New this year, we have asked someone who has volunteered with Peyton's Promise since the beginning, why? What makes Peyton's Promise special to you? Below, Joanna Mulligan explains what Peyton's Promise means to her. Thank you, Joanna, for being a part of our Peyton's Promise family!
What Peyton's Promise Means to Me
I’ll never forget the feeling I had the moment I received word of Peyton’s diagnosis. Despite promising odds, I knew my dear friend Molly’s life would forever be changed. Chemo treatments, medical bills, hair loss, vomiting, fatigue, stress, anxiety, and fear would all lay ahead. Unfortunately, I realized a few short weeks later that Peyton’s outcome would be far worse. Molly and Eric have experienced what no parent should ever know, yet hundreds of thousands of parents do. Peyton Daniel Belling passed on February 25, 2015, just shy of his fourth birthday. In May of 2015, Molly and Eric founded Peyton’s Promise to memorialize his life. Peyton’s Promise has been committed to the healing journey for families who have lost children. In the midst of their own grief, Molly and Eric knew the best way to honor Peyton was to give back to families who were experiencing similar loss. Since its inception, Peyton’s Promise has raised thousands of dollars to support programs for grief and healing. Being a small part of this program, I am continually reminded of the kindness, generosity, and compassion to be found in our communities. It is unfortunate, but safe to say, we have all been impacted by cancer, whether directly or indirectly. My life changed when Peyton passed. My friend would never be the same and, as a mother, the reality hit too close to home. My support for the mission of Peyton’s Promise stems from sincere sympathy and longing to support all families in need. The most meaningful aspect of Peyton’s Promise, to me, is that Molly and Eric ensure that the proceeds directly benefit families. This means the proceeds do not fall under the guise of “cancer research” (which, of course, is meaningful too). Instead, the proceeds from fundraisers have provided invaluable keepsakes and healing therapies directly to those impacted by childhood cancer. In a perfect world, Peyton would still be here, and parents would never know the unbearable grief of losing a child. Since childhood cancer is an inevitable truth, our mission is to give whatever we can to support the journey. Every day counts and every act of kindness matters.