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Cathy's Candles 4 Kids and More

Meet the Kids 

Click on any childs name to go to their bio - click on -to get back to top of page

 Alberto ~ Andy ~ Anjuli ~ April ~ Arielle ~ Ashton E ~ Ashtons OatmealBobbyBradie Blaire BradyBramBrantley ~ Brett ~ BrianBriannaCaitCassidy ~ChadClarissaColeConnorColin ~ Corey ~ Corey (Blackberry) ~Danielle  ~  DannyDarian LeeDrewsDylanElliottElly ~   EricErin IanIreneIsabelle ~ Jacob ~  Jake ~ JakobJamieJamesJarrett  ~ JasonJesse (straw Jam) ~ Jesse (Straw Pie) ~ JoeyJ-dubs' (Joshua) ~  JustinKaleighKarenKatieKevin ~ KimberlyKristy ~ 2 KyleLaurenLindsayLindsey's Apple ~! LisaMadison ~ Makade ~ MatthewMax  ~ MaxieMichael  ~ Michaels Rain ~   Nicks Pearberry ~ PaigeParkerPaulRickyRobert ~ Sabrina ~ SammySarah AnneSara RoseSeanSpencerStevenSuryan ~    TeresaTommyTravisTyler

- indicates children that have earned their angel wings

Alberto's Awesome Graham Cracker ~ Alberto Jr. was 5 years old when he was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma.  He went through eleven months of chemotherapy.  He endured eight hours of surgery to remove the cancerous tumor along with three ribs, one muscle, and part of his right lung.  Alberto got endless amounts of medicine and daily shots to boost his immune system after each round of chemo each month.  He also had a feeding tube for ten months because the chemo gave him severe mouth sores and swollen gums.  It was too painful for him to eat.  He had lost all the weight he could afford to lose; he lost a total of 18 pounds.  The feeding tube was the right choice for him.  Through all this he's been amazingly strong and positive.  He never complained through all the medicines, surgery, shots, losing his hair, endless x-rays, C.T. scans, bonescans, MRIs, through 106 degree fevers, six blood transfusions, changing the broviac every week, and through replacing one feeding tube seven times.  He kept strong and I'm very proud of him.  Now that the eleven months of chemo are over, he'll tell strangers and family about what he went through and show them his scar where his tumor was.   He says he's telling his story.  We're very blessed to have him here today to hold, talk, kiss him goodnight, and to watch him play with his three siblings.  He's their big brother and they all three adore him.  He's now 6 years old and in preschool where he's doing terrific.  He has a head full of hair and has gained most of his weight back.  God has blessed us with a second chance and we are grateful and blessed to have him here today.  He's our survivor.  *** today October 20, 2006 I got an email from Alberto's mother.  Alberto has relapsed and is back in treatment.  Recurring Ewings is extremely hard to treat so the family has made the very difficult decision to try a stem cell transplant.  Alberto is already taking chemo and preparing for the transplant.  Please pray for his family as this will be a much longer and much more difficult journey that the first time.

 
 

Andy's Chocolate Covered Strawberry ~ Andy was born on May 16, 1990. Andy was diagnosed with leukemia on April 19, 1995; one month shy of his fifth birthday. He endured nearly 3 years of chemo, before finishing his protocol, with no signs of cancer. He enjoyed a 'normal' eleven months, before it was discovered that he had relapsed. He again endured nearly 3 years of a chemo protocol. This time, after 13 months of 'normal', he relapsed; just before Thanksgiving 2002. The only option was a bone marrow transplant & the search began for a donor. Andy didn't live to see that donor found. On Jan. 13, 2003 he was welcomed into Heaven; happy, whole and healed.  Andy never wanted to be identified by his leukemia; he wanted people to see him for who he was, not the baldness, the puffy face, the port-a-cath in his chest or the IV backpack he carried. He was: a happy, fun loving, tender hearted boy; that just happened to have a problem with his blood. When he played, he played long and hard. Never did the other boys know that after Andy came in from playing basketball, he would have to take Morphine & lay with a heating pad under his knees, because he was in such pain. Never did they know that just the act of running was so very painful, because his stomach and intestines were tender from all the chemo. Never did they know that he would come home from school and take a 2 hour nap, exhausted from the day. He was determined to be 'just one of the guys'.  Andy's biggest complaint in life was that he "never had enough time to  play." Many nights, even sick, from hours of heavy chemo, he would say "But, I didn't have time to play today!"  Those nights, we made time; no matter how late it was. Bed time would wait...out came the Lego's or Nintendo & we took that precious time to play. Andy's biggest loves were: Mom and Dad, his cats, Lego's and food. He had dreams of becoming a chef, and owning his own restaurant. He studied the history and origins of food. One of the first experiences in the kitchen, was making chocolate covered strawberries with Mom. We began making them for ourselves for Valentines Day, and it became a family tradition. When Andy began chemo, we were warned that it could cause some brain damage, and learning disabilities. Not so with Andy! His Dad and I used to joke that IF it had caused damage, "what would he have been like without it?"  Andy was an honor student. He liked school and learning. He excelled in history, geography and math. (he wasn't too shabby in science either!) He was quite an American History buff, especially military history. When you're on chemo, you have a great deal of time to watch television; luckily he chose The History Channel, The Discovery Channel or Food Network. (of course) There was a healthy dose of Cartoon Network and Nick at Night mixed in also.   He always kept up with his school work, even while out a week at a time, for chemo. He always looked forward to getting back to school, and his friends.  Andy had an incredible sense of humor, and loved to belly laugh, and make  those around him do the same. One of his greatest joys seemed to be pranking Mom or Dad, with some sort of joke or some booby-trap he had spent hours setting up in his room. "Hey Mom...come here!!!" would ring out, and you KNEW he was up to something! He loved Star Wars, and later, The Lord of The Rings. When other kids were into Pokemon, Andy was into Digimon. He loved all types of music, and to dance. More than once, he was caught boogey'n to the muzak in stores! Andy could be very quiet and reserved at times; other times, he was the life of the party. Once in Andy's 'inner circle', you were there for life. He knew no enemies, and preferred a small circle of very close friends. He had two BEST friends: he and Robby had been neighbors and friends since Andy was 4. They spent hours playing Legos; building cities, trucks, and anything else their minds thought of. They were together nearly all the time; you saw one, you saw the other. His best school friend was Christopher. He is everything Andy wasn't. Chris isn't shy or the least bit reserved. Chris loves to be in the spot light, where Andy loved to just blend in. They were the perfect compliment to each other & often picked up the others slack. Andy was as comfortable with adults as he was with his peers, and could count several adults as his close friends. He had a passion for babies and small children; something he definitely inherited from his Dad. He was always quick to hold a baby, or toss a ball with a toddler. He even took a baby sitting course, at a local hospital, with hopes of getting a few jobs here and there. Although Andy was only present here on earth for 12 years, 7 months and 28 days, his legacy lives on. He was wise beyond his years; understanding the truly important things in life: love, laughter, kindness, love of The Lord, and friendship. He gleaned more out of his short life, than most adults do in decades. He taught life lessons to teachers, doctors, nurses and most of all, his parents. We, his parents, feel such joy in knowing that he is now dancing with babies, in Heaven. He's building Lego's with The Lord! He has all of eternity to play, and he's healthy! Surely he heard "Well done good and faithful servant" when he reached the gates of Heaven. We will forever be humbled to have had you in our lives & eternally proud to call you our son.


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Anjuli's Chocolate Surprise~ "Sweet Anjuli was almost 4 when she was diagnosed out of the blue with a deadly brain stem tumor. She bravely fought a battle against cancer that inspired all who knew her. Medical staff continually marveled at the bravery and courage of this darling little dancer. She refused to let cancer dim the brightness of her light. She loved her family and friends, her home and her church. She also liked dancing, making works of art, running and jumping, reading and snuggling. She returned to the Angels in June 2001. She is missed by all who love her."

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April's Heavenly Strawberry Delight - In memory of April Janine Hornbuckle 1/3/83- 3/11/00.   April was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in Sept. 1996 at 13 years old.  She went through intense chemo and radiation and was in remission for 5  months when she relapsed. She then went throut a stem cell transplant in 1998. She them relapsed again 10 months later.  Cancer took our prescious daughter 0n March 11 2000. She always had a positive attitude and lived each day to it's fullest.  We hold on to all the good memories and try to remember not just that she died but that she lived and lives on in our Hearts forever.  She taught us so much about love and living life to its fullest even though times are tough.  We miss you sweetheart.  She was an inspiration to all who knew her..

