Every year around Christmastime I bring to my readers a person who is in need. Last year we supported a hard working single mom who had been laid off of work for 6 months and had decided that it made more financial and moral sense to stay home with her son until she could find a job in her field that paid her benefits. An update: She made it through several more months until God blessed her with a wonderful job in her field. She said, “I was blessed to stay home with my toddler for a year and half. It was challenging and a blessing but God always provided for us. This precious time with my son, I will always cherish.”
This year I want to share with you a different story. A story that breaks my heart and puts me back into gratitude any time I want to complain or moan about the challenges of parenting.
This is Nora.She was born December 11th, 2009 in San Francisco, CA weighing only 1 pound 4 ounces. Nora battled and won almost 4 years with her family and friends. Her lungs were never fully developed and she died due to complications from pulmonary hypertension on November 22nd 2013.
Nora was my mother’s first cousin Fran McCormack’s granddaughter. My heart hurts for Fran and her husband Kevin as well as Nora’s parents. I cannot imagine that kind of loss, but Nora’s life was also a celebration. The following is part from her obituary.
Although medically limited she was like a regular little girl who loved tea parties, car rides, doggies, ice cream cones, baseball, basketball and reading books. She was an avid watcher of and interactive participant in Dora and Diego, Special Agent Oso, Curious George and Bamse, amongst many others. She was passionate about birthday cakes, splashing water, Christmas, hummingbirds, listening to and making music, baking, painting and drawing.
Nora lived an incredibly full life and faced each challenge she encountered with perseverance, strength and grace beyond her years.
With her courage and zeal Nora showed us that each day was an opportunity to create everlasting memories, always pushing for “more” and “again.” She will be remembered by all who met her as an extremely smart little girl with an irresistible sense of humor, overflowing with joy and an indomitable zest for life.
Nora was a miracle and with her passing there is a hole torn out of the hearts of her family and friends. Nora’s life was illuminated by love. Every moment of every day, she was cherished by her parents and cheered on by all those who were fortunate enough to know her. Though her life was unfairly brief, she spent it surrounded by support, always aware of how special and valued she was.
Our children are a gift from God. Having two miscarriages, I recognize how precious a newborn life is. Although I never met Nora, I knew her through my family, pictures and stories. She has helped me realize how precious each day is with my children. Each day is a gift because we don’t know how many days we have with each other. We just don’t know.
This year I would like to make you aware of Nora and her foundation to help other parents of kids born premature with underdeveloped lungs or kids battling pulmonary hypertension. If you would like to know more or how to donate, please read this note from Nora’s parents Claire and Thomas.
And remember if you have it in your heart to support this family but can’t financially right now, you can always pray for them. Prayer can bring peace that passes all understanding.
God Bless your Christmas Week and enjoy every minute you can with your family. I love and appreciate you,
Mary Starr Carter
Dear friends and family,
Nora would have been four years old today. Those four years were filled with joy and love, but also with struggle and learning – learning how to be parents, medical advocates and healthcare providers. Now Thomas and I are struggling with losing Nora and learning how to live our lives without her.
Many of you have asked what you can do to help us. Unfortunately, nothing can bring back Nora. But we can keep Nora’s spirit alive by giving to other children and families who are battling pulmonary hypertension.
Nora loved birthdays and Christmas. She loved giving and receiving gifts. That is why we created the Nora Thelma Boström Foundation at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. We want to provide education and support to caregivers of chronically ill children and fund research into pediatric pulmonary hypertension. We want others to feel the joy and love that Nora gave to us.
Please consider making a gift in honor of Nora. You can click on the PayPal link below to make a credit card gift or mail a check to the address below. If you are interested in giving securities or other assets, please contact the community foundation at (650) 450-5444 for assistance. Funds raised will be added to the Nora Thelma Boström Foundation at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. All checks should be made payable to “Silicon Valley Community Foundation” with “The Nora Thelma Boström Foundation” in the memo line.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation qualified as exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) and classified as a public charity under IRC Sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi). The community foundation will provide gift acknowledgements to all donors to the Nora Thelma Boström Foundation at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. All gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
Mail checks to:
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
2440 West El Camino Real, Suite 300
Mountain View, California 94040-1498
Attention: Gifts Department
We are deeply grateful for your support,
Claire and Thomas