The Greatest Wealth is Health.

by Ashley on July 18, 2011

I feel that one of my purposes (from God) in life is to be the best role model that I can possibly be to my now 13 year old (hard to believe!) sister.  I have a close connection with her, something that I share with no one else in this world.  When my sister, Cameron, was 6 weeks old, it’s real to say, she nearly died in my arms (she’s here today, thankfully): it was a day that I’ll never forget.

At 11 years old myself, my parents trusted me alone with Cameron because they knew how much I loved her: it was obvious.  Pretty small myself, I used to carry her around like she was my own child.  I accepted any and every responsibility my parents would allow me to have with her.  She was so tiny, so innocent, and yet so helpless.

On that afternoon that Cameron lie pale in my lap, my parents were out running errands, not too far from our house, and they left me with Cameron only for what was supposed to be a couple of hours; little did they know, their time away would be cut much shorter.  I was sitting with Cameron on the sofa in our den as she started coughing: coughing like I’ve never seen before.  In my arms she went from blue, due to a shortness of breath, to white, due to a loss of breath, in a matter of seconds.  At 11 years old, I had no idea what the right thing was to do.  Blue, white, pink. Blue, white, pink.  Those were the colors of the tiny infant’s face.  I called my parents immediately and they were back home within what seems to me now, a matter of minutes.  They were there and then gone before I could even respond to the situation.

Within minutes of arriving to a jack-in-the-box type of off-hour doctors office, the doctor sent Cameron immediately down to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Atlanta because he knew that this little girl was on her last breath.  Cameron was diagnosed with Pertussis (Whooping Cough) and rested on oxygen in ICU at Scottish Rite for nearly a month, as my mom never left her side, sleeping in the hospital chair every night.

Ever since that day, I’ve felt a responsibility for Cameron.  I’ve felt that it should be my goal to see that child live the best possible life that she can possibly live; and nothing makes me happier to see her take care of her health as well.  My mom sent me this picture of the cover of Cameron’s “food journal” a few days ago and I just can’t stop singing her praise.

She titled it, “The greatest wealth is health,” and she couldn’t be more accurate.  It’s a journal that she’s keeping to make sure she gets her “9.” Nine servings of fruits and veggies a day.  It’s not some crazy journal tracking calories or what she eats in a day, it’s a journal for her to make sure that she gets the adequate phytochemicals that she needs in a day in order to live her best life.  Go Cam! How awesome is that?!

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