I think parents can unanimously agree that when our kids are sick, it’s the absolute pits. No one likes seeing their little ones suffer. Recently, my little fellow had to go to the Children’s Hospital to have surgery. He had kidney stones that were not passing and were extremely painful. The time came to operate. I was feeling very sorry for my little man.

After the first night in the hospital, I walked to a special room where they give free coffee, tea and snacks to weary parents. I got chatting to a mom in line. I pleasantly mentioned that it was a lovely service to have. She asked if I was a “newbie” and I shared we’d only been there one night. I asked her the same question, to which she replied saying they’ve been there for about three years. She mentioned that she’s the club that no one wants membership to – being the parent of a child with cancer.

As I walked back to my son’s room, I saw a Dad walk out of the bathroom. He looked absolutely broken. I saw a mom pushing her son in a wheelchair, he appeared to have both physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as being very sick. 

Every room I passed had a story. It reminded me of this incredible video by one of Canada’s best Children’s Hospitals. Just try not to cry watching it.

There are so many parents who have to show a brave face to their child through the scariest moments. There are so many families whose worlds are turned upside down by chronic illness and disease. So, while it hurt to see my son unwell, I can honestly say I’ve never felt more grateful for kidney stones.

Clancy 2



Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless awards. Julie is no stranger to the media, having appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, HLN’s Raising America, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, CP24, among many others. As a blogger and writer, her articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, The Globe and Mail, Profit Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Chicken Soup For the Soul - Power Moms and numerous websites. When she’s not juggling her busy family and professional life, Julie is an active volunteer and engaged community leader, who is passionate about women’s issues, mentoring young entrepreneurs, poverty alleviation and social justice.

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