This is my friend, Joey Papa, and his daughter, Canaan. Over the last 16 years, our lives have intersected at the most random and perfect places. He’s always full of laughter, exuberance, boundless creativity, and deep feelings. When E was born, Joey and his amazing wife, Nikki, prayed for and loved us well, even in the midst of their own daughter’s (often devastating) health crisis. I know we are not the only ones The Papas have encouraged over the years, and they serve as a beacon of hope in the midst of great unknowns.
The Papa family is a tribe of warriors. All SEVEN of them. Dedicated. Strong. Life-giving. Life-loving. Joyful. Fierce. Resilient. And this is one thing Joey won’t tell you, but I will: He lived in his daughter’s room for months. He set up his office next to her crib and cared for her every need.
Joey’s sweet little girl, Canaan, has been in and out of the hospital her whole life. She has some neurological complications, and her lungs have a hard time keeping up with the rest of her body, requiring frequent hospital stays.
“This is Canaan and me waiting for discharge papers from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. She was in and out of the ICU for three weeks with a lung infection. There is nothing greater than jailbreaking my little girl from the hospital. She screams with joy the whole way home!”
We are screaming with joy right along with you, Canaan.
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