, beautiful boy that he was, along with other children who have gone too soon.
Thank you to everyone who has helped, supported, donated and/or attended any of our events, and to everyone who continues to stand by our side. Our mission cannot be successful without each and every one of you. We hope to continue to grow each year, and help more and more people as a result. Thank you from the bottom of our broken hearts for supporting our mission, and for wrapping us in love and light and warmth at a time when we couldn’t have moved forward without it.
Molly & Eric