BENEFITING: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
"We have to admit you daughter, Mackenzie, into the hospital now. The swelling in her brain to too great and we must have her on steroid treatments to reduce the swelling and prepare her body for the brain surgery." These are the words the great doctors at MCV/VCU told and un-expecting mother and father, my wife and I, almost five years ago.
How do you prepare yourself to have your daughter, not even two years old, and go through brain surgery to remove a tumor the size of a peach from the base of her brain stem?
How do you leave your new born, three week old daughter Grace, at home with Grandparents and you don't know when you will be back?
We only knew, we are going into this trial as a team, we will all make it through as a team!! There comes a point where thinking stops and only focusing on survival drives your every move, thought and concern.
Our oldest daughter, Mackenzie (above picture, far left) was diagnosed with a medulla blastoma at 20 months of age. We left our three week old daughter, Grace (above picture, second from right) with her beloved Grandparents and we, mom and dad - the other two in above picture :-) set out on a journey that no parent wants to take.
Along the way, we survived two brain surgeries, a grand mal seizure that almost claimed her soul, six rounds of chemotherapy and three rounds of stem cell replacement therapy.
To date, Mackenzie is cancer free, six years old and loving every minute of Kindergarten and every aspect of a six year olds life. Grace is now four years old and loves trying to be just like her big sister!
Another blessing we gained along the journey, we gained more than a new lease on our daughter's life; we gained a network of friends, a network of friends that are like family. One such great family is that of Reese Klauer. Reese is now an eight year old "Super Girl" that continues to beat the odds of cancer ... and loves to watch Scooby Doo with Mackenzie while waiting for their check-ups in Clinic.
With the friendship, love and support of Sherry and Walter Klauer, Reese's mom and dad, and you can’t forget Rhett and Wade, Reese's awesome brothers - our two families have formed a true bond!
A bond of survivorship, of comfort and support, of raising awareness for Childhood Cancer, of running the good run for our children and for all children that suffer from all forms of Childhood Cancer.
And Running the good Run is why we need your help. Sherry and I are literally running to bring support, resources, research and hope to as many children as we can. Childhood Cancer Awareness is symbolized by the GOLD ribbon. For this reason, Sherry and I are setting out on a new Journey/Run, We are Running for GOLD by setting out to conquer the 2011 Outer Banks Half-Marathon in November. We run for those who cannot, those who want to but are too weak, for those who will never run again. This is why we RUN!! We are running to support the St. Jude's Hero's - All of our children - by "Running for GOLD!!"
Thanks for helping me reach my goal for the kids of St. Jude!