In Order to Get Anywhere, We Must Take the First Step

(Reposted in part from It was a simple gesture, saying welcome back on the board in Angel’s room. To a casual observer it may not even be noticed. To me, as the aunt of one of the most amazing people I know, that gesture was symbolic of the many years of love, heartache, triumph and hope that we have all shared in the amazing 12 years of Angel’s life.

Angel came into the world  at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, but soon found a second home at Tampa General. She was born with Vater Syndrome, a relatively rare set of congenital anomalies requiring life saving and life preserving surgeries, medications, and long hospitalizations. She has an amazing and dedicated set of physicians, ARNP’s, nurses, hospital employees and a super hero  mom whose dedication and love help Angel thrive in ways no one could have predicted.

Most people can go their whole lives not entering a hospital. Some go occasionally and don’t give it much thought. For some, hospital is a home with extended family that come to know and love each other, know spouses, children, uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents. For those people, especially the young and seriously ill, I hope they have a place to go to like TGH. A place where doctors and nurses stay, and care, and keep giving.

I have learned so much from my niece and draw much of my inspiration for writing from her. I have dedicated myself to fulfilling a project that will help bring joy to her and other seriously ill children across the world. Today, the long road begins.

To read more about my niece, Angel, go to