Another weekend goes by

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The kids were with their dad this past weekend, and he took them up to Baltimore to see Elton John in concert. Most kids don’t care a lot about Elton John, but mine grew up listening to him, and I think they really enjoyed the concert.

I spent most of the weekend working at a booth for Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research – Virginia (SSBTRVA). The booth was at the Home & Garden show, which isn’t necessarily where you would expect to find people talking about cancer. We were in the booth for Brandonbilt Foundations, and they had generously allowed us to collect donations. We were able to spread the word about our group, and we collected about $200 in donations. Several of the kids came down to work shifts, and it is always fun to hang out with them.

We have a trip to Pittsburgh this week, so I’ll be writing again soon. Thank you all for continuing to pray for David.

Spread the Love

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My first choice for online communication is Facebook, and it was blessing and a burden to me yesterday. It is where I communicate with my family – all of whom live far away – and where I keep in touch with friends far and wide. Through those friends I learned of a little boy who is fighting for his life today. He is in Hawaii and his name is Evan. He fell from a window in the family’s new home and has severe swelling on his brain. I believe the message below is from a friend of the family. It was such a beautiful prayer that I wanted to share it. There is a lot to learn in the words of this prayer. It is so hard to think of this family struggling through this situation, but I know that God will lead them through. If you have a moment, you might send up a version of this prayer on their behalf.

“I spoke to Mr. Jason 30 minutes ago and was very sad to learn that Evan is thought to be passing into a “slow brain death” .

Jason and Ami are asking that prayers be switched to these things:

If the Lords will is to take Evan, that He will not tarry or drag this out, but that He will swiftly take him home to be with the Lord.

If Evan does go home to be with the Lord, that we all would lift Jason, Ami and their family up in prayer. Praying that God would sustain them with His grace and mercy, granting them peace that passes all understanding, and my prayer is that we specifically ask the Lord to grant them favor that their faith will not be moved.

Of course, if the Lord has a miracle planned, then we are praying that the Lord not tarry in performing that miracle.

All medical interventions have been exhausted and some time tomorrow, if Evan is still hanging in there, they will perform tests to assess the brain activity.

Please continue to lift up this family. I know most of you are parents and I am sure we are overwhelmed with thoughts of heartbreak. I am reminded that the Bible promises us that “all things work for good to those who love the Lord. ”

Please see that the Bible verse does not tell us all things ARE good, but that for those who love HIM, all things will work for good. It is a hard promise to cling to in circumstances such as these, especially when a little one is concerned, but it is a promise from the Lord nonetheless.

Be thankful for what you have today. Each day is filled with gifts if we just take the time to see them. I was feeling so thankful yesterday because I got to see the kids for a little while and celebrate their accomplishment of being selected for National Honor Society. In the time that David has been battling cancer, two friends have already lost their battles. One of them had been fighting for years, but one only had a couple of months after his diagnosis. His poor mother is on my mind so much. I’ve been given the wonderful gift of this school year with David and Austin. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for any of us. We all know that, but it sometimes takes a tragedy to make us take notice of it.

Weekend Update

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As I was typing the name “weekend update” I thought about that crazy news bit they do on Saturday Night Live. Our weekend hasn’t been quite that scripted, but plenty of fun so far. Austin had a tennis match after school on Friday, so she rode the bus up to Woodbridge where they would play. I picked David up at school and we stopped by his old middle school to say hi to some teachers. They were all so happy to see him doing well. They are a great group of people, and it was fun for us just to see their faces and say a quick “hi”.

David and Catherine went to watch Brian play lacrosse, and I went up to watch Austin’s tennis match. I think David had a good time just being a normal teenager with his friends, and it allowed Austin and I to have a little time alone. It’s hard for me to let them out of my sight on “my” weekends, but I know they need to be independent. On Saturday, we went shopping for a new dress for Austin. Both kids will be inducted into the National Honor Society this week, and we are so proud of them. The guys (Richard & David) weren’t too thrilled about the shopping, but they managed to entertain themselves in the bookstore for a while. Then we had dinner at “home” with Cat & Brian. Jimmy came in a little after that, and they all hung out playing games (video and otherwise) in the basement.

