Hearts Behind the Foundation: The Storyteller
August 18, 2022 | Contributed by Preeti Kumar
Working with children and that too with children who are fighting medical conditions that come to them from birth is something that is extremely close to my heart. When I came upon Genesis Foundation, a children’s heart foundation, it was one of the biggest opportunities for me – to put my professional skills to where my heart belonged.
I am a firm believer of the thought that sometimes experiences, and situations are put in one’s life as there is a larger goal or a higher purpose.
After giving up an acceptance letter from one of the leading law schools in the country, I chose to study Sociology. I loved to research, write, express and started enjoying this making it my profession. As if destiny was slowly carving out a way for me, I started working with international NGOs working in the health sector and with underprivileged children. Working in these areas, gave me an insight into what transpires at the grassroot level, how many people continue to not be able to access even the basic lifesaving services that we take so much for granted. The lack of awareness even in basic areas like maternal health, and lack of accessible quality services in the health sector were always something that surprised me and kept motivating me to do what I could to make a difference in my own way. I was passionate about what I was doing and so continued to work through my first child till had my second one.
As destiny had planned it, my younger one was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy and consequently severe developmental issues. I had to drop whatever I was doing with my own life to help my little angel to fight what would turn out to be her and my biggest battle. The long years of training in research and analysis helped both her and me – I researched, spoke to the concerned people and did what I could to help my little one beat the odds destined for her and what a fight we both put up.
What Inspires Me
After having walked every step alongside her, there had come a time where I needed to start stepping back and stay 10 steps behind. Something we all do as parents- but when you have a child with special needs it is the toughest thing to do. But it was important for her to start getting past her day at least without me always being there – which meant that I needed to step away and reorient my focus elsewhere. When I came across Genesis Foundation, it was a perfect match for me- the opening gave me an opportunity to put my professional skills back to work while at the same time remain close to something that has become an integral part of my life – of not letting any child suffer because of a medical condition. Especially when there is a cure and treatment. Getting an opportunity to work for a Children’s Healthcare Foundation gave me an avenue to do what I could to ensure that children do not continue to suffer firstly due to a lack of awareness and secondly due to lack of financial resources.
Working at the Foundation is completely gratifying. It feeds my soul while at the same time gives me a sense of purpose. Each time I read or hear about a case of a child with CHD successfully treated it makes me feel grateful for another life saved – for another family saved of life-long hardships and misery. I feel that in a small way I was a part of that effort, even if I was sitting at a desk in some other city and typing something on the computer.
I feel that in some way I was a part of that process of spreading smiles and spreading smiles on little children. There is no greater feeling than this and at the end of the day when I go back to my little angel and watch her fall asleep, I am filled with some sense of fulfilment that along with my own child in some way I helped another child and the family. That is what completes me.
And this is the story of my heart behind the foundation – one of a mother, a professional, a human being to want to do what she can to bring a smile to a child’s face- because no child should ever have to live with a life debilitating or life-threatening condition. Moreso, no parent should ever have to feel that pain.