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Arielle's Angel Wings~ Arielle and her identical twin sister Alanna were born October 2, 1991.  We felt so blessed in having healthy twins that weighed over 7lbs at birth.  Our life was turned upside down April 9, 1997, when Arielle was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  Because they are identical twins, Alanna was tested too, and thank God, given a clean bill of health.  She remains healthy and is no longer considered at risk for ALL.  Arielle remained in remission for 3 years and 3 months.  During that time, she was quite healthy and able to participate in Brownies, tennis, gymnastics, and dance.  She loved her cats the most, and wanted to open a shelter for homeless kittys when she grew up.  Fishing in the Sierra Nevada mountains and arts and crafts were other favorite past-times.  We were heartbroken when she relapsed July 17, 2000, at the age of 8.  This time, Arielle did not go into remission easily.  We were given the option of letting her die.  But, she was still strong and loving life- we couldn't give up on her and she wanted to continue the fight.  Finally, we found an especially strong combination of chemo drugs which put her back into remission, and eligible for Bone Marrow Transplant.  Arielle underwent BMT March 7, 2001.  She was discharged the middle of May, and by june 8, 2001, we found that the cancer was back- the transplant had no effect on the leukemia.  We lost our precious girl July 11, 2001.  

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Ashton Elizabeth's Excellent Apple Spice ~ Ashton Elizabeth was diagnosed with ALL on September 15, 2000 and she has been in remission since her little sister's birthday, October 13, 2000!  She finished her 2 and 1/2 years of chemo on March 7, 2003.  Ashton is a strong little blonde headed brown eyed girl who loves playing with her little sister, Haley.  They play dress-up and dolls, like to paint, and love to play outside on their swings and in their playhouse.  Ashton loves the beach in Destin,  Fla. and the mountains and waterfalls in northwest Georgia and had a blast in Disney World for her "wish trip" in March, 2002 and again with family and friends for Halloween 2003! She dressed up as her favorite Disney character, Princess Aurora, from Sleeping Beauty.

She was almost 3 at diagnosis and her pooh bear went with her everywhere; spinal taps, bone marrow aspirations, x-rays, playroom; everywhere.  When she turned 4, pooh was replaced with "Kyle Joseph" her baby doll who was named after a good friends newborn son.  He also went through numerous port accesses and spinal taps with her, and is still her "baby" as of today!!

Ashton is a child of great faith and her strength surpasses that of her daddy and me.  She believes she is healed and we are going with that.  She loves Sunday school and singing the songs she learns there - she also loves school!!  She is now in second grade is into reading American history books.  She loves decorated shimmery jeans and shirts and My Scene Barbie�.  She has a wonderful full of life laugh that keeps us going.  I feel so blessed to have her as our daughter!

Her favorite foods are chocolate, of course, and she eats at least 1-2  apples a day! She loves red apples and sliced cheese! 

Her daddy and my wish and prayer that she can be a hope and a light to those who are going through this terrible time in their lives of dealing with childhood cancer.  Hopefully with constant research and lots of faith and hope, someone will find a cure in our lifetime. 

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Ashton's Awesome Oatmeal Milk & Honey - Ashton was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at the age of 2.5.  The Leukemia was so rampant in his little body that his parents
were told that Ashton most likely would not live to see Thanksgiving,  just 5 days away.  However, Ashton pulled through those first rough weeks and went on to successfully complete 2+ years of treatment that included high-dose chemotherapy and cranial radiation.

Today, Ashton is a spunky, energetic, bright-eyed, 8-year-old 2nd grader who loves school, friends, gymnastics, Cub Scouts, riding his scooter, basketball, drawing, his Greyhound dog, Sara, and (last but not least), his Mom and Dad.  He hopes to be an "inventor or an artist or both" when he grows up. 

Ashton and his parents support a number of childhood cancer
organizations by participating in fundraising opportunities and speaking at various engagements throughout the year to raise awareness and money in the hopes of finding a cure for all childhood cancers.

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Bobby's Hot Buttered Rum~ Bobby was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 1987 at the age of 8.   The cancer recurred in his central nervous system, after three years of continuous chemotherapy,  More aggressive chemotherapy and cranial and spinal radiation yielded only a two-year remission, at the end of which, he relapsed for a second time.  Bobby had an allogeneic bone marrow transplant on September 30, 1993 with marrow donated from his then four year old brother Craig, a perfect HLA donor match.  Bobby is now 24 years old; strong and healthy, and a student at the University of Maryland. In appreciation for all that he received in the way of support and services during his years of illness, Bobby formed a nonprofit organization with his family, and bicycled across America twice to visit with children currently battling cancer and raise funds for childhood cancer research and family support programs.  You can read more about Bobby and One Voice Across America at www.onevoiceusa.org

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Bradie Blaire

Bradie Blaire's Warm Vanilla Sugar ~ Bradie Blaire was born December 9, 1992 ten weeks premature.  She weighed 3lbs.8ozs.
She stayed in the hospital eight weeks then came home and had a healthy happy first year.  The week after her first birthday I noticed a lump on the inside of her right calf about the size of an egg.  It was not there the day before when I bathed her so I was immediately alarmed.  Randy (her Dad) & I took her to the local emergency room where we were told it was an insect bite or muscle spasm, not to worry.  But the next day I called her pediatrician and he had her come right in.  The doctor was immediately alarmed when he saw it and admitted her to the hospital then.  A biopsy was done on Friday and we were sent home to wait and come back Monday to meet with more doctors.  We were told then she had a rare form of muscle cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma.  We then met with oncologists and orthopedic surgeons to decide what to do.  Because of the aggressiveness of the disease, we opted for amputation at the knee which was done the next day. 
Then we took her home from the hospital on Christmas day and waited for the surgery to heal to begin radiation and chemo.  After spending the next year in and out of the hospital for treatments, she was declared in remission that November.  Oh, how we rejoiced.  We spent the next 9 months living normally with frequent checkups.  Then in November, it was back in her abdomen.  After another brutal surgery, she went back into chemo.  After
several more months, she was again declared in remission, only to relapse again a few months later. She took another round of chemo and radiation.  Then another remission with another recurrence.  We were told in May she might have 6 weeks left to live so we began preparing her and our family for what was to come.  Bradie told us at the tender age of four that she didn't want anymore chemo.  Other than experimental options that we knew would not
cure her, she had already had every known chemo and radiation treatment available for the type cancer she had so we were able to tell her she didn't have to.  We spent the next months doing things she wanted to do and taking her to see and do things we wanted her to experience.  We started her on hospice care right away not knowing how long she had.  We also planned her funeral with her help.  This was the year Princess Diana died and she wanted
lilies just like hers on her casket (she did have them).  Bradie felt great into the six weeks and kept going to everyone's amazement.  Then that Christmas she started to get weaker.  In January she started staying in bed more.  But her little brother, Payton was approaching his first  birthday in March and she told us she would be there and she was.  But the next day she stayed in  the bed, by this time on morphine orally, then as days went by on a pump.  We had talked to Bradie about Heaven and her friends who had gone
before her and up until the day of March 30, she always told us she was not ready.  But that morning after reading her her favorite story we told her that that day was probably getting close to the time she would be going to Heaven and she told us that she was ready.  She passed that afternoon about 5 o'clock, 10 months after we were told she probably had about 6 weeks to live.  We were given so many precious memories in the short 5 years we had
her here with us.  She touched so many lives with her infectious spirit, never asking why she had to endure cancer, but making it bearable for those who love her.  She passed on March 30 at the age of 5 years and 3 months.

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Brady's Buttermilk Pancakes ~ Brady�s fight began in early July 2004 as what we thought to be an normal ear infection but started long before we knew anything was wrong. By July 28, 2004 (just 10 days before his 4th Birthday) we were hit with the hard cold reality that it was NOT an ear infection but rather a Stage III malignant tumor, Rhabdomyosarcoma, which was growing in his ear and extended to his brain. Brady started an aggressive treatment of radiation (28 days stretched over 6 weeks) and chemo (42 weeks). 

His and his brother's (Connor) favorite thing to eat on Saturday and Sunday mornings are Buttermilk Pancakes with lots of syrup so this is the perfect scent to describe him. 

He is a bright, bubbly and energetic 4 year old who has a love for life.  God has given us a gift in Brady and that is his wonderful Spirit to carry us through this adventure we now know as life.  Brady is expected to be off treatment in June 2005 barring no complications arise.  Please feel free to check out the entire story and keep up with our fight on childhood cancer at www.teamwolfe.net.  You can even leave Brady a note in the guestbook.  God bless you for supporting our cause!!! 

