RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - These halls inside the VCU Children’s Hospital hold the stories of families on the front lines of a battle.
“It was a really dark time for us,” Sharday Richardson said.
Inside the hospital, Richardson is taken back to her families fight.
“When your child is diagnosed your whole world comes crashing down. Especially when it’s a terminal illness,” Richardson said.
In 2011, Sharday’s 2-year-old, Moriah, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, an inoperable tumor on her brain stem.
Doctors gave her a year to live but the young bubble of light kept fighting until 2013. She died two weeks before her 5th birthday.
“When Moriah passed away, my husband and I made a vow that we would never let her legacy die,” Richardson said.
That legacy continues in hospitals around Virginia through the Forever Moriah Foundation.
Moriah had an aggressive cancer treatment and received over 30 rounds of radiation.
“At the end of her treatment I promised her I would have a party and that’s what we did we had a big celebration and when I look back into it that was the last event where we got a chance to celebrate her,” Richardson said.
Sharday and her family throw celebrations for other children fighting.
“Until you’ve been in it. You can’t understand. You can’t relate. I wanted to be that person for people to relate to and support them,” Richardson said.
“I think to never give up and to keep fighting is the main thing,” Lena Bryant said.
Lena Bryant is with the Onegivv Organization and helped out with the latest party.
From glitter tattoos to care packages, it was all about giving back.
“To have them be able to walk into a room and they are so positive allows me to sit back and take a look at my life,” Bryant said.
Moriah also inspired a children’s book titled “The Sister I Never Met," which is aimed at helping parents have that difficult conversation.
“It’s a book that is dedicated to explaining death to younger children who have a hard time understanding it,” Richardson said.
The main goal for the Richardson family is to keep the conversation going.
“People don’t like to talk about it and I understand it’s hard to talk about but when you have kids being diagnosed daily, when you have kids passing away daily we have to talk about it because we have to be able to create a solution,” Richardson said.
Their angel Moriah would want them to continue.
“I turned a tragedy into triumph. I turned a tragedy into victory and that’s my story,” Richardson said.
Click here to donate to the foundation.
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