Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cora Paige

Cora Paige

A Story of Love, Faith & Redemption

In February of this year Etsy published a story in the Storque about a sweet, 10 month-old girl, named Cora Paige and her parents, Joel and Jessica McClenahan. This is their story.

Cora's Story:
It started in November of 2008 with Cora having multiple ear infections as well as a repertory infection. While at one of the many doctor appointments, Cora's doctor decided to take an x-ray of Cora's abdomen. Within the hour of the visit he came back to the family with his suspicion Cora's liver was enlarged. He felt her condition might be due to cancer.

On the advice of their doctor the McClenahans took Cora to a hospital in Wichita for more tests for a more accurate diagnosis. The next morning the McClenahans received the devastating news. Cora had a tumor that needed to be removed immediately. Cora had the surgery the next day and she was officially diagnosed with Neroblastoma. This type of cancer occurs in infants and young children and is rarely found in children older than 10 years.

After the surgery the doctors felt Cora had a good chance for recovery with chemotherapy and other treatments. Jessica, who is a blogger, went to the internet to keep their family and friends updated on Cora's journey to recovery, but after three short weeks Cora's lungs began to fail and Jessica and Joel were told that Cora would more than likely not make it.

On February 8th, 2009, Cora Paige McClenahan lost her battle at the tender age of 11-months. The family was devastated. In lieu of flowers the McClenahans had asked that donations be made to a fund the couple had set up to build a playground in Cora's memory.

A fellow Etsian, who saw a need to reach out and help to see the McClenahans vision come to fruition. It was then that the call was sent out to the Etsy community. It only took one of our members in the EtsyBABY family to spread the word through out the team which got us involved. The EtsyBABY family generously lent their hand to cause. With family, friends, and the Etsy community, the McClenahans were able to raise $50,000 towards the building of the playground in Cora's honor.

On Saturday, September 26th, 2009, the McClenahans, along with their family, friends and some of the Etsy sellers, who helped to get the word out, were in attendance at the dedication of Cora's Playground.

With the sky flooded with over 300 balloons, with tables of cupcakes and plenty of children to try out the new equipment, the playground was officially opened.

Although the McClenahans lost their sweet Cora they have recently found out they are expecting another child in January of 2010. Jessica and Joel have decided to keep the gender of the baby a surprise.

EtsyBABY is proud to have been apart of this wonderful project and we want to congratulate the McClenahans on their new arrival and wish the family all the best.

A Special Note from Jessica:

"We are so thankful to the Etsy vendors who gave of their time and donated homemade goods to support Cora's Playground. We are truly overwhelmed and humbled by the response to the playground project. Whether you donated items, purchased from Etsy or prayed for our family, you all had a part of Cora's Playground. We are so grateful for this outpouring of kindness. We have felt so loved and supported as we walk down this difficult road without Cora. Cora's Playground will serve as a lasting reminder of our sweet Cora's life and Gods faithfulness to our family. We are so grateful!

Joel and Jessica McClenahan

Visit Coras, 10% of the stores proceeds goes to the maintenance of Cora's Playground.


Karen - lillybelle Custom Designs said...

What a wonderful tribute to such a brave, little girl! The playground is beautiful, and so many children will enjoy it for years to come! Thanks for sharing....

mrowe said...

Jessica was my daughter's kindergarten teacher and Cora was born during that school year. Needless to say, this story has a special place in my heart. In a world of violence and hate it is encouraging to see strangers come together to support a worthy, grassroots cause. Way to go Etsy community!!!