"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - God
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - so simple and so hard to do for some. If you want people to be kind to you - be kind to them. If you want people to like you - like them. If you don't want people to attack you - don't attack them. If you don't want people to prevent you from doing things - don't prevent them. If you don't want to be hit - don't strike at others. If you want people to share with you - share with them. If you want to be respected - respect others. These are all things most of us learn on the playground.
The Golden Rule.... what most Christians are supposed to live by. What most major religions also teach. It's so simple. Treat others how you would wish to be treated.
We believe that at CHERUBS and we try to live that. We work hard to try to "do unto others" as we wish others had done for us. This is so important in dealing with CDH.
CDH families need kindness - loving family and friends who are there for them in their darkest hours. Praying for them. Praying beside them. Giving them hope and encouraging miracles. Is that not how we would all wish to be treated during a time when we aren't sure if our baby will survive a cruel and devastating birth defect. People can say the cruelest things sometimes. Thoughtless words can hurt. CDH families need kindness. We all do.
CDH families need a helping hand - this can be physically, monetarily or through prayer. CDH can drain a family, emotionally and financially. Hopefully our healthcare system will find a way soon to provide free medical care to families - a lot of families will have to file bankruptcy or go on government healthcare to afford to pay their bills after CDH. Even if the healthcare is covered by insurance, losing time from work, travel expenses and incidentals can add up quickly. Bring them a meal to the hospital and save them the expenses of cafeteria food. Pay for parking passes - they add up quickly. Cover the cost of their Ronald McDonald House room - cheaper and more supportive of a hotel room. Hand them a gas card. Give them a card with cash to help them out. Offer to watch their other children or do something fun with them. Clean their home or do their grocery shopping. Help cover all the household duties and chores that have to be pushed to the side when dealing with CDH. You have no idea how 1 kind act can go so far - and isn't that how you would want to be treated?
CDH families need compassion - support in raising a special child or grieving their cherub. Be understanding when they can't take their child out in public for fear of germs. Don't get upset if they have a hard time being around pregnant women for a while. Call them to check on them. Learn about CDH. CDH families need to know you care. For those grieving families, know the cherub's birthday and heaven day and be supportive on those days. Visit the cemetery with them. Do things in memory of the cherub. It's so important for grieving families to know that other people remember their cherubs too. Isn't this how you would want people to be if you were in their shoes?
We have been giving this advice to family and friends for years. We've been printing lists of what you can do to help CDH families in our Parent Reference Guide since 1997. We get lots of e-mails and calls from grandparents or friends or fellow church members or co-workers all asking "what can we do?". We give them the lists but we also tell them "Treat them how you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes".
That's not just a quote at CHERUBS - it's what we live by and work by. It's what every CDH family needs.