Welcome to Georgia's Journey

Georgia Lily Lucas was born at home on October 6th, 2008 4:15am, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was diagnosed with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) on April 1, 2009.

On April 3rd Georgia was taken home, to be near her sisters and the rest of her family and friends. Nearly three weeks later, on April 21, 2009, she died peacefully -- in the loving arms of her mother and in the same room in which she was born.

Friday, December 31, 2010


As 2010 draws to a close I have spent quite a bit of time reflecting over the last year. I remember my New Year's Resolution from last year. It was simply to try harder when it came to our food choices. In many ways, we as a family have succeeded. We actually haven't bought a loaf of bread in almost a year. We eat most of our meals at home and we buy local and organic as much as possible. The girls have gotten used to eating homemade soups and pretty much anything else I can make in a crock pot. Sure, we still have our mac n cheese but we buy the organic now and try to eat it sparingly. Muffins and granola bars are all homemade but we still have crackers and cereal. We are definitely eating better.

2010 has been a good year for our family. In February, we spent a couple weeks in Portugal where I found peace on the beach and the girls found hours of fun in the waves. In May, we welcomed Aria into the world and our lives have forever been changed - for the better. In October,we organized and put on our second annual Georgia's Journey of Hope. Final totals put us just over $15000 thanks to a lot of amazing support. For Thanksgiving, we made our first road trip with Aria to Calgary and had a blast visiting family and friends. December offered us the chance to do tribute to our amazing palliative care team here in Winnipeg just before celebrating Christmas.

Resolutions? Well, I have one - to try to live in the moment and trust that I am on the right path. I know it's really vague but I have some more concrete ideas on how to make it happen. The first and foremost is to laugh more. I am going to start recording Ellen and other funny shows. Modern Family is my favorite but it only comes on for a half hour once a week and that's not enough. I am also going to start taking pictures of Maya every time that she comes down in a bathing suit or sun dress telling me that she is ready to go outside - keep in mind that it's often -20 degrees here! Instead of getting frustrated about it I am just going to start documenting it. It will probably give many of you a laugh too! : )

The girls of course have no resolutions for the new year. They continue to love school and their after school activities which include, swimming, gymnastics, dance and piano. Calla is really enjoying her piano lessons and I admit that I love sitting down to play with her. Some of her books have a teacher's part and Calla loves me to play along. It has been a great bonding experience. Part of my living in the moment is to continue taking the time to play the piano with Calla.

Trusting that I am on the right path is more difficult. I do know however, since the birth and death of Georgia that I am at least moving in the right direction. Georgia's Journey of Hope will again take place, hopefully bigger and better than ever. I also have a few other ideas about raising awareness.

I have been struggling since last August with what to do with GJH. Several people have asked me to register it as a charity and I am still doing my own research and soul searching. While I am totally dedicated to ending SMA and honoring Georgia, I am also totally dedicated to raising my three daughters. I consider myself a dedicated mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend etc. The demands of starting my own charity may be just a little bit too much at the moment especially when there is a Canadian SMA charity that seems to be doing a wonderful job. If anyone has suggestions as to how I may structure a charity that would complement FSMAC instead of competing with it please contact me. I'd love to hear from you.

We are looking forward to a nice family dinner out tonight and then a movie and popcorn. Maybe Aria will surprise us and start the new year by sleeping through the night!! LOL

We wish you all a happy new year surrounded by the love of family and friends!

Love to you all,


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Palliative Care

On Thursday evening here on CTV news they will be running a piece about pediatric palliative care. Most people don't like to hear the words pediatric palliative care and some get quite riled up when they hear the words. People seem to think that the minute that you accept care from the Palliative doctors you are giving up. When children are involved this makes people either super sad or super angry.

The truth of the matter for us however, is that the pediatric palliative care team here in Winnipeg stepped up when no one else would. They listened to us. When I say they listened to us I mean they listened to us. Once they had heard us they took immediate action. The hospital staff at that point seemed unsure as how to proceed. Their solution seemed to be that we could just stay in the hospital until Georgia died. Given that she was bipap dependent that meant that she stayed in the PICU. That would have meant that I would also have stayed in the PICU and our family would have remained apart. Of course, at this point we had no idea how long that would be.

Georgia was never happy in the hospital and she was no longer showing any signs of improvement. The doctors had stabilized her as much as they could. Dr. Mike and Simone showed up within a couple hours of Georgia's SMA diagnosis and had us home less than 48 hours later. Our city is a small one and we were told that children almost never leave from the PICU to go home. It's just not done. I believe that we may have been the first family to ever take a child home that was bipap dependent.

We did not bring Georgia home to die as many people think. We brought her home to live. The palliative care team worked alongside us to make sure that we had everything that we needed and most importantly our daughter was HAPPY! Bringing Georgia home allowed her to be with her sisters. She was able to sit in her swing or lay on the floor. She was constantly entertained. It allowed us to celebrate her half year birthday with family and friends. It allowed us to read bed time stories to all three girls and let Calla and Maya say goodnight to their baby sister everyday. We were able to sit down to meals together too. It allowed Mike and I to sleep in the same bed drawing strength from one another even as the machines beeped.

The two and half weeks that we had at home with Georgia (post diagnosis) are some of the best in our lives. We have so many incredible pictures and memories! It was also the hardest time in our lives. We were still reeling from the diagnosis and constantly worried about what may happen. Our friends from Palliative Care were always there. They would often show up within minutes of a phone call. They were often our only light on the darkest of days.

We know that not everybody would choose to bring home their terminally ill child. There are many contributing factors to making a decision like that but in the end it was the best decision for our family and it happened because of the incredible staff here in Winnipeg. We are honored to be a part of their story on Thursday night and hope that it may shine even a tiny ray of light into someone else's darkest of days.

Love to you all,


PS The story will be part of the 'Small Wonders' segment on CTV Thursday at 6:00.

Edit: here is a link to the CTV video online (click Play on the palliative care story)

Sunday, December 26, 2010


We have had a very busy yet relaxing couple of days. On Friday afternoon I took the girls the to play, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" before heading over to my parents for Christmas Eve. There are always lots of people there and it's great to catch up with everyone.

We all slept in until almost 8:00 yesterday. My parents were actually in the driveway waiting for us to call them!! We let the girls play with their Santa gifts while we made breakfast. Then onto opening...Calla and Maya had both asked for DSi's this year. We actually bought the Leapfrog Explorer for Maya and I am so glad. It does all of the reading for her. Aria was thrilled with the little guitar her friends sent but wasn't so sure about the puppy that Santa brought. It barks and moves forward when it's patted. She also loved the stacking ball that Grandpa sent.

When the gift exchange was finished my parents left and Mike proudly proclaimed,"Our job as parents is done for the day." : ) We both had a good laugh as we looked around the disaster that was once our living room. One good thing about having a baby on the move is that it can't stay like that for long. Everything has to get picked up.

Later in the afternoon we headed back to my parents to exchange gifts with Kevin and Melissa as well. The best part was eating our traditional dinner of steak and lobster! Mmmmm....

I am hoping to check out the deals at some point today. No rush though, there is plenty of cleaning to be done around here!! Yikes!!

The tone was different this year. One of us was missing. She always seems to be just beyond reach, as if she is hiding behind the corner. But, the burden was lifted. The day was full of joy and fun. We wish that she could have been here to add to the mess, and the chaos that is our Chrismtas day but she remains forever part of the joy and love.

Love to you all,