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Come out and support the ‘Orth Kids’

My co-conspirator here at The Chronicle, “Tom the Sports Guy,” and I have spent a good portion of the past couple weeks on the phone with parents of the “Orth Kids.”
Each year, The Chronicle strives to tell the stories of the children who benefit from the Tim Orth Foundation’s annual Basketball Jamboree, which is set Saturday here in Glencoe in the high school gymnasium.
Many years, when we are fully staffed, we’ve been able to visit families in person, meeting the kids and talking to their families. This year, we’re temporarily shorthanded, and we divided up the names between the two of us.
Whether it’s in person or on the phone, Tom and I found doing these interviews and writing the stories both inspiring and emotionally exhausting.
On Monday, we chatted about how we both needed to take breaks between interviews to process what we’ve been hearing.
And, then, we both got quiet.
Though we didn’t say it out loud, I think we both were thinking the same thing.
If a 20- to 30-minute interview is exhausting for us, just think what it’s like to live with children with serious medical conditions on a day-to-day basis?
You could hear the exhaustion in parents’ voices as we chatted with them.
But overriding that exhaustion was the love they had for their children. They proudly touted their children’s achievements and milestones. They spoke a little of the exhaustion, worry and mounting medical bills, but mostly they talked of the joy their children brought to their lives, despite their medical conditions.
I’m not sure about Tom, but what surprised me was how appreciate parents were of our desire to share their stories.
Both Tom and I were hesitant to intrude into these families’ lives. It seemed to us that these parents had enough with which to cope without a couple of reporters prying into their business.
But like most parents, they wanted to celebrate their children. They spoke lovingly and with pride of their families. They expressed gratitude for family and friends who have pitched in to help.
And we can help them, too. Read their stories. Come to the Basketball Jamboree Saturday night and show your care and support.
I’m sure the “Orth Kids” would love to see you there.