Little Red Stories
Thirty years ago our best friend's 2 year old daugher was in Shands@UF battling cancer, we went every weekend to visit them and would pull her around the halls for hours in wagon's that were donated for them. We lost her at the age of 3. This past year my grandson was born at 27 weeks and was rushed to this same hospital and was there for 96 days. My husband and I talked often about the wagon that were no longer there or just in bad shape. The smiles we saw on the children's face when they got to feeling better or up to it or it was their turn to ride was just priceless! Please donate more "Wagons for Smiles" to the Shands@UF NICU and Children's hospital in Gainesville Florida. Thank you Cindy Johnson
My parents got my a Radio Flyer when I was four. I spent many hours over the years playing on it, playing on it with friends, and pulling my siblings for rides. It provided many hours of fun and enjoyment. As my siblings and I got older, our Radio Flyer was used around the yard to help us with our chores, especially moving heaving things like bricks or dirt around the yard and garden.
Our son was diagnosed with brain cancer at age two. Between the tumor, and chemo he became immobile . One day he saw a red Radio Flyer wagon and wanted a ride. He became so happy when we gave him a ride at the children's hospital we were in. The wagon was the only place he wanted to be for a few months . Not only did this bring such joy to our son during treatment, but it also served many practical uses such as moving our belongings to one floor from another in the hospital, when we would get transferred, but it also helped up take our belongings to and from our vehicle with each hospital stay. Some people may look at a red wagon and think nothing of it , to me, it is a full of special memories , and this is why I cannot look at a red Radio Flyer wagon without smiling .
My sister lived in the country a couple miles from a bar. Law enforcement would seldom patrol the road by her house unless they were called for a wreck or such. That made it a popular back road for patrons of that pub. Inconsiderate people would speed down the gravel road and toss beer bottles and cans out their car windows in the evenings and early mornings. I stayed with my sister to help her out while she underwent chemo treatment. She and her husband had to drive from their home in South Dakota to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota several times. While they were gone, I stayed at their house and took care of their place and their two precious poodles. They left me a list of all the chores that they normally did around their place. One was to load up the poodles and a box of trash bags in their Radio Flyer wagon and go pick up trash in the road ditches. Although I felt a bit silly pulling a wagon with two dogs in it down the road and filling trash bags with garbage, I did it because it was important to my sister and she was important to me. One day a man in a pickup truck stopped and asked where the regular Ditch Witch was. I didn't understand until he explained that Ditch Witch was the name the locals dubbed my sister who had been pulling her wagon and keeping the roadside clean for many years. I told him she was fighting brain cancer. The word got around in the community and the bar down the road organized a big fundraiser BBQ to help with the expense of traveling for treatments. Many people came to support the "Ditch Witch". After 4 years of battling cancer, she passed away last March. She is missed by many. I now have my own home and walk down the country road by my house to pick up trash. I'm very proud to be a Ditch Witch just like my big sis.