About two years ago, I had the pleasure of being able to meet the bravest, most intelligent, full-hearted little girl that I would ever get to meet. It was early December, the “Christmas hype” as I like call it, was in full affect. My mom, Denise Lampi-Kok, is a bartender at a local brewery in Billings. When May would be in treatment in Billings, her mom would always stop in to be waited on by my mom. They formed a friendship through her visits, which lead to them planning an evening where my brother and I could go and watch “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” while eating popcorn and sipping on some hot chocolate with Maylie.
The minute I walked through the door I felt an instant connection with May. I had enough of an understanding about CF (Cystic Fibrosis) to know that what she goes through every day is no simple task. I felt for this young girl like I hadn’t anyone before; the best way I can describe the feeling is that I needed to protect her, be there for her. I remember how smart she was already and such a young age. Being homeschooled by her mother, it came to no surprise to me her level of intelligence!
I remember when we were saying goodbye to her that day at her hospitalization, she told me that she loved me. Hearing that from her nearly brought me to tears. I knew from that moment that I wanted to do more. I wasn’t able to see May when she would be in Billings during the summers, due to my baseball schedule, but my mom would always visit and spoil the girls whenever they came into Uberbrew.
After school began in the fall of my senior year, May was back in the hospital for treatment. Being a part of the Billings Skyview cross country team, I thought it would be a really cool idea if some of the varsity members could come down and meet May. My team really went all out for her! They got her flowers, a balloon, sparkling water, and a stuffed bear (We named it falcon being that our cross-town rival are the bears).
My last visit with May was during my Thanksgiving break. I had just got back home from college, Boise State, and I had heard that May was in the hospital again. I had planned out an evening of watching the Polar Express, while eating some snacks. I also had to bring her sister and her some Boise State t-shirts! After I left that evening as she was falling asleep, she told her mom that she had one of the best nights of her life. I can honestly say, that I shared that feeling with her.
May has shown me in the last three years of knowing her what it takes to be strong. It’s not the overall size of the person, but rather the size of the heart that defines strength of an individual. I recently was emitted to the hospital for pains in my side and had to stay overnight. Though I was terrified of what might be wrong with me, I kept thinking of May and her strength to help me through my pain. Not many people could have touched me the way she did.
She always has me feeling like, what can I do that’s more than I’m doing now? What can I do to help? I’ve decided to ask for donations to provide to the Cody Dieruf Benefit Foundation because of what May has done to make my heart grow, and I’m hoping that others may find the will to give, just like May did to me.