I Need Your Help

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

On December 26, 2010, in New Year’s Resolution to Edit the Garden, I wrote about being inspired to edit my garden (and life) by my friend Kartik’s decision to simplify his life after visiting his family in India.  The post really struck a chord with numerous comments, 107 picks on Blotanical by 33 garden bloggers around the world, and several links.  I am writing to you now because three days after I posted, Kartik’s 5-year-old daughter, Tara, was diagnosed with leukemia.  She is in the hospital right now for a minimum of 5 weeks receiving chemotherapy and will need two years of chemotherapy after that.

Kartik and his family have a long, hard road ahead of them, and I would like to ease their trip in even a very small way if I can.  But how to do that?  And then I read Allan Becker’s powerful post in which he describes  garden bloggers as a  “supportive social group that swarms around its members when they need to be comforted, validated or encouraged.”  I hope and believe that what Allan says is true because I am appealing to you to help me provide a small amount of comfort to Tara and Kartik, whom I made part of our community through my original post.

Kartik says the hardest thing for him is when Tara starts acting wild from being confined to a hospital bed 24/7: difficult for an adult but impossible for a five-year-old.  I would like to do something to provide a few moments of distraction for Tara every day.  With Kartik’s permission, I am asking everyone who reads this post and feels moved to send Tara a card representative of your home state in the US or your country.  Opening her mail from you will be a welcome relief, and I intend to send her a map of the world with sticky stars to mark the location of every card she receives.

Address: Tara Patel, 2216 Oakwyn Road, Lafayette Hill, PA  19444, USA.

My hope is that you will do this if you feel moved but not feel an obligation.  Your unwritten thoughts and prayers are welcome too.  If bloggers want to publicize my request among their blogging friends that would also be welcome.

Every day I try to focus on how lucky I am and avoid getting bogged down in the little set backs of life.  I am not usually successful, but Kartik’s inspirational approach to life and the way he is handling his daughter’s illness will keep me focused for a long time now.

Thank you,


65 Responses to “I Need Your Help”

  1. oh god, Carolyn I’d be very happy to send, what a wonderful idea, may their god bless them, Frances x

    • Thank you so much for responding so positively, Frances. To be honest, because I am new, I was a little nervous that I might be overstepping some blogging line. But then I thought, I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway. Carolyn

      • Carolyn I’m glad you did, Frances

        (no one is made to view anything they don’t want to they can move to another site or hit the delete key,)

      • Overstepping a line? Certainly not. This entry is very moving, and I would have read it and then moved on through the internet, were it not for the fact that this echoes the letters and e-mails I send to my dad who is also a bit under the weather with a bout of cancer. I write 10 lines of quotidian life, however interesting it may be, and according to my mum he relishes the chance to experience something outside his confined little world.

        My dad’s an old man, so I can only imagine that a child would be even more in need of random contacts from the world outside. Tara will definitely get a postcard from Denmark as soon as I find a pretty picture for her.

      • Thanks for sharing your story about your Dad, Soren. I am sure Tara will love to hear from Denmark. Carolyn

  2. Thank you, Carolyn, for giving us an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.

  3. What a wonderful idea. I’m in.

  4. From the moment you emailed me on this I was very happy to help you and Tara. I will add your URL to my posts each day I am posting on Niagara Falls in Winter. I wish the family well and hope Tara gets healthy from her treatments. And I will send her a postcard from here to wish her a full recovery.

  5. Heidi Hayes Says:

    Carolyn, what a lovely and clever way to help Tara and her family in this difficult time. I was touched by your original post and am further touched by this one. I’ve got two cards ready to go out in the mail and I’ve sent this post to family and friends from other parts of the country and the world. Let’s hope we can keep Tara occupied while she is in that bed!

  6. Its very difficult for the parents to face sickness in the family especially if it happens to their child. But its such a terrible thing for a 5 year old kid to suffer and confined to a hospital bed. I know because it happened to my brother when he was 12 and at that age he was so active and full of life! Carolyn, its a great way to help Tara and easy the burden of her parents!

  7. Carolyn, This is a wonderful idea. I am touched by your post and would be looking out for a suitable card to send. Best wishes to you, Tara and her family.

  8. I’d love to help, Carolyn. The cards will cheer up Tara, and her family as well. It’s so true about gardeners rallying ’round in time of need. Thanks for being one of them.

  9. Dear Carolyn, This is so heartfelt and moving. Of course I would love to send a card. This is very sad news. I think this a wonderful gesture . . . I cannot imagine the pain of seeing ones child suffer this way. You are a dear friend to your friend and I am honored to know you through our mutual love of gardening and blogging.

  10. You will be rewarded for being an angel to Tara. I will pray for Tara that she gets off from this confinement soonest, miracles do happen! I have a batchmate in college who has breastcancer and a first cousin, my playmate who was just diagnosed of colon cancer. He is now undergoing chemotherapy and even funds are insufficient. But God provides. God bless us. Let’s pray for one another.

