When illness strikes a child, everyone hurts. The doctors that treat the child, the nurses that care for the child, the parents who stay in the hospital as long as they are allowed, the relatives and friends and family who try to be supportive in any way that they can, and the story often affects the lives of complete strangers. Sadly, businesses don’t always have the compassion that a single person would, and harsh answers are given when it comes down to money. This man was faced with having to go to work, even while his son was being treated for cancer…
Four years ago my son was diagnosed with cancer. Most of the medical bills were covered by medicaid, but all the other expenses really add up. Over the last three months friends, family members, and people I do not even know have written us letters, cooked us dinner, and even given us money. A friend even set up a website where people could donate to help us over the next three years (the end of my son’s treatment).
My employees took up a collection for my family, and several called HR to ask if they could donate vacation time to me so I could stay home longer. Even though HR would not allow them to donate vacation time, by boss worked it out so that I could work remotely whenever my son is in the hospital (which is pretty often).
One family stopped by my house a couple weeks ago and gave us a gift card to Target. They were able to buy us the gift card because their children (around the age of 6) had done a lemonade stand to raise money for us.
Remembering the outpouring of generosity really helps me fight off the bitterness I feel when I saw my little boy so sick.
I will never be able to show an adequate amount of appreciation to these people, but I hope they know that in a very literal sense they have helped restore my faith in humanity.
And sadly, his story is all too common. Companies would rather ignore these requests than do the right thing, often valuing profit over compassion. But this boss decided to take the heat and decided to let him work from home, allowing him the freedom that HR had denied. If more people could be like this boss, the world would be a different place entirely.
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