Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan on Donna Day: Supporting Children With Cancer

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan on Donna Day: Supporting Children With Cancer
February 25, 2014

Today is Donna Day, and this is on my mind as I make my way to Lake Michigan on my daily pilgrimage. I clearly recall the day Donna's short life touched mine. I write this in her honor, and I hope you can take a moment to celebrate her.

Donna Day is named in honor of little Donna, who was the daughter of Sheila Quirk of Mary Tyler Mom here on Chicago Now.

I never met Donna. My experience of her came to me through a place that no longer exists. Her mom, Sheila wrote a beautiful post about Children's Memorial Hospital.  I read the post one morning a couple of years ago, and I still think about it and its incredible richness. I'd never been in that hospital, but I could feel and hear it.

Sheila's post conveys something deeply true about the spirit of a building.

The structures humans place upon the earth carry within and around them the grace and anxiety and spirit and lives of the people who use and pass through them. Sheila's piece is a tribute to that building, to the ground on which it stands, and to the life of her little girl who lived rich moments within it.

My time today at the Lake was unusually brief; bordered by meetings and pressing obligations. But I carried Donna and her Mom in my heart as I went. Greeted there, gratefully by stunning grace and calm. The wild, open space gently tinged with color.

I encourage you to spend a little time with Sheila's blog if you haven't yet. Donna's story is so deeply moving. I am grateful for the lessons from this little girl, and for Sheila's courage in sharing.

Find Sheila's Donna Day post here. And, find, at the bottom four things you can do to support cancer research.

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