  11. This is a very touching story. I really hope she recovers and they make trough this hard time

  12. Carolyn, what a lovely idea. My card is in the mail. I hope all the cards will cheer her up.

  13. Hi Carolyn, I am happy to do this and so sorry at the same time. I did enjoy your post about Kartik & your experience there. I have the same ideas/thoughts/intentions as you, every day I try to focus on those positives and be intentional in my thinking. It isn’t always easy and doesn’t ‘usually’ come naturally. Thanks for sharing this. I’m happy to help & my thoughts/prayers are with their daughter.

  14. Barbara Neswald Says:

    I will publish this to the membership of the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Artists , and send a small picture to the girl…

  15. I’m definitely in, Carolyn. What you and the others supporting this cause are doing is proof that we gardeners have what it takes to stick together and do what we can to rally to a call for help. Your idea is going to work, I can already see Tara preoccupied with her cards and pictures!

  16. This is a wonderful idea – I’m in as well! There is a movement on the web called “Let’s Drop a Love Bomb” in which people leave supportive comments for a blogger who’s in need of a “love bomb”. Does you friend Karik have a blog? You might check out http://dropalovebomb.com.

  17. Jim Davis Says:

    Dear Carolyn, I don’t know if your friend’s daughter has access to the internet, but there are lots of good puppy pictures she might enjoy. Google puppies. Lots are ads for sale, but there are also lots of good playing pictures. Probably also true for cats, bunnies, etc.

    I’ll also send her a note.

    Happy New Year, jim

  18. Cassandra Says:

    Great idea, I have posted your post to my FB account, with a short summary..
    Support is so helpful…i think we can all relate as we face aging and sickness. My sister is a 2 1/2 year cancer survivor, and her odds of long term survival are very low. HOWEVER, expressions of friendship and support allow us all to share our humanity

  19. I think this is a heartfelt request that is bound to brighten up a sick child’s day. I would be very happy to send a card.

  20. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Helen Johnstone. Helen Johnstone said: You help is needed to cheer up a poorly little girl http://tinyurl.com/23zzvwn all you need to do is send a card/postcard – go on its simple […]

  21. Carolyn, This is such a fine idea. I may see if I can find just the right book to send along to Tara, too.

    On another note, I do a “Blog of the Month” feature on my blogwhere I review newly discovered garden blogs and recommend them to my readers. I just wanted to let you know that yours is one of four blogs I have highlighted this month. The post reviewing your blog just went up and your blog will be featured on my sidebar throughout the month of January. Cheers!

  22. What a wonderful idea, I hope that she’ll receive many cards to distract her from such a trial. Best wishes to their family and to you for coordinating this effort.

  23. I will be glad to help. I’ll pick up a card tomorrow. My best wishes to the family.

  24. I’ll be looking for the perfect card today.
    Perhaps I’ll find more than one to send off.

  25. I just sent a card from our entire group of au pairs in Bala Cynwyd, PA! With stickers.

  26. […] a cause worthy of participation, Please go to Carolyn’s shade garden Your email:  This entry was posted in Gardening News, Gardens in general, Our Garden and […]

  27. Hi Carolyn, thanks for posting a comment on my blog! I will be sending a few postcards to Tara this afternoon. http://100daysofsnailmail.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/to-tara-day-three/

  28. Mary Beth Says:

    How curious. I too was touched by the post of LIving more simply and have read a lot about it only to find it is so hard to actually DO IT. As I have gotten older it becomes a daily struggle especially as my post college children have moved back home! And now this most important struggle with leukemia. Our family was personally touched by this disease and as a result my world has changed in many ways…. some very positive. I hope when the family is ready they can contact the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society(LLS) http://www.lls.org/hm_lls
    It was helpful for me.

    ASLO everyone out there! sign up to be a BONE MARROW DONOR@ http://www.marrow.org/JOIN/

    It is very easy, painless and so helpful for anyone with a blood related illness. I was a bone marrow donor and any discomfort involved was minor compared to the hope it gave the family.

    ALSO: any runners/walkers who want to do a Marathon, Whole or Half or a TRI go on TEAM IN TRAINING website

    I have done 2 Marathons (walked a lot) with the help of TNT and have raised over $20,000 for the LLSociety. Most will go directly to families like Tara’s
    Think about it . It’s a great way to get in shape and meet new friends(any age) and help the cause.

    Tara and her family will be in my prayers. I have friends across the world that I will contact to send cards to brighten her day.

    I am so glad I subscribed to your blog Carolyn. Thank you

    We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
    Mother Teresa

    • It is so wonderful to hear from you, Mary Beth. You have added a lot to the dialogue. Kartik is reading these comments and will appreciate your experienced advice about LLS. For me the words of Mother Teresa are very meaningful, maybe they are commonly quoted but I have never heard them before. The little drop I threw in the garden blogging ocean is growing daily as she predicted. Thank you so much, Carolyn

  29. Dear Carolyn, My card is on its way! Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity. My prayers are with Tara and her family. I wish you a happy and healthy 2011. P x

  30. Sharon Halpin Says:

    Carolyn — Card for Tara sent today from Washington, DC. I’ll echo everyone else’s comments — thanks so much for giving us this opportunity and for keeping us posted on Tara’s recovery. Thoughts and prayers for Tara and her family —

  31. Wow! I would love to send a card to Tara. Thanks Carolyn for thinking of this lovely idea. A little sunshine during this tough road ahead I am sure will make a difference.

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