The Beginning of Treatment
After 10 months as a healthy infant, Claire suddenly became very ill with Infantile Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She was in critical condition and only by God’s grace did she survive through that first, long night - but it was only the beginning of her battle.
Within 3 days, we had traveled to 3 different hospitals and had abandoned our hope of raising a healthy baby girl at home. Our "new normal" was hospitals stays, chemotherapy, and caring for a sick child. We essentially lived at Duke Hospital for 6 months during the most intense portion of Claire's 2-year treatment. It was so hard to watch our daughter weakened and affected not only by the cancer, but also by its harsh treatments.
But Claire was born with a strong and determined spirit, and no treatment kept her down for long. She was friendly and engaging to all, which gained us close and personal relationships with the hospital personnel and other families. Her bright personality helped us enjoy each moment to its fullest, rather than give in to the burdens of cancer.
Claire and other precious children like her have experienced more suffering during their battles then most of us do in a lifetime - but they do it with such grace. These children possess the ability to inspire volumes of people around them with their innocent, joyful, and forgiving natures, despite all they have endured.
The Beginning of the End
By the end of April 2014, we saw changes in our daughter undetected by any test. Within days our intuition was proven true with a confirmed relapse after nine months of remission.
After much prayer and research with numerous oncologists across the country, the best option was to bring Claire home with hospice. We spent two weeks loving our precious daughter, remembering her bright smile, and making memories to last us the lifetime we would live without her. On May 17, 2014, our daughter’s battle with cancer was finally over as she received complete healing in the arms of Jesus.
Without her, we feel lost - but we know we are not alone. God is leading the way.
The Birth of the Foundation
Watching Claire continue to get back up after being knocked down, again and again, has changed us forever. Her 20 months of life strengthened our faith and determination to serve a greater purpose.
Since her passing, it has been our driving passion to share the bright light and love that Claire brought those around her. With this foundation we will continue to tell Claire’s story, while supporting, caring for, and reaching out to families in the midst of their own battles. God blessed us with Claire, and now we wish to bless others with her memory through the mission of this non-profit foundation.
However, we cannot do this without your support. By supporting the Claire Parker Foundation, you are helping us reach other families in some of the most lonely, frightening, and critical moments of their lives. Thank you for sharing our story and joining us in this mission that we have been called to.