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Dear Reader: To 2018, To Life, L’Chaim!

Alayne Sulkin

Published on: January 02, 2018


In the Jewish tradition, the number 18 has great significance. It’s synonymous with the Hebrew word Chai, which means life. Chai (not pronounced like the familiar tea or “hi” but more like you’re about to clear your throat) is most familiarly used on happy occasions by toasting L’Chaim — to life. 

In 2018, our family’s motto will be “to life,” a choice inspired after a rough year, including daily politics, a revered aunt’s death and horrific health issues,

For those who don’t know, in 2017, our adult son survived a wicked and rare autoinflammatory disease. Like all parents, a child’s illness triggers your greatest fears, which makes the feature this month all the more personal. Like the 72 percent of Americans mentioned in the article, I feverishly Googled my son’s symptoms in search of answers for my suffering child who, as a new student at law school in D.C., had no nearby family doc to call. 

In our feature, you’ll learn how traditional hospitals and local startups like 98point6 are helping address these concerns through virtual care. As for our family, it’s a happy new year in health.

Also in 2018, I’m looking forward to one of our biggest events of the year. Join us on January 22 to learn how to most effectively cultivate courage, curiosity and resilience in ourselves and our children. We’ll be hosting a live Q&A on Facebook with Dr. Dan Siegel, co-author of the new book “The Yes Brain,” for which “Mindset” author and former ParentMap speaker Carol Dweck, Ph.D., recently gave glowing praise.

Finally, we’re pleased to celebrate inspiring acts of kindness as we head into 2018. Each month, we hope to motivate you for actions big and small. In the series Teens Take Action, we’ll profile exceptional local youth who are making a difference in our community through their work with the Gates Foundation Discovery Center. We’re also proud to bring back our Giving Together campaign; it’ll promote the good work of local organizations that improve the lives of families in our community. We hope your family will join our Giving Together campaign with your own precious time or treasure. 

And with that, here’s to a new year. Seeing that numeric reminder of 18 will, I hope, positively guide us and promote uplifting principles such as kindness, thoughtfulness and selflessness, even in tough times.

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