Sunday, July 17, 2011

CureSearch...and other amazing things!

To all of our CureSearch supporters (big and small!):

WOW! I don't even know where to begin to express my gratitude and feelings about all the support we received from you for our CureSearch walk. I have written and rewritten this post several times and cant seem to be able to express adequately how grateful I am. So I'm going to just say THANK YOU!  Thank you so much!!

For your are a few of the exciting things that happened.

1st- I had set a team goal of  $1,000 that I was hoping to meet. I was nervous I wouldn't be able to pull it off. Uhhh...we blew it out of the water! Right now our team total is currently sitting at $3,415!! Woo Hoo! Go team McKall!! (PS-donations are going to be accepted for another 60 feel free to continue to raise funds!)

2nd-  I also set a goal to have at least 20 people join our team. I hoped that with family and friends we'd reach that number...but I was worried. I don't know why...we had 53 people join Team McKall! Some were family, some were friends, some were acquaintances, and some were people we had never even met! I am so grateful to all of you for joining Team McKall and helping us fund research for a cure!

and 3rd- Our CureSearch Walk goal was to hit at least $50,000....a lofty goal for an inaugural race. Uhhh...blew that out of the water too!! With over 1,400 registered walkers we raised $72,000 and counting!! The best race total so far this year!! YAY for Salt Lake City!

It was such an emotional day for me. I was truly amazed at all the supporters. There were "Team McKall" t-shirts all over the place...some on people I had never even met! I wish there was some way I could have got us all together for a picture... There are so many of you who came and I never got a chance to thank you...I am so grateful to you! Thank you!!
Chelsea (the cute girl behind you) is in our ward. She and
a bunch of her friends signed up and came in their
own t-shirts. We are so grateful for the support!!

The ceremony was amazing. I was in tears almost the whole time. It was heart wrenching watching the people come forward who had lost a child or sibling to cancer. They got to release a balloon and we all observed a moment of silence to honor them and their valiant fight. Watching their balloons float away was so emotional...I think its every parents worst nightmare. I couldn't help but think of the CureSearch slogan "These are the Reasons we Walk." I am so grateful to the many, many children who came before us. For their willingness to participate in the research that has made McKalls cancer so treatable. If it weren't for them, I would have been releasing a balloon for her. It makes me cry just thinking about it.
Amazing kids!

McKall was so excited to receive her CureSearch Champion medal! All kids currently in treatment, or who have finished treatment, are called Champions (isn't that a great title for these kids?) and received a medal. McKall got to say her name in the microphone and accept her medal...she was so funny she couldn't stop looking at it! Id say shes earned a thousand medals for all shes been through this past year...she truly is my hero!
Waiting excitedly for your medal...
Saying your name in the mic...
Staring and staring at your glorious medal...
Rubbing your medal...
Getting more comfortable while waiting for the rest
of your cancer friends to get their medals...

That being said...I felt overwhelmed by the number of kids on the stage receiving their medals. It was heartbreaking to me. I feel so grateful and even guilty about how well McKall has done. I know there are so many with the exact same diagnosis who have struggled so much during treatment, and comparatively we have breezed right through. There were definitely tough times...but I have seen and heard of so much worse. We truly have been so blessed.

When we got back to the car after the walk I noticed I had received an email. As I read it tears streamed down my face. One of our "cancer friends" had been in for his last routine MRI before hitting Maintenance phase, and got the most terrible news. His brain cancer has returned and is terminal. After 2 years of treatment, 2 bone marrow transplants, radiation, and countless chemo visits the cancer has returned and is extremely aggressive! It has already covered his brain and spine. The doctors say he has a few weeks, to a couple months. To say this news has rocked our close knit cancer community is a gross understatement. It is all of our worst nightmare and my heart is just breaking for this amazing family. The boys name is Daniel, he is 7, and he is amazing. His parents have taken him to Disneyland to enjoy his last few weeks and make some memories. If you would like to learn more about this amazing boy... you can visit his blog here.

Thank you for coming and supporting us at the CureSearch walk! Daniel, and McKall, and ALL of our cancer friends are the reasons we walk....for them, and for all those who come after. Your help really does make a difference!

Here are some pics of a few of the fun things they had going on before the ceremony started...
Of course Cinderella was there!
This silly clown was making animals...
You were mesmerized...
You told him you wanted him to make you a
princess hat and this is what you got!
Everyone got something!!
Just had to throw in a pic of the 2 greatest men in your
life...Daddy, and Mr T boy.

Now for a WeeMee update!

We have been having so much fun this summer! We haven't really done a whole lot of exciting things, but you are happy and healthy, and that is so fun to watch! We haven't had any fevers, or sickness (knock on wood), and your blood levels have been mostly perfect.

Well...., there are a couple of things I'm a little concerned about...but we have clinic on Thursday so I'm not going to let myself get worried till I talk with the docs. One concern is leg have been having excruciating leg pain every couple of days. It usually only happens at night. But its bad enough to wake you up, or keep you awake. The pain itself varies each time it occurs. Sometimes just a little of the "pink medicine" will nip it in the bud and you sleep great. Sometimes we give you the full dose of meds and it doesn't touch it. The only thing that calms you on those nights is a Priesthood blessing. Thank heaven for the Comforter. I hate to see you in pain, but I am so grateful for the healing and comforting power of the Priesthood! We NEVER would have made it through this past year without it!

The other concern is a rash you have on your face...I'm pretty sure its just a heat rash, but not positive. I thought heat rashes went away after you cool down but this one has been there for at least 2 weeks???  Sometimes its quite faded and you cant hardly see it, but the last few days it has been more pronounced. Your chemo makes you more susceptible to sun burns so we have been going through sunblock like crazy.... I'm wondering if its some kind of reaction to that too... I guess we'll see. I'm sure its nothing... You act and seem so happy and busy! You are a go-go-go-er...I cant hardly keep up. Its wonderful!

Here are some pics of some of what we've been up to...
Lemonade stands! You had about 6,
dad, your sisters, and Kris and Angie. :)
You dressed yourself...blazer, necklace, hairdo,
pen, and notebook. Then you told us we
had to call you Rox.  You said "thats Rox spelled
with an 'x'". Don't know where you got that from...
you said you just made it up.
The 4th of July said you wanted to
stand on the 'candy side' of the street!
My American girls!
We love face painting!
Waiting with Kate for fireworks. When you can
watch them from your backyard it draws a crowd... We
love sharing Americas Birthday with friends and family!
We went to 'the beach' (pineview dam) as you
like to call it. You're a water baby!
You kept dunking your head in the water to cool off...
We got a good laugh from your crazy hairdo after
the dunked hair dried! So funny.

I am so grateful for these last couple months of good health! I have enjoyed spending the summer with my girlies and men! I have the best family ever!