Maxwell, The Brave Little Soul – Bravelets

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Maxwell, The Brave Little Soul

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About this cause:

Maxwell Pogers, born 8/26/14, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on September 29, 2014 after his 1 month well baby visit uncovered dangerously low hemoglobin and platelets and a markedly elevated white blood cell count. Blood tests were initiated by his pediatrician due to the recent appearance of petechiae on his skin, but he had otherwise been apparently well. Given the critical results, he was taken by ambulance to Duke University Hospital. Over the next few months, Maxwell endured a total of 5 rounds of chemo that culminated with a Cord Blood transplant on 4/1/15. During his treatments his infectious smile and personality touched everyone he met. His story literally touched thousands of hearts across the country and world due to the power of social media and his Caring Bridge website. Friends, family, coworkers, medical staff and complete strangers came together from all over the country & world and stood beside him and his family during his fight to rid his body of cancer by offering prayers, food, time, money, and even their DNA to find a match for this precious soul. Amazingly a match WAS found and this little boy was able to fight even harder. Four days post transplant, with his old immune system wiped out, and the new one not yet developed, Maxwell was admitted to the PICU, intubated, placed on a ventilator and treated for respiratory failure, sepsis, and veno inclusive disease. He remained on the ventilator for 23 days. Once he was breathing on his own and medically stable he returned to the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant unit for the next 3 weeks. However, on 5/22/2014 he began having difficulty with high respiratory rate, low oxygen saturations, and bleeding in his lungs and was intubated again. Over the next 12 days Maxwell's levels in his kdneys and blood continued to deteriorate to the point of no return. Despite some of the surface level changes appearing to improve, the underlying conditions degraded to where the support levels ultimately needed to be reversed (increased/degraded). Due to various other complications with lungs and other systems, Maxwell told his parents it was time for him to move on to a better place and live on the next phase of his life in heaven. Maxwell's final day on earth was 6/4/15 with his parents and loved ones. "Only Maxwell's physical being has left us. He will remain with us always, and will play a specific role in guiding his big sister. We have not lost Maxwell, rather we have gained a lifetime of memories. Heaven has also gained today one of the most wonderful angels. He will continue to spread his infectious smiles, laughs, and joyous personality to all he meets and watches over."

At Maxwell's Celebration of Life ceremony, he amazingly strong & beautiful mom read the following story. If we hadn't known, we would have thought it was written specifically for Maxwell. If you, too, would like to "Be Brave" please consider purchasing a Bravelet. The proceeds will go directly to the Pogers family.

The Brave Little Soul (By: John Alessi)

Not too long ago in Heaven there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. He especially enjoyed the love he saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however the little soul was sad, for on this day he saw suffering in the world. He approached God and sadly asked, “Why do bad things happen; why is there suffering in the world?” God paused for a moment and replied, "Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see, unlocks the love in people’s hearts.” The little soul was confused. “What do you mean,” he asked.” God replied, “Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences and show their love and compassion for those who suffer. All their other motivations disappear and they become motivated by love alone.” The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued, “The suffering soul unlocks the love in people’s hearts much like the sun and the rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their heart, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine freely, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this - it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer - to unlock this love – to create this miracle - for the good of all humanity."

Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could hardly contain himself. With his wings fluttering, bouncing up and down, the little soul excitedly replied, "I am brave; let me go! I would like to go into the world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people’s hearts! I want to create that miracle!" God smiled and said, "You are a brave soul I know, and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this and so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. Those souls will help you create your miracle; however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others. They have already chosen a name for you. God and the brave little soul shared a smile, and then embraced.

In parting, God said, “Do not forget little soul that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel that you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought, and you will be healed.” Thus at that moment the brave little soul was born into the world, and through his suffering and God’s strength, he unlocked the goodness and love in people’s hearts. For so many people dropped their differences and came together to show their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those that were always too busy found time. Many began new spiritual journeys – some regained lost faith – many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. Distant family reunited, and every family spent more time together. Everyone prayed. Peace and love reigned. Lives changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle had happened. God was pleased.