Our Friends Fight Alongside Us Every Day

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by Jackie Babiarz |

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Our nearest and dearest friends, George and Lisa Karavas, have been with us through every step, twist and turn, and up and down of this journey with our 13-year-old daughter, Cammy, who has Rett syndrome. It is hard to accurately and eloquently put into words how much their family has rallied around us and helped to carry us through the difficult times.

Even though they aren’t related to us, we all lovingly refer to them as Auntie Lisa and Uncle George. They constantly remind us through their words and actions that they will fight with us with unconditional love until there is a cure.

In 2012, knowing what my body goes through every day while lifting and caring for Cammy, George happily agreed to run the Chicago Marathon for Team We Run So Cammy Can. Leading up to the marathon, I injured my knee. I knew I would slow the team down immensely, but George vowed to stay with me the entire time, and he did. Crossing the finish line with Cammy and him was one of the most powerful moments of my life.

friends | Rett Syndrome News | The Karavas family poses outdoors at the 2012 Chicago Marathon.

The Karavas family at the Chicago Marathon in 2012. (Photo by Jacqueline Babiarz)

Lisa’s big heart, open mind, and faith constantly reassure us that we are on the right path and everything will be OK. She regularly checks in to see how Cammy is doing and reminds us that they are just five minutes away if we need anything. Lisa constantly puts herself in our shoes. She is empathetic without expressing any hint of pity. I adore her for that. My daughters know and love her like their own aunt. I love her like a sister.

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George and Lisa always are up for anything that involves Cammy. They stop by unannounced when Cammy is having a bad day just to give her a hug and a kiss and to get her to smile. They sent mail to Boston every time she was there to participate in a clinical trial in 2014 and 2015. They had dinner waiting for us when we returned home from the long, 10-day trips to Boston.

George and Lisa are willing to drop anything whenever Cammy is in the hospital to help take care of our other daughter, drop off some coffee, or sit with us. They proudly volunteer at our annual fundraiser, Cammy Can’s Cinderella Story, where George is our infamous auctioneer and Lisa is our hostess.

It’s hard to recall all their kind gestures, because they would never dwell on them. They just know that this is what friends do for each other. The biggest example of their friendship and how incredible they are is how their children act around Cammy. They see Cammy for who she is, rather than dwelling on all the equipment that comes with her and the physical abilities she lacks.

Note: Rett Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Rett Syndrome News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Rett syndrome.


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