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Bram's Buttery Spiced Vanilla~ Bram was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia March 2000.
  He was almost 14 at that time.  It has been a long
 hard road for him but he finished chemotherapy in May
 2002.  Bram loves animals and has told me he couldn't
 have survived everything without his little dog
 Bridget.  He also likes play-station and listening to
 music.  His love of cooking has him dreaming of
 culinary school.

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Brantley's Tiger's Blood- In loving memory of Brantley Reed Fairey (June 29, 1983-April 5, 2000)......Brantley was diagnosed in December of 1998 with a rare type of brain cancer called gliomatosis cerebri after experiencing frequent headaches. He was treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, which became a second home to Brantley and his family. He loved his nurses and doctors who tried so hard to find a way to stop the cancer which took his life after 16 months of trying several types of experimental chemos and radiation. Brantley willingly underwent these treatments, knowing it might not help him, but could possible help some child in the future. He was a very handsome young man, full of promise and desired to one day be a fighter pilot in the Air Force. He was so bright that he could have achieved his goal.  He loved music and played guitar, drums and trumpet in his band at school. He had a beautiful voice, making All-District Choir every year during his middle school years and the two years of high school, and even performed in the role of King at the annual choir performance of the Renaissance Feast only 4 months before his death. He loved to sing at church and at community events, and served as President of his youth group. He possessed a terrific sense of humor, and loved Mike Myers and Jim Carrey. He could do great imitations, especially of "Austin Powers", and even dressed up as the character for Halloween, winning first place in a costume contest at school and for the city parade. He, of course, had to wear his outfit to St. Jude and show his nurses. He loved acting and had the lead in several productions at school, and served as President of the Drama Club. He had a great love of all sports, but especially football, playing in elementary and middle school, and his freshman year shortly before his diagnosis. The next year, since he was unable to play, he decided he would be the team manager so he would still be able to be on the sidelines, cheering on his teammates. His favorite team  (aside from his own Caruthersville MO Tigers) was the San Francisco 49'rs and he collected their memorabilia. Brantley loved his family...his Mom and Dad, his sister Kim and her husband Jon, and his beloved little niece Haley.  Since his death, he has a new niece, Gabby, and we know that he watches over both of them. Brantley left his aunts, uncles, cousins, a grandmother, and many friends to mourn for him, but we all know
that he is in Heaven, and that we will see him again one day. He showed us all the true meaning of courage and bravery. Brantley passed away at the age of 16 in the arms of his Mom and Dad, and with his two beloved aunts present at St. Jude Children Hospital in Memphis, TN.
 

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Brett's Back  Nine~ Brett Samuel Jones was born November 17, 1987. He was welcomed into this world by his mom, Kathryn, dad, Jeff and big brother Graham. Brett grew into this wonderful blue eyed, dark curly haired, happy, funny, talented and wise little boy. Brett loved the outdoors and sports. He loved baseball and dominated the short stop position. He loved fishing, skiing, golf, and snowboarding. The most important thing in Brett's life were his family and his friends and he was fiercely devoted to both. In January 1997 at the age of 9 and just in 3rd grade, Brett became acutely ill and was diagnosed with leukemia. Although removed from his friends and school, which he loved, Brett managed to keep an amazing and insightful perspective on his situation. He did everything he was asked to do by the Drs., everything he needed to do to stay current with his class through homeschooling, and everything he could do to stay physically fit. By spring, under the watchful eye of his dad, the coach, he played baseball. No one knew what he endured behind the scenes and what his wonderful Drs. and nurses did to make that happen. Early morning spinal chemo without anesthesia drugs so that he would be alert by game time. Ice, hot packs and Tylenol to withstand the pain. He never once took himself out of a game or complained.

That is the story of how Brett handled the next 41/2 years of treatment, relapses and joys and disappointments. He never complained and never took himself out of the game. Life was too important. He lived it to the fullest every day. He loved to play golf and he dedicated himself to the sport up until a few weeks before he died.  In August of 2001, he won the Junior golf championship at the club where he played. In September he and his dad won the father/son tournament as well. He played through experimental chemo and the day before he was admitted to the hospital for the last time. He played through the pain and the hurt. It was a release, a love and a passion. Six days after his 14th birthday, Brett passed quietly from the hands and home of his beloved family into the hands of his Lord and Savior. He is and was amazing, never letting his burdens or difficulties affect him or those around him, never identifying himself with the disease that took his life, sharing only the good, never the bad things life had to offer, teaching life lessons to coaches, friends, family, doctors, nurses, and humbly, his parents. Brett you are so incredibly missed by those who knew and loved you that words are simply not enough. You continue to touch the lives of others through  the example of the selfless, determined and faithful way you lived your brief life and we thank the Lord every day for allowing us to share in that life with you. We love you. 

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Brian's Bountiful Harvest ~ Brian was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on December 3, 1999, just days before his 4th birthday.  Brian, now 10, is a remarkable child who loves sharks, angels, and playing with his friends. He is a wonderful student and likes telling everyone that he "is in challenge everything even though I had Leukemia and had to get chemo". Brian is a great "little" and "big" brother to his sisters, Alicia, 16, and Carina, 6, and counts his family among his biggest fans. He has made many new "chemo friends" that help him deal with the mental and physical challenges he has had to endure due to his more than 3 year treatment plan.  He is a true hero to all who know him and is intent on finding a cure for cancer when he grows up "so no other little kids have to get poked." ***Update**** As of December 2004 Brian is considered a long term survivor!!!

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Brianna's Blueberry Muffins~ Brianna (AKA my Dram Queen)  was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia on New Year's Eve 1998 when she was 6 years old. She completed 2 1/2 years of chemo in July of 2001. Ironically, her grandfather started chemo for Chronic Lymphocyctic Leukemia (dx May 1999) just about the same time she completed hers. His type of leukemia has no known cure, however we hope a bone marrow transplant will provide him with a long remission until a cure is found. He has been on the National Bone Marrow Transplant list since 2003 and as of 1/06 we are still praying for a match. Brianna is a great source of strength and courage for him as he fights a monster that no one should ever have to meet. However, that monster has introduced us to some incredible people and we are very blessed that our paths in life have crossed.

Brianna is a very sweet and loving child who doesn't think twice about telling someone what's on her mind. She loves reading, swimming, playing outside, hanging out with her friends and camping each summer. This past year, she has been on the middle school track, volleyball and basketball teams and the varsity swim team athe high school. She has previously been an honored teammate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program for several seasons and was part of my inspiration to complete 3 marathons with them to help find a cure for all blood related cancers. You can read more about Brianna on her website at www.caringbridge.com/ny/mylittlesunshine

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Cait's Chantilly Lace - Caitlin (Cait) was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of childhood bone cancer, on June 21, 2004. Cait was a typical 16 year old teenager at the time of her diagnoses. She played defense for her high school soccer team and a member of the debate team. What we thought was a sports injury turned into every parents worst nightmare. Cait was about
to undergo the worst year of her life, yet she was determined to beat cancer. Caitlin's tumor was located in her right distal femur, at the end of the bone where it touches the knee.  Chemotherapy started immediately.  On September 14, 2004, Caitlin had extensive surgery to remove the cancerous tumor. Her femur was replaced with titanium and she received a new plastic knee. Unfortunately, the surgery left her with nerve damage, causing footdrop. After numerous months of intense physical therapy, Cait is now able to walk without the assistance of a brace. Caitlin finished chemotherapy in February 2005. Caitlin has lead her battle against cancer with strength, dignity and a sense of humor.
Caitlin plans to attend college and become a high school English teacher.
Caitlin's motto: Live Well, Laugh Often and Love Much
.

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The sparkle in her eye, the sunshine in her heart,

 each of us loved a different part.

The way she always found the right thing to say,

 her life was special each and every day.

 The strongest of minds, a touch so kind,

 a strength most of us could never find.

She may be out of sight, but she didn�t travel far,

 for in the night sky, she is our bright and shining and star.

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Cassidy's Creamy Orange Sherbet ~Cassidy was diagnosed on July 30, 2004 with an aggressive brain tumor called antiplasti ependymoma.  Since then she has had 9 surgeries, 25 radiation treatments, and is now trying a 3rd type of chemo.  The first two chemo's didn't work.  Cassidy is a phenomenal young lady whose courage and strength far surpass her young years, and she is one of the most caring and compassionate people that I have ever met.  Her compassion towards other children with cancer has touched many hearts.
 

