Normal Moments was founded in March, 2007 by Melissa Fragen and her mother, Patricia, near the end of Melissa’s battle with metastatic osteosarcoma (a cancer that starts in the bone and grows out into the soft tissues) in response to a conversation between mother and daughter. This chat was oddly about what was “good” about a 2-year cancer battle, even when the battle was clearly lost. And what was actually good? It was the people…the people who they never knew would play such a critical role in their lives. It was the only person Patricia knew who had experienced the trauma of sitting by the side of a child in a coma, struggling to simply survive. It was the long-distance friend who sent a cleaning service because she understood the challenge of simply continuing to put your feet on the floor every day and getting through. It was the neighbor who got up early to clear the snow from the driveway on their clinic day. And above all,it was Melissa’s private music teacher, David, who stepped in to be their “everything” – caregiver to the dogs during extended hospital stays, house-sitter, tether to the “real world”, confessor, distraction, and so much more.
Melissa said “Everyone deserves a David”. Patricia responded, after only a moment’s pause, “We can do that”, and Normal Moments was born.
On March 29, 2007 Patricia wrote a message to future Normal Moments families that concluded:
“For her 17th birthday gift, my daughter asked for me to get a tattoo of the Chinese character for hope. She is not likely to be here for that birthday, so as strange as the request was, I gave her that gift recently. I think she wanted to make sure that even after she is gone, it is impossible for me to lose hope. Not only am I committed to holding onto my own hope, but to help you keep yours…not to mention some level of sanity….through any and every ordeal you face with your child’s health and well-being.”
*Melissa Anna Fragen died on April 1, 2007
Normal Moments is devoted to supporting parents with critically ill children in the home, in the hospital, and via web resources so that they can spend as much time as possible sharing the most normal moments possible with their children.
We will achieve this goal by alleviating the home stresses while parents sit with their hospital-bound child, by providing them with experienced resources to whom they can vent or who can be used as sounding boards either in person or by telephone, by reducing some daily cares such as housecleaning, lawn maintenance, and meals from local restaurants, by providing a consolidated location where they can research medications and treatment protocols via links to reputable websites, among other services, and by providing access to other service providers who can assist them with those needs not met by Normal Moments, Inc. All services will be provided on a charitable basis without consideration to race, religion, financial need, or any requirement beyond the medical needs of the child.