Friday, September 6, 2019

30 Stories 30 Faces 30 Years: Grandparents Day Edition

When we are looking for unconditional love, many look no further than their grandparents. These amazing family members dole out tons of ice cream or the best mashed potatoes, always have a special...mischievous... story to share about your mom or dad as a child, and some will even let you ride the dog around the living room. Their hearts are so filled with love and pride, grandparents just can’t say “No.” 

Thanks to National Grandparents day, we get to celebrate all of our CCA grandmas and grandpas (and Gigis and PopPops, Nanas and Opas, too!). We felt that the Lances and Laugharns, grandparents to Shierry Laugharn, exemplify that unconditional love that all CCA grandparents feel for their CCA kids. 
Tim (Gaga) Lance

These two sets of grandparents create a double duo of love for their CCA kid. They work together to make Shierry’s journey a celebration whenever given the chance, and support their own children to be amazing parents to boot! Both sets of grandparents gather together for a special family tradition in honor of Shierry, “Before each of Shierry's surgeries, no matter how minor, the grandparents get together with Shierry, Rachel, and Dan for a pre-op pizza party.  It is a tradition we all hold very dear,” says Tami Laugharn. 

How amazing is that?! 

Rachel, Shierry’s Mom, speaks volumes of the support her and Dan’s parents provide, “Shierry has had a four-person, full-time cheering squad since the moment she was born. Every new thing my husband and I have to learn, they’ve stepped up to learn too, whether it be feeding her as a baby with her special bottle, or putting in her prosthetic eye. They love to hear about every goofy detail of her day. She has never felt anything other than pure love and care from her grandparents and is one of the luckiest little kids in the world.”

Shierry, Dan, and Rachel live in Austin, Texas. They love dancing, playing in “Invisible World,” to expand their imaginations, and going to the park to enjoy the playground and grass. 

Jan (Yaya) Lance
Rachel’s parents, Jan (Yaya), and Tim (Gaga) live in Austin, too. They love the Texas Longhorns sports teams, hiking, and volunteering in the community. Yaya Jan says, “CCA has provided Rachel and Dan with opportunities to learn from and form relationships with other parents who deal with extraordinary circumstances on a daily basis. They’ve grown with the experience, so that now they can be a source of knowledge and support for others. Rachel, Dan, and Shierry look forward to meeting up with old and new friends at the Retreat each year.”

Jan is always jazzed about our Annual Family Retreat, too, “we loved seeing photos of Shierry with her new (and hopefully lifelong) friends at the 2019 Retreat. They were inseparable! We can’t WAIT to see y’all next summer when the Retreat comes to Austin, our hometown.”
And we can’t wait for Austin either, Jan. 

Gary (Grandpa), Tami (Game), and Shierry
Dan’s parents, Tami, (Gami), and Gary (Grandpa), live in The Woodlands. While they love traveling and are dedicated to their church, they are even more devoted to their granddaughter. Family is first, which is evidenced in one of the photos that Tami shared with four generations of Laugharns pictured. So tight is the lineage that Shierry was named for her great-grandfather, Edward Shierry, who sadly passed away last month. 

Shierry and her Great Grandfather Edward Shierry for
whom she is named.

Tami echoes the sentiments shared by Jan about the impact CCA has had on their family. “CCA has given our families the support they needed.  Rachel being able to reach out to people who have gone through similar situations is so wonderful. You know you aren't alone.”

She further illustrates the meaningful, active network of CCA parents by telling this story, “For example, I remember her (Rachel) having a hard time finding an eye ointment that worked well for Shierry. Someone from the East Coast sent her a box full when she found it. Just knowing that others have gone before you, and can give you advice, love, and care is special.” 

Both the Lances and the Laugharns agree with one more thing Tami mentioned during our conversation, “we are blessed to have this super girl as our granddaughter.”

Indeed, we all are blessed to have you and Shierry part of the CCA community. Thank you for helping her be the “super girl” that she is. 
Grandpa Laugharn and Shierry
Happy Grandparents' Day! If you are lucky enough to have your Nanny or Grampy around: call them, give them a hug, and thank them for their enduring love.

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