On… James Day


About three months ago I was walking on E1st and saw a baby boy of about two years old sitting on a stoop with his grandfather.
He reminded me of my baby Errol, but he was tiny and frail, and had tubes coming out of his nose attached to a pack a dolls pram that he was practising pushing around. I started talking to them (I’m that kind of person) and found out that they were locked out of their house and waiting for the keys, that the baby’s name is James and that he has cancer. James was incredibly sweet, with these huge, calm eyes, and soft wispy hair. I asked if he’d like to do a playdate with Errol at Washington Square Park one day, but his grandfather said he couldn’t do playdates with other babies because chemo gives him such a compromised immune system.

Naturally I cried for about three hours afterwards. And have thought of him so often since then. (Again, I’m that kind of person.)

I recently found out more about James. Shortly before he turned two this spring, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. He’s undergoing intense chemo and radiation therapy. His treatments are going well, but even with health insurance, the cost of saving James life could put his parents into serious debt for many years. The unfairness of this, on top of everything else they are going through right now, blows me away.

The point of this whole blog isn’t just to make you cry, my lovely friends, the point is: we can help.

James’ friends and neighbours are holding a fundraising day to help pay for his medical treatments.

It’s called JAMES DAY and it’s being held concurrently with the Annual 1st Street Block Fair this Saturday September 22nd.It’s a family fun day, so there will be games and prizes for kids, Hula Hoop and dance performances, t-shirt decorating, face-painting, live music and a Silent Auction, and the Brooklyn-based artist, Bishop203, has designed a special t-shirt.

So if you’re in NYC, please come down. If you know anyone in NY media, anyone who can help publicise this day, please tweet and blog about it, and go to this and Facebook.com/JamesDayNYC. If you have anything you’d like to offer for Silent Auction, please email annasaar@earthlink.net. (I’ve spent the past few weeks getting things together, and asking my friends and agents and editors for help, and I can tell you that the Auction is going to ROCK.) Thank you all so much…

 

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One thought on “On… James Day

  1. James Hope

    You have a level of empathy akin to mine own, gem. It's a bitch ain't it? I saw a photo a few days ago of a two year old in a Syrian hospital. The blurb said he was slightly injured during some fray and as no-one could find his parents he was taken away by medics and left in the waiting room, by himself, to wait for treatment. He's tiny, innocent, alone in a strange place, and looking at the blood on his hands in quiet tears. It's f@cked with my head ever since. I still want to book a flight as I write this. Anyway- hope James Day went well.

    Reply

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