Five months ago, three-year-old Raelee Parris passed away. I never had the pleasure of meeting Raelee, but I know people who did. It’s very clear from the stories I’ve heard, I’m the one who missed out! He was a Super Hero fan extraordinaire, with a particular affinity for the Dark Knight himself, Batman. More importantly, he was a special little man who brought joy to all who knew him.
Raelee suffered from febrile seizures, a little-understand medical condition affecting kids aged 6 months to 5 years. Like many other parents whose children have this problem, his parents (Corey and Heather) knew the seizures could be frightening. They never imagined they could take Raelee’s life. On the night of December 18, 2015, Raelee suffered a seizure in his sleep that proved fatal. His passing stunned a community and left his family with far more questions than answers.
People deal with grief in a variety of ways. Some shut down, while others just try to stay busy to avoid the pain. Still others seek to find hope and meaning out of the loss. The Parrises are in the third group. They are in the process of starting a charity that will educate the public about the life-threatening dangers of juvenile febrile seizures.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Heather Parris and Raelee’s siblings, Calli Jo and Harley. They live in the Nashville area, so they wanted to come by and meet some of our staff who will be working on their new nonprofit. What happened next, we will never forget. When giving us payment for her invoice, Heather added a crinkled $1 bill…a dollar bill that came from Raelee’s own piggy bank. She wanted Raelee to have an investment in helping save the lives of other little boys and girls who suffer from febrile seizures. Needless to say, that is one of the most special dollar bills I’ve ever held in my hands.
So, what is a dollar worth? Some days, it’s all the money in the world. Here’s praying that Raelee’s dollar brings the biggest return on investment ever seen.