A Simple Song

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Tonight I sat with a group of kids and a few parents who are part of the core of the non-profit we are forming. They were working on a song for a video, and toward the end of the evening, one of the girls, Catherine, sang the song. I don’t know how to describe it to you other than to say it was perfect. So sweet. So much from her heart that it brought tears to my eyes. She’s one of David’s best friends, and I simply couldn’t help but be moved.

I’d never had the chance to hear her sing before, although I knew she could sing. Hearing her sing lyrics about trying to save the lives of people with brain cancer was so touching. I hope to get a recording to share with all of you once the song lyrics are finished.

God gives each of us gifts. Not all of us know what they are right away, but if you are lucky enough to know what yours is, please use it. You never know who may be blessed by it.

Talent Show

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The Talent Show at SHS was last night, and I was fortunate enough to be able to work backstage. It was really fun getting to know the kids this week. There are so many kids with talent, and it was great to have an opportunity for them to show off what they can do. Some of David and Austin’s friends were in the show or working as crew backstage, and it was fun to hang out with them. David and Austin did get to come to the show, and although they had to leave early, they were able to enjoy the majority of the show.

We were particularly glad to see our friends, Lex & Colton, do so well. They regularly entertain us on Friday nights, so it was nice to see them get a larger audience.

Working at the school this week, also made my commitment to a new high school even stronger. Everything about their stage and equipment was second rate, although they do the best with what they have. I talked to a parent from another high school who couldn’t believe how tight the seating was and another who wondered why we were using garage lights on the stage (we don’t have any thing else!). If you are a local, please make it known to your representative on the Board of Supervisors that this high school needs to be rebuilt. They have a meeting on March 15th at 3:00 p.m., and anyone who can should go and speak. They have ignored these kids for too long!

Vaccine #4

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Richard, David, and I headed over to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh this morning for David’s 4th vaccine. This was a “routine” visit, and he didn’t see the doctor running the study. He was checked out by one of the other doctors we’ve met there, and then Nurse Kim gave him his injections. As usual, his neuro check was perfect. His hair is growing back in pretty quickly, so it’s hard to tell that there is anything wrong. He still sleeps at least 10 hours a night, but is doing everything else pretty normally.

We really enjoy theĀ  time together. David has a lot of good ideas, and this time he was asking about how businesses are formed over lunch. We’ve talked about a lot of these steps with the kids at the SSBTR meetings, but David isn’t always able to attend those. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, so it is fun to talk to him about this kind of stuff.

We were also able to set up a WiFi network in the car this time, so he was able to work on his web assignments from Chemistry. He doesn’t usually like doing homework in the car, but doing it on the laptop seems to be better.

We’ve gotten a lot of sweet messages over the last few days. I’m always humbled by the number of people who are keeping track of David’s treatments and keeping him in prayer. We are thankful for each of you. We try to also keep other families in our prayers and provide support to others as much as we can. God has blessed us with many connections throughout this experience, and we only hope that we can spread those blessings around.

Weekend

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Richard is here for the weekend, and we got to take Austin with us for a few hours. She wanted to get some cool clothes to wear for tennis practice, so we shopped for a little while. We also had a nice lunch – and then of course had to go get ice cream! Would have loved to hang out with her longer, but she had to go back to Mark’s. We ended up meeting him at the tennis courts, and she liked her new clothes so much that she changed in the car! She’s a ninja with that stuff, but it was funny.

Today we drive to Pittsburgh with David for his treatment tomorrow. He is actually riding with us this time, so I’m looking forward to the trip. There is no MRI this time, so I doubt there will be much to report, but I’ll keep you posted.