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Chad's Cherry Cheesecake ~  Chad was diagnosed with Leukemia in September  2000 when he was only 8 years old.  He finished treatment in November 2003 and is now a 6th grade Honor Student! He loves swimming, basketball, video games, and his Boston Terriers, Junior and Bosley!  He learned how to make Cherry Cheesecake on his Make A Wish Trip to Hawaii in April of 2001.
 

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 Clarissa Baked Cookies for Santa~  Clarissa was diagnosed in January of 1999 at the age of 8 years old with ALL.  She was done with her chemotherapy in June of 2001.  She is a very active young lady.  She enjoys swimming, drawing, crafts, animals, being with her friends, and camping with her family.  Clarissa is a very strong young lady.  We are very thankful that she did so well.  She is truly an angel to us.

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Cole's Crazy about Gingerbread ~ Cole was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer  in February 2002.  He was ten years old at the time.  The tumor was lodged in the left side of his pelvis and weighed approximately eight pounds.  Cole went through 14 rounds of chemotherapy, 30 days of radiation and then surgery to remove half of his pelvis.  He is now 14 years old, and has been in remission for two years and is doing great.  Cole is back to playing roller hockey, basketball, golf, riding motorcross bikes, playing paintball, surfing, riding a bike and snowboarding.  He is enjoying life and is an inspiration to everyone he comes in contact with. Cole has always enjoyed making gingerbread houses with his aunt during the holiday season.

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Connor's Super Sunflower - On March 10, 2002 Connor was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. He was 2 years old.  When he failed to reach remission by day 14 of treatment he was put on a harder protocol for standard risk kids.  Less than 1% of all ALL diagnoses get this protocol for this reason.  However it worked.  On day 35 he was determined to be in remission.  He was hit very hard with chemo and it took its toll on his body.  He spent 90% of his first 14 months of treatment in the hospital with infection after infection. Everything from line infections to mumps.  Finally he made it to maintenance.  Boys have a 3 1/2 year treatment plan whereas girls are 2 1/2 years.  Connor is now 5 months away from finishing treatment.  5 months from taking his last daily dose of chemo and being able to say, "I'm FREE!" 

Connor's attituded during these last 3 years has been amazing.  While the meds make him feel awful one could still always find him pretending to be a superhero, laughing at everything, and enjoying his life just as it is.   I don't think that he ever has realized how sick he is, if he ever realized he was sick at all.  His strength and zest for life have been a lesson to us and all that have come into contact with him.  His smiling face can be seen on posters all over for different organizations, a true testament to how one's attitude can help others.

He is and forever will be our Superhero.

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Corey's Caribbean Getaway ~ Corey will be in our hearts forever.  He was a young handsome college student of 19.  He loved his family, music, he played several guitars, and loved working with children.  He was diagnosed with leukemia on January 2, 2004, and passed away January 20, 2004.

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Corey's Cool Blackberry Sage ~ Corey was diagnosed with a pineal nongerminonatous germ cell tumor on May 17, 2004.  His life quickly changed from sports and other outdoor adventures of a typical 12 yr old to a life of hospitals and therapy.  Corey underwent two brain surgeries: one to relieve pressure and swelling and the second to remove the tumor.  He endured six months of Chemotherapy.  During Chemo, it was important to continue a normal life so Corey faithfully went to school.  He worked hard to maintain a �B� average.  There were many days he was not well enough to go to school.  However, his school friends and teachers became a valuable source of support.  After Chemo, Corey underwent 30 continuous days of radiation to his head and spine.  During the many weeks of Hospital stays, MRI�s, and feeling just miserable not once did he complain or ask why he was going thru all this pain and suffering.  He had a quiet resolve that his God was in control.    His treatment ended December 23, 2004.

In January 2005, Corey was able to pick up his life as a normal teen.  He played Junior Varsity Basketball and then made the school baseball team.  His physical strength came back slowly as he embraced the second chance he had been given at life.  July 3, 2004 Corey�s Brain tumor symptoms came back.  Remission was over.  The doctor�s could not suggest another course of treatment but Corey continued to fight in other ways.  He had more than just a love for life.  Everything he did and everyone he spoke with he wanted to reflect the peace and faithfulness of God, his Lord and Savior. 

Throughout his illness, Corey�s faith in his God was unshakeable.  In the darkest of treatments Corey clung onto his favorite Bible verse Philippians 4:13 �I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me.� Corey�s battle with cancer was not easy but he was not alone.  He had faith God would help him in every step and comfort him every day.  He believed that someday he would enter the presence of God and there he would stay for all eternity.  At 14 years of age, that day was October 7, 2005. 

Corey was a watchful and loving brother.  He was a valiant and precious son.  He was a faithful and honest friend.  �I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live even though he dies.� John 11:25.  Until we are all reunited in the presence of God, you will forever be in our hearts.

 

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Danielle's Delicious Pineapple Delight ~ Danielle was born on January 13, 2002.  She was our first child and the joy of our lives.  We had no indication that anything was wrong with Danielle, other than she seemed pale to a number of people who came in contact with her.  November 1, 2004, is a day we will never forget, it was a day that changed our lives forever.  Our precious little girl was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia also known as ALL.  She was admitted immediately to Children�s Hospital where we stayed for a week.  In that week Danielle underwent surgery to have a med-port put in her chest, a bone marrow aspiration, a spinal, daily blood work and the start of chemotherapy.  Danielle will be undergoing treatment for 2.5 years and has thankfully been responding very well.  She should be through her treatments in the year 2007.  She has good days and bad days, but she has been so strong and resilient throughout her treatment.  Danielle is a daily inspiration to her family and all those who know her and we are so thankful for each day that we are given and we look forward to the day when Danielle is cancer-free.

 

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Danny's Kyoto Garden ~

Danny Paul Klancher
(5/27/87 - 3/15/02)
"Laughed Often, Loved Much"
He loved Japan, like the Japanese plum blossoms, he was undaunted by the winter air.


Danny Paul was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphocytic leukemia in November 1997 at age 10.  Two years later, while still on maintenance chemo, Danny relapsed and was immediately started on a more intense chemo/radiation protocol.  Danny and his family celebrated the end of treatment in June 2001, the same month Danny graduated from junior high school. Unfortunately, the cancer returned in January 2002.  On March 15th, Danny Paul Klancher, two months shy of 15, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family.

For 4 1/2 years, he fought leukemia with courage, determination and remarkable resilience.  Dan never saw himself as a victim and refused to be identified by this horrible disease.  At the end of his life, his primary concern was for the sadness his passing would bring to his family.  He told his family that he did not fear death and with a simple, but pure, faith, he decided, "God must want me."

Danny was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA and was a freshman in high school when he died.  Before getting ill, he loved baseball, soccer and football.  After being diagnosed, Dan's attention turned to other interests, including music, computer games and attending computer "LAN" parties with his brother.  But, without question, his primary interest became all things Japanese, including many forms of Japanese anime and the college-level study of the Japanese language.  This interest culminated in a thrilling two-week vacation to Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Himeji, and Hiroshima, Japan, in the summer of 2001, which he declared to be the highlight of his life.  Danny's desire was to one day work for the U. S. State Department and to be a diplomat posted in Japan.  There's no doubt that he would have done so if he had been given the opportunity.  Ever the willing traveler, he also enjoyed his family "road trips" to Canada, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas.

Dan lived his life with joy, high energy and humor.  He was an intelligent, articulate and mature young man, who genuinely blessed the lives of all who knew him well.  The marker on his grave reads, "Laughed Often; Loved Much."  Simply saying that he is missed is saying far too little about his place in our world.  Read more about Danny and see some wonderful pictures at:  http://www.DannyKlancher.com

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Darian Lee's Sugar Cookie - Our daughter, Darian Lee, was born on July 16, 1997. She loved watching Blue�s Clues and having books read to her. She was a normal, healthy and very active child until January 1999 when I found a lump on her neck. I took her to the doctor and he stated that it was a lymph node infection and started treating it with an antibiotic. After a few days, I took her back and he referred us to an ENT who said the same thing. After a week, and because she was in a lot of pain and the lump was getting bigger, I insisted on them doing a fine needle aspiration. They found out that she had cancer and sent us to Riley�s Children�s Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. When we reached Riley, they did their basic testing and gave us the diagnosis that she had neuroblastoma. The Riley doctors put her on an aggressive chemo protocol. However, by April, they realized that it wasn�t working. She was in a lot of pain because the tumor was wrapping around her nerves in her shoulder. They decided to do radiation and change her chemo. They did radiation for a few days and put her on an experimental chemo protocol. In August, they started the preparation for her to have a stem cell transplant. She also had surgery at that time to remove what they could of the tumor. We then returned the first part of September to have the stem cells taken again since the cells had cancer cells in them the first time. Two (2) weeks later, we returned to have the remainder of the tumor removed only to find that the tumor had returned. It had tripled in size and metastasized to her liver and lungs. The doctors told us that they would not be able to cure the cancer since it came back so fast after they removed it. Darian was with us one more week. She passed away at home on September 17, 1999. Darian was a blessing to us and we miss her tremendously.

