On Nov 9th, I had the pleasure and honor in meeting and speaking with Aileen. Aileen is the 15 year old daughter of one of the employees at Barco. Her mother Alma works in our accounting department.
The story of meeting Aileen is worth telling. Several months ago I attended a day at Ronald McDonalds Camp near the Palm Springs area. It was a life changing moment for me. To witness first hand the day in the life of a cancer stricken child at the camp truly was a heartfelt moment.
Shortly following the posting of this blog, I received a comment on that blog from one of our employees, Alma in accounting. I did not know before that one of the daughters of my employees attended the camp. It was such a deeply and emotional moment for me. I started crying as I read and felt the words of this comment.
I then spoke with Alma about having the privilege in meeting with her daughter Eileen. She was excited about my meeting her daughter. I felt so honored when they gave me permission to tell her story on our Barco’s Nightingales blog site.
On Nov 9 Aileen came to Barco. Following our meeting she was taken to the Children’s Hospital of LA for her normal quarterly tests and Cat Scan. I have been to Children’s Hospital before and know that Aileen is in great hands there. There is a Ronald McDonald’s House that is walking distance from this hospital and I known this house very well. This year Barco’s Nightingales has donated for 80 nights of stay for needy families.
During the 2 hours in which I spoke with Aileen in my office, I asked Iris Amano, our Marketing Director, to join me. We spent the most special 2 hours in my office that I have ever had. I cannot thank Aileen enough.
Initially we experienced Aileen being shy and reserved. What was interesting is the fact that Iris is also on the shy and reserved place which helped in getting all of us openly talking about our collective story. I learned during the meeting with Aileen that among the favorite aspects of her life is music. She loves music. When she was asked, who is your favorite singer, she immediately said DRAKE. She spoke with so much excitement about this 24 year old singer. She also said that she was sorry to miss his concert in LA because she was at the Ronald McDonald camp.
Eileen talked a great deal about how much she loves going to the camp. This summer was her second time. She enjoys the fun experience especially riding horse back and the fun games and art projects. She is looking forward in going to the winter class this year. You are able to bring siblings to the camp. She mentioned that her very best friend has gone to the camp with her and this has been a great thing. Their friendship, as she discussed it, brought tears to my eyes.
One of the most touching moments of our talk came when I asked her about what she wants to do when she gets older. Her reply was so tender and heartfelt. Aileen responded that she wants to volunteer for the camp and become a counselor for the children. What an amazing reply.
When I now reflect on my meeting with Aileen and Iris, I can say that my life has been blessed in meeting and in getting to know her, she has more courage than most of the people I have ever known in my life. It was such an honor and gift for me to have the privilege to get to know her. I pray with all my heart and soul that she will have a long and an amazing life.
In closing I want to say to all of you who read this blog, LOVE is what makes this life of ours special and worthwhile. It is a gift for me to have a new friend in my life to love and that person is Aileen. In honor of you Aileen, I am donating to the Ronald McDonald Camp , for another camper to have the privilege in attending. I have more good news for you Aileen. I have discovered that your favorite singer DRAKE is singing in San Jose on Dec 16 and I have arranged for you to attend this concert with your best friend. God Bless you Aileen.
One last thought. Your mother is very special and the courage and love I see in her heart is truly remarkable. May God bless her and your entire family.
The Gift of Courage
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