When a child is referred to Toby’s Dream Foundation (TDF), the first step in the dream process always begins with a special phone call to the family within 24 hours after the child is determined eligible for a dream by his or her physician. In that initial phone call, Toby’s Dream Foundation informs the child that they will receive a dream come true, and TDF makes arrangements with the family to receive a phone call from TDF volunteers who will then schedule an interview with the child and his or her family. This process allows the child time to think about what they might desire for a dream.
This process was almost the same for dreamer Keana, age 17, but due to her hospitalization, TDF bypassed the second phone call with TDF Volunteers and arranged to interview her directly. Keana’s dream interview was scheduled for three days after her initial phone call.
TDF staff were excited to meet Keana and her family, and were eager to hear what her dream would be so that we could begin planning it. However, the day before Keana’s scheduled interview, we received a phone call from the hospital with most unfortunate news. Keana’s illness had surprised everyone treating her, including her family and doctors, and Keana “earned her Angel Wings” much sooner than expected.
When we lose a child after they have had their dream experience, we find some consolation in the fact that, though we are not able to “cure” the child, we can and did add joy to their life– even if for a short period of time. When we lose a child before they are able to experience their dream come true, our sadness is much deeper, because we know we were unable to fulfill our mission to give that child a dream.
Although we were unable to make a dream come true for Keana, we will always keep her memory alive on our website to remind all of us that…
Tomorrow begins with a dream… so we must cherish all of our tomorrows.