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Drew's DrewBerry ~ Andrew William (�Drew�) was born in October of 1998 and joined his big brother Joey.  He was a happy, healthy baby who grew into an adorable and mischievous toddler.  Just after his second birthday, I began to notice that he was having unexplainable symptoms such as excessive sleeping; not wanting to eat and holding his head as if he was in pain.  In the month that followed, I brought him to his pediatrician five times and had Drew examined by three different doctors.  Each thought he had a virus, but they finally sent us for blood work, but that did not get any results as he did not have Leukemia.

 

Finally, Drew�s pediatrician acknowledged that he was unsure what was wrong with Drew and told me to take him to Children�s Hospital in Boston, and not leave until we had an answer.  It turned out to be quite a long day.  At Children�s, they did x-rays which turned up nothing (they thought maybe he broke his jaw); finally they did a CT-Scan which revealed the mass in his brain (and several in his spine).  It turned out that he had a tumor called ependymoma.  We were admitted to the ICU and I was told that if his vital signs decreased at all that they would have to rush him to the emergency room.  It was unbelievable to me that I went from searching for answers to wondering if he would survive the night.

 

Over Thanksgiving weekend of 2000, he had surgery to remove part of the tumor (they could not surgically remove all of the tumor since it would have caused severe brain damage if not death).  He was too young for radiation, which left us with chemotherapy as our only option.

 

Drew endured multiple surgeries including a feeding tube and tracheotomy and several rounds of chemotherapy.  Sadly, Drew passed away in July of 2001.  He is still thought of all the time and desperately missed.  He will forever be my hero and I will forever be in awe of all Drew endured and what a wonderful little boy he was.

 

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Dylan's Delicious Mulled Cider~ Dylan was diagnosed with stage IV alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma in September 1998 when he was only 18 months old.  He was found to be in remission several times, but each time relapsed shortly thereafter.  After enduring 38 months of chemo, radiation, and 19 surgeries, Dylan passed away on November 14, 2001 at the age of 4.  Many say he lost his battle, but the fact is, he lost absolutely nothing and gained everything.  In our eyes he has won the victorious battle and has gotten what each of us hope to someday have and that is...to be with God for all eternity.  He was the light of our lives and was considered very special to may people.  The lives that he touched was remarkable and many of us could only hope to do what he has done.  He had an amazing love for firefighters and considered them all to be heroes.  His dreams were to someday become a firefighter himself and I'm sure that's what he is doing right now...Heaven has a new fire chief. Dylan had many accomplishments during his short time here;  Honorary Fire Chief of the Boonville and Evansville, Indiana Fire Departments and was made and Honorary Member of the International Fire Chiefs Association.  Just as every firefighter was Dylan's hero, Dylan was our HERO and will be forever missed and loved by all of us!

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Elliott's Candle of Hope - Elliott was born December 3rd, 1990, six weeks early. He spent two weeks in intensive care before coming home. He has struggled over the years with mild brain damage and severe learning disabilities, along with poor muscle tone. On January 16, 2003 Elliott was diagnosed with  Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. He had eight three day hospital stays the first year receiving a multitude of chemo and other drugs. He finally took his last chemo in September 2005 and now goes monthly for blood work with every third month getting a spinal tap and bone marrow test. This disease has changed our lives, some really bad but also some really good experiences.  Elliott attends school whenever he feels well enough.  He enjoys video and computer games and trading cards such as Yu-gi-oh and Star Wars.  This past year he has had the good fortune to meet and become friends with Constantine Maroulis of American Idol fame.  He has brought not only Elliott but mom a great deal of joy.  He lives in Sandwich Il with Mom and Dad, he is an only child but has two dogs, a little mix named Betty and Yellow Lab named Luke along with three cats named Little Al, Kody Bear and Emma Rose. You can visit him at his web page

 

Elly's Soothing Lavender Basil ~

Elly was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on September 3, 2004 when she was just 18 months old. She is in remission and scheduled to complete treatment in November 2006. Elly is a happy little girl. She enjoys music, reading, chasing after her big brother and being outdoors. Elly has a lot of people  who love and support her. We are thankful for every day and are very hopeful for her complete recovery.

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Eric's Home for the Holidays (aka Eric's Home Sweet Home) ~ Eric was a normal 7year old little boy...we thought. We had no idea that a rare childhood cancer - rhabdomyosarcoma � was taking over his body.  He had a normal day at school and had gone home to spend the night with his friend Lakin when the symptoms started to surface.  Eric was diagnosed with stage IV embryonal rhabdomyoscarcoma on Nov 6, 2001.  He endured his initial treatment of chemo and radiation for 9 months. He was such trooper and took each treatment as it came with no arguments or fights.  He just knew he had to do them and it was part of his life.  When he went for scans 3 weeks off treatment � the rhabdo was back with multiple lesions in his lungs.  We decided to go on his dream trip to Disney before resuming treatments in October, 2002.  Eric again bounced into the clinic for his treatments and took each day as it came.  As he became weaker and weaker he never complained, he just lived with what limitations he had � we were so proud of him. He was and is our little man.  Eric lost the battle to rhabdo on April 10, 2003, but he won the battle of life.  He is now without pain and suffering.  Eric touched many lives with his strength and sense of humor through out his entire 17 months of treatment.   We loved him when we were together and love him when we are apart, always and forever, always in our hearts.  We love you �Amazing Eric�                                                             Eric Rainey:  September 11, 1994 -- April 10, 2003

www.ericrainey.com

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Erin's Hot Baked Apple Pie~  Erin is the daughter of Annie who is the creator and founder of this business formerly known as Annie's Flowers and Gifts.  She was 26 months old when diagnosed with Acute Lypmphocytic Leukemia.  She is a wonderful, energetic child.  She loves playing Barbies, watching Dora the Explorer. and being outside.  She loves to garden with her dad.  Erin completed treatment in May 2002 May, 2002 and enjoyed almost a full year in remission.  Sadly Erin relapsed in March 2003 and had to  undergo an intense regimen of chemotherapy once again. 

Erin ended chemotherapy for relapse on August 12, 2004.  She started Kindergarten 2 weeks later and loves it.  We praise God that she is still in remission now and thank God every day that she's here with us.  We know all too well how quickly things can change and try to enjoy every day with our children.

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Ian's Incredible Candy Corn 

Dear Ian,

 We only had a moment, but oh what a moment it was.   We learned love, strength and compassion from you.  You enriched our lives with your laughter and gentleness.  We will cherish our memories with you forever and keep you in our hearts.  You are our sweet little boy and special Angel. We miss you so much.  All our love, forever.    

Ian Anthony was born on August 8, 2000.  He was diagnosed with Rhabdomysarcoma in March of 2003.  He fought his battle with cancer for a year and three months.  He passed from earth on June 20, 2004 at home with his parents, Kellie and Brian, and godmother, Aunt Lauren. 

Ian was a very special little boy, our �Prince of Warriors.�  He had the sweetest voice and the biggest blue eyes.  He had a great sense of humor, a gentle soul and he was filled with compassion and love.  I feel his character is best understood through stories of the memories I have of him.  

Ian loved music.  He was the biggest Wiggle�s fan.  Greg was his favorite.  He loved to sing and dance.  He knew every word to every song and every move to every dance the Wiggles did.   He also loved Buzz Light Year.  He loved chocolate, especially dark chocolate Hershey kisses and M&M�s.  He loved playing with his big sister, Alison and little brother, Eric, who at times he would call the red monster.   

One time while he was hospitalized and very weak, he did not talk for a couple of days.  His grandma came to visit him and she held him on her lap.  She started talking to him about his baby brother Eric.  She told him that Eric had a cold.  Ian replied, �Poor baby.�  His very first words in days were in concern of his little brother.  This was typical Ian, always compassionate and concerned for his family. 

Ian loved being pushed on the swing in his backyard. He suffered a lot of pain and if he was able to go outside he would only be able to withstand a few minutes.  One day, when he was feeling better he said, �I�m going to spend a lot of time on the swing today.�
�It is a beautiful day.�  Ian would say this all the time, even if it was cloudy. He was a very positive little boy.  As his grandma pushed him on the swing he sang,� High, high in the sky��  His sister Ali was getting into trouble for picking on him and had been threatened with soap in the mouth if she didn�t behave.  Ian said, �Grandma you can�t put soap in Ali�s mouth.  She will get sick.  If Alison was ever sick I would take care of her.  I would sit next to her in bed and read her stories.�  Even with all his troubles he cared about everyone else�s well being.  

He was a very sensitive and special three year old.  When he caught his parents crying he said, �No more crying mommy, don�t cry daddy, I love you.� 
 Ian�s grandma Janet had a conversation with Ian when he was hospitalized for the last time, in early June. They were playing with his Wiggle figures (She was Jeff - he always made her be Jeff!) and he was Dorothy. Ian told her Dorothy was sick. So "Jeff" said, "Should we get medicine for Dorothy? Should I call the Doctor?" Ian replied "No, the medicine won't help. Get all of her friends in the Big Red Car and have them come give her hugs." He was wise enough to know what Dorothy really needed, what a caring and compassionate little boy. 
This is from Ian�s eulogy:
A Tribute to Ian
By Cousin Arlene: 

So go now Ian. God has finally set you free to be that Little Boy who just wanted to play with the Best of Them. Go Soar with the Angels. Go do the �Yummy Yummy Fruit Salad Dance �on the Puffiest Cloud you can find. Go ride your Big Red Car on the Bluest of the Skyways. And no matter where your new journey takes you, I know that you always knew, and still know now, how very much we all came to Love and to Cherish You. �Sweet Dreams My Little Wiggles Man�......We will so very-very much miss you. 

 visit Ian's website @ www.caringbridge.org/nj/ian
  

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Jacob's Jazzy Apple Cinn (written by Candace, Jacob's mother) ~ Jacob was born April  30, 1998 after  18 hours of labor.  He was so tiny.... only 6lbs... my smallest baby of 4 kids.  He had a slight temperature but nothing that held him longer in the hospital. His temperature was low but still he came home on time.  The doctors also saw that he really didn't eat well so they had a nurse come to our home once a week to weigh him and see how he was eating.  As weeks went buy he hardly ever cried,  in fact my son Stephen, who was 5 at the time, called Jacob the non crying baby.  He told his kindergarten teacher all about him not crying much and they said they couldn't wait to meet this non crying baby.  At 2 months Jacob was still not eating a lot but the dr.'s said he was healthy.  He learned to smile (boy did he smile) and do everything normal as months went by, He was such a happy little fella.  Then in 2002, at just 3 years old, Jacob started feeling tired and stopped playing.  He was crying all the time with high fevers and for 7 weeks I kept taking him to his ped doc that said he was fine.  He said if it continues bring him back so we did, weekly.  On the 7th week of taking him in I told the doctor that he had the fevers all the time.  His resonse was " if he continues to have fevers he would be in a ER not here" even though he had one every time I was in the office of at least 102! Even the nurse told me he looked pale.  I left the office very angry and scared at that point. I had told my husband many nights before that day that maybe I should take him to an ER.  I said he just cries and whines all day and runs the fevers.  My husband said that I should wait because I had been taking him to the dr.  regularly.  So I did wait and then the dr. made that comment.  It was 3 days before Easter and we had made plans for a wonderful day at my best friends but Easter day I called her and said he had another high fever of 103 and maybe we shouldn't come by.  I didn't know if  anyone else could get what he had but she insisted on us coming because Jacob's fever always went down with a bath and motrin.  When we arrived at my friends home she (a nurse also) took one look at Jacob and said "oh my God how long has he been this pale"? I started to feel scared and told her all about what has been going on.  While the other kids were searching for eggs Jacob was lying in my arms crying and moaning.  Kim (our friend) asked if she could take his temp.  She did and it had climbed to 104.7!  Kim realized Jacob was in danger. She took us to an urgent care center close by where they did blood work.  Within 30 mins we were on our way by ambulance to UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN hospital to find out that Jacob had (ALL) Acute Lymphblastic Leukemia.   now as a mom I just could not believe what I was hearing so I begged for them to redo the tests.  I wanted them to be wrong but of course they were correct.  That's when we started the Journey with my son.  It would be 3 years and 4 months of intense chemo. While in the hospital  we were told how Jacobs heart was beating hard enough for 5 people and his liver was shutting down.  His unusual strength kept him alive and we knew we would bring him home someday.  We would accept all the disabilities that could accrue as long as he was with us.  Today he is in remission and off all treatments as of June 2005.  He is doing well and growing big!  He does have disabilities with learning and gross motor skills but he is getting a lot of help and becoming a very happy boy again.  He just joined his very first sport at 7 and is now wrestling with his brothers in a wrestling club at school and loves it a lot.  He has days where it's hard to  keep up and do everything but he try's with all his little mite and he is happy doing it. The best part of all is that he is ALIVE TODAY and with us. He sees his oncology doctor every 6 weeks for blood counts and weight ins and so far its all good.  Visit Jacob's website at: www.caringbridge.org/mi/jacob

 

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Jake's Berries Jubilee ~(this scent temporarily discontinued) Jake was diagnosed with high risk t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Nov. 14 2000. He went into remission quickly, but relapsed in his bone marrow on Sept. 20, 2001, his 3rd month of maintenance. We had a wonderful summer, he felt good, his hair grew back, he started playing freshman football before he relapsed. Jake started getting stronger chemo to get ready for a Bone Marrow Transplant. Since we could not find a 6/6 donor, we were going to do an experimental haploidentical transplant using his dad who was 3/6. Nov. 14 2001, one year after diagnosis, we were at City of Hope in CA, talking with the Dr.s. Christmas came and we were all together and had such a wonderful time. Then right after Christmas Jake relapsed again, they gave him stronger chemo, but the leukemia was also strong and did not go away this time.
We took Jake home and God let us have him for one more month before he was carried to heaven by the angels waiting in our room on Feb. 9 2002 at 7:20am. He took his last breath in his Dad's and my arms. He was 15 years old and fought a courageous 15 month battle with leukemia.

Jake was born on Dec. 17 1986 and presented to us in a Christmas stocking. We thank God for allowing us to have Jake, even if it was for a short time. Jake was very loving and always cuddly, would sit on my lap, even though he was 5 foot 10 inches and over 200 lbs. He had a great sense of humor, was always playing jokes and LAUGHING. He enjoyed riding his GoPed, motorcycle, playing with his Playstation 2 and hanging out with his friends. He loved to DANCE. Jake was a wonderful Son, Brother and Uncle. He is and always will be our Hero.
Until we meet again,
Safe in the arms of Jesus.

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Jakob's Juicy Fruit ~ Jakob was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on December 11, 2003.  He was 2 1/2 years old.  He started his long treatment and currently has 2 years under his belt and is slated to finish in February 2007. Jakob is a strong, tough boy who has tolerated his cancer pretty well.  Before he got sick he was full of energy and now I think he has even more energy then before!  He enjoys playing outside, playing video games, reading stories, and eating mexican rice (those steriods!).  He loves playing with his baby sister even though he can be a little rough and he loves pushing his aunt's buttons.  He is so full of love and laughter and I'm eternally thankful for this wonderful and amazing blessing!  Keep fighting Jake!

 

Jamie's Juicy Raspberry~ Jamie was diagnosed with t cell leukemia in August of 1998. He followed POG 9404 and finished treatment in October 2000. He is currently in remission and doing well. He is busy living life to the fullest and were enjoying seeing him blossom into a typical teenager!

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James' Jammin' Grape~ Robert James was born June 5th, 1986...a healthy beautiful baby and such a loving child always happy and full of energy!  James was the oldest of our three grandchildren.  In the short 14 1/2 years of his life he brought so much joy and love in to our lives.  Like his father, he never met a stranger.  James was so full of life and loved living it.  When he was diagnosed with T-Cell high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 12/15/98 (a day before his Dad's birthday) he was determined not to let this disease win.  James was 12 1/2 and he and his brother and sister were spending the weekend before Christmas with us (the usual) that was our time to do decorating, baking cookies, putting lights up outside at Grandma's house.  I noticed he was extra quiet that weekend and looking thin...I chalked it up to "Wow, he is growing up, he is becoming Grandma's little man now, six months from becoming a teen!"  When his Dad and Mom came on Sunday to pick the kids up, they were not home hardly anytime when my phone rang. It was my son, upset, telling me James showed him a lump around his collar bone.  My Daughter-in-Law and I took him to the ER that night and were told that it was just a cyst.  James went to his family doctor the next morning and late that evening the office called, his blood work showed blasts (cancerous cells) so he was admitted to Children's Hospital for a bone marrow test.  Not in a million years would we have ever thought the doctor would set us down and tell us the news, "James has Leukemia."  He endured the next two years of pain and suffering from so very many spinals, bone marrow biopsies, fluid build up in his hips, and trips to the ER every time he got a fever, stays in the PICU, etc.  Four months after diagnosis he had his heart operated on for Wolf Parkinson White.  He had to have a Port-a-Cath and then later a Broviac. (Both are catheters inserted in to the vein so that there is 'easy' access to draw blood or administer medication).  He had to give up sports, swimming, and there were many days he couldn't ride his bike, have his buddies over, go to school, out to stores, etc; because of low blood counts.  It robbed him of his childhood and then finally took his life on 12/19/00.

He fought two hard years with such force and determination.  He is now and always will be someone I look up to because all through this, a few hours before he passed, he was praying to God, not once asking for anything for himself but asking God to help all of the sick kids in the hospital and for family and friends' health and care.  I listen to hat prayer and would have thought that he was going to ask God to take his pain away but he only asked for others. James was the kid in the neighborhood if you needed you lawn mowed, your car worked on, or just general things to be done he was there to give a helping hand.  He walked three miles last year for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society only three short months before becoming an angel.

He will always be our "Hero and Warrior of Life."

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Jarrett's Jazzy Peppermint ~ At age 4,  Jarrett was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. He celebrated 5 years in remission in Jan. 2004.    He is an honor student who enjoys athletics, has a wide array of pets and is a big "Lord of the Rings" fan.  His journey with childhood leukemia inspired his parents to begin a children's environmental health ministry, Micah's Mission, named in his honor.   Visit their website at http://www.arches.uga.edu/~babuice/MICAH/index.htm
 

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Jason Just Loves Applesauce ~  Jason had a very friendly personality.  He loved life and enjoyed being with people.  Jason was considered Globally Developmentally Delayed, but don't let this fool you.  Once people got to know him they realized just how smart Jason truly was.  Jason had many struggles and triumphs in his life.  At the age of 27 months he had his first of many Grand Mal Seizures. Most of the seizures would put him in the hospital overnight.  He had to struggle with language, social skills, and motor problems; to name just a few.  Jason had his Bar Mitzvah at the age of 14.  He did most of the service in Hebrew and English...many said he couldn't do it - but he did it!  He loved video and computer games.  Jason was a great baker; if you wanted pancakes in the morning, cookies for a bake sale, or even Challah for Shabbat, he was always there willing to help!  He loved to take pictures either at camp, on vacations, or just messing around at home.  Jason was a member of Special Olympics.  He participated in Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, and many other sports.  Jason participated in state as well as regional Special Olympics games.  He wanted to try gymnastics but this adventure was never to be.  He was also an active member of his school dance team, The Hi Tops.  In June of 1999, the Dance team went to North Carolina for the World Special Olympics Games.  Even though Jason was not feeling well during the trip, he never missed a performance.  He somehow managed to get on that stage no matter how awful he was feeling!

Jason was diagnosed on February 28, 2000 with ALL.  Jason did go in remission a month later on March 28, 2000.  But on September 19, 2000 we were told Jason was no longer in remission.  It was then that Jason's struggle truly began.  Jason spent most of the next 4 months in the hospital trying very hard to beat this monster that was taking over.  It was during this time that Jason got his wish granted through Make A Wish.  A trip to Disney World in Florida. Somehow Jason made this the best trip ever for all of us! Even when in pain and things were looking low,  Jason never never wanted to give up.  Giving up was just not his style.

On December 26, 2000, at 2:20 am Jason lost his battle.

 CaringBridge - jasonconnect
 

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Jesse's Strawberry Jam~ Jesse was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in June of 2000 and is off treatment since September 2002. She is a beautiful 15 year old teenager who loves music, sports, crafts, outdoor activities and being with friends and family.  She is a strong person with a heart of gold . She has been honored hero for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the past 4 years and has worked with them to help raise money to find a cure so life can be better for all the children. 

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Jesse's Super Strawberry Pie ~ Jesse was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in October 2001 when he was 13 years old.  He had to leave school and bravely undergo multiple rounds of high-dose chemo which was to shrink the large tumors in his abdomen. He also had extensive surgery to remove what was left of the tumors.  After that he did more rounds of chemo until his bone marrow test showed that if was clear of disease.  The doctors then told us he would need to undergo a stem cell transplant.  They collected his own stem cells for the transplant. In June of 2002, on the day his classmates were graduating 8th grade, he did his stem cell transplant with the hope of re-growing new bone marrow that would be healthy and free of disease.  The transplant was successful and Jesse's health began to improve.  After 5 weeks in the hospital Jesse returned home.  We still had to go to the hospital every week because his blood and platelet counts were still low and he would need transfusions. He also needed radiation to the tumor sites hoping to kill off any microscopic cancer cells. He continued to improve with the exception of his platelets not rebounding.  He did well for the next year, doing all the things a 15 year old boy would do.  Then during a routine scan in November of 2003 a shadow appeared in his lower abdomen.  The disease was back and this time the doctors could not treat it as aggressively as before because of his low platelet count.  We spent the next 10 months going back and forth to the hospital trying less evasive drugs to kill the cancer cells but it was too aggressive.  Jesse passed away on October 9, 2004 surrounded by his family and friends.  Jesse will forever be a hero in the eyes of all that knew him.  He fought courageously and always kept a positive attitude throughout his treatments.  We will forever miss him and his contagious smile.  
 

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J-dubs' "Joshua" Crisp Blossom Breeze ~ Joshua was born March 23, 1983.  First child.  First boy.  He was so beautiful.   He was a very good baby.  Slept through the night at only 2 weeks old.  He grew up too fast like most kids.  He was always good in school, good around other people and just plain good.  When he was old enough to get into Little League, he did. In April of 1995, I noticed he had very swollen gums.  He was tired a lot, grumpy and he didn't want to play baseball any more.  (That was because they wanted him to slide into home plate and it hurt him to do that).  I took him to the dentist and she treated him with folic acid and mouthwash.  She finally sent him to the periodontal specialist because nothing was working.  The periodontal specialist took pictures of Joshua's mouth and told me that he couldn't do anything until Joshua had a complete physical.  So on the way home, we stopped at the pediatricians office.  They gave me a hard time about making the appointment on the grounds of swollen gums so I got a little mad.  I told the nurse to make the appointment as soon as possible or I would sit in the doctors office until they did the physical that day. He had his physical a week later.  The doctor said to get blood work done right away that day.  He said not to wait until after the weekend.  Well, I almost did.  But something inside me made me take him for the blood work.  See, the pediatrician called the pediatric periodontal specialist at Boston Children's Hospital and asked him what could make gums swell and he told him that it could be Leukemia.  About 9:30 that night the pediatrician called and told me to take Joshua to Boston Children's Hospital right away.  He said that some of the blood work came back and it looked like Joshua might have Leukemia. By the time we got to the hospital (about midnight), the rest of the blood work was back and it was confirmed that Joshua had Leukemia.  They placed him in a room and took more blood.  They asked a lot of questions about bruising and such.  Every time someone new walked into the room, they asked the same questions.  At first they said to expect to be there for a number of hours.  Then they said it could be a number of days.  Then they finally came in and said they didn't know when we'd be out of there. We got into his hospital room about an hour before they did a bone marrow biopsy and gum biopsy so he didn't have much sleep that night.  It was June 10, 1995 when the doctors told us Joshua had Acute  Myelogenous Leukemia.  At first they said it was AML M-4 but later on they said it was AML M-1.  For some reason they couldn't get him into the OR for a central line the first week he was in the hospital.  He got upset about being stuck day after day for his chemo and even tried to refuse the stick.  I had to play the "tough love" act in order to get him to let them put in a "pic-line".  He got through the first week ok. The chemo seemed to work for the most part.  They finally got the central line in after he was done with the induction therapy.  They had done another biopsy after his induction but still had blasts.  He didn't have too many side effects from the chemo but he was neutrapenic  for a few weeks.  They did his consolidation therapy once he was no longer neutrapenic.  It was the highest dose Ara-C ever given to a kid.  He ended up with a very bad rash all over his body.  They did a biopsy and never did find out what caused it (it wasn't because of the Ara-C).  The Ara-C also caused him to have problems with his eyes.  His eyes became completely red and he couldn't handle any kind of light.  Luckily it didn't last too long. Finally after 6 weeks and 2 days, Joshua was released from the hospital.  Just before he was discharged, they did a bone marrow biopsy and gum biopsy again.  He still had blasts in both.  So, they did a third round of chemo to see if they could get rid of the blasts.  Another week in Boston for chemo but this time it was outpatient and we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House. When Joshua went into the hospital for his Bone Marrow Transplant, he still had blasts in his marrow.  The doctors had hoped that the full body irradiation would take care of it.  On September 29, 1995 we brought Caitlin (almost 6) into the hospital so she could be his bone marrow donor.  They harvested her marrow in the morning and infused it in Joshua that afternoon.  Joshua had to have "washed" blood products so it took a little longer to prepare the marrow for him. He had few problems during his transplant.  He had very little graft vs host disease and not many fevers.  It was so hard to not be able to stay with him at the hospital. He got out of the hospital in November and we lived at the Ronald McDonald House.  Just before Thanksgiving, Joshua got the chicken pox.   So, back into the hospital for that.  He was a little depressed, but he was only in for about a week.  Finally, on December 1st, we were finally able to come home from Boston. Things were pretty good.  He had a couple of slight fevers but nothing to bring him to the hospital for.  Then, in March he had a small fever and a small infection in his toe (infected ingrown toenail) so the visiting nurse made us go into the hospital.  Since he was there already, they decided to do another bone marrow biopsy, gum biopsy and spinal).  They were doing the gum biopsy because his gums looked swollen again.  The periodontal specialist (Dr. Ferraro) said the gums could be swollen because of his cyclosporin .The doctors came in and told me the bone marrow biopsy was clean.  They said things were looking good.  Then, that night they came back and said the gum biopsy was positive for leukemia.  Evidently his gums were a reservoir for the Leukemia.  We were devastated.  This couldn't be happening.  About 1 am that night, Dr. Ferara came to me and apologized---he felt bad that he was wrong about Joshua's gums. Well, we left the hospital.  The doctors got in touch with Make-A-Wish on a Monday, we were on a plane that Friday.  He had irradiation to his gums every day for a couple of weeks to see if it would help get rid of the Leukemia.  The swelling went down and his gums looked normal but the doctors were sure he still had the Leukemia. We tried to give Joshua as much of a normal life as we could.  For all of the 7th grade he was tutored.  Then, he was able to go to school for all of the 8th grade.  His check ups in Boston were fine.  All that time the doctors assured us that he had Leukemia in his system but not his blood or marrow.  At that time they suggested a DLI from Caitlin.  We had her go through all the blood work and testing needed for that and when it was time to do it, blasts showed up in Joshua's blood work.  That was October 1997.  I had just found out I was pregnant with my son Zachary and I was devastated about the blasts.  Back on chemo to slow down the Leukemia.  He took hydroxyurea to stabilize his Leukemia for a while.  His gums were swollen again and he had chloromas on his face.  He was taken off the hydroxyurea on Feb 25, 1998.  A week later they placed him on 6MP.  On March 11, he was taken off the 6MP and they started a new individualized treatment plan with methotrexate and PEG-asparaginase.  It worked pretty well.  His counts started looking good.  The gum swelling went down and the chloromas got smaller.  So, they tried a second treatment on March 25.  He had the PEG-asparaginase shot right after his platelet infusion and immediately broke out in hives.  He was so pale.  He was sent home after being given more benadryl.  By the time we got home, he broke out in hives again.  I took him to a local ER and they gave him Atarax.  The hives went away.  But, by the time we got back home from there, he broke out in hives again.  I brought him to Children's and they admitted him over night.  He was given benadryl, atarax and hydrocortisone around the clock.  So, on May 6, 1998, they gave him his first dose of Erwinia asparaginase.  He was allergic to that also.  Finally, chemo that seemed to work great and he couldn't take it.  So, they tried 2-CDA to slow down the progression of the Leukemia.  We watched as the blasts continue and his counts got worse.  It seemed like all of a sudden, he was getting worse.  In June, he started having back pain.  They took X-rays of his lungs and there was a "fog" over one.  They watched him closely.  He seemed to be hanging in there pretty well.  He was getting tired though.  We got a hospital bed for him to sleep in about two weeks later.  Then, on August 5th, he had an appointment.  I watched him as he walked down our three steps to the car and I started crying.  He looked like a little old man having trouble on the steps.  When we got to the Jimmy Fund Clinic, the doctor took one look at him and knew it wouldn't be much longer.  Joshua was irritable and didn't want anyone to bother him.  The AML specialist even came in to see him.  They ordered morphine for him to ease his pain.  When they offered to have us taken home by ambulance, I knew it was worse than I thought.  He wanted to go home in our car though.  When we got home, the doctor kept in touch.  She called our visiting nurse association to let them know we'd need 24 hour assistance.  Family and friends were called.  It appeared that Joshua had fallen into a coma on August 6.  I sat on his bed and told him how much I love him and how I couldn't stand seeing him in so much pain.  I told him not to fight for me.  I told him that no matter how much it hurt to lose him, it was hurting me more to see him suffer so.  That night he woke up.  He sat up and even ate some popsicles.  He kicked everyone out of the room and asked me who said all those things to him.  I told him I did.  He said he loves me and he had to fight for me.  I told him not to--I told him to fight for HIMSELF. Then, on August 7, he got a fever.  We gave him Tylenol but it didn't work.  His fever was up to 105.  At 9:39pm, he took his last breath with his friends and family all around him. 

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Justin's Gentle Spring Rain ~ Justin was only seven in 1995 when he was diagnosed with a high grade brain tumor. He had many operations through the next six 1/2 years each making life just a bit harder for him.  He was a happy child who loved to tell jokes- most of which didn't make sense somehow where still funny. He loved to dye his hair- when he had it- to match the seasons. Red was for Christmas, green St. Patrick's day and Blue just because.
He fought his tumor for over six years. It seemed he might be winning the battle when he was diagnosed with a secondary cancer-Aml.  He died from an infection four days after September 11. His sister was to be a perfect bone marrow match for a transplant that never happened.  Although he is gone his smile and laugh linger on for ever.

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Kaleigh's Country Kitchen~Kaleigh was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on June 29, 1999, at the age of 3 1/2. She underwent 26 mos of chemo, and TIT's. Today Kaleigh is a healthy and very active 10 yr old, who has been in remission since Aug, 24, 2001.  She loves riding horses and playing softball and is a black belt in TaeKwondo.  Kaleigh is a smart, funny, loving girl and we feel so blessed for her good health.

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Karen's Unforgettable Lemon Pound Cake  - (written by her  mother Linda) Our daughter Karen was born in 1988 and diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (NF1) at the age of 3. This is a neurological disorder that caused her to have tumors along both optic nerves. She went through 19 chemotherapy treatments between the age of 3 and 4 �. and never lost a strand of hair! She would come home from treatment, eat hot dogs and macaroni and cheese, run to the bathroom to get sick, and then come back and start eating again. She was NOT going to let chemotherapy interfere with her meals. She received her treatment at a wonderful place called Tomorrow�s Children Institute in NJ.

Although she experienced learning disabilities, Karen loved to sing, dance and play sports. She played soccer, basketball and baseball with other "handicapable" kids and adults. She loved Winnie the Pooh and most Disney movies.

Karen died unexpectedly at the age of 10 from complications from the tumors in her brain called optic gliomas. Karen faced many hardships in her short 10 years, but faced them all with courage, strength and humor.

It is wonderful that Karen has a candle with a lemon pound cake scent. She loved to eat, but was allergic to chocolate, so this is just the right dessert for her. If you would like to know more about Karen and see why she is such a special person, please feel free to visit her web page at http://www.geocities.com/mistie5649/karen.html. If you click on "More Karen" at the bottom of the page, you will see some wonderful pictures of her.  There are other links there also where you can read about other inspirational people who have neurofibromatosis (NF1).

One of Karen�s favorite songs was "Unforgettable".... She truly is.

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Katie's Whimsical Watermelon Dreams ~ Katie was a happy, full of life child. She had a wonderful sense of humor and a wise beyond her years spirit.  She loved the outdoors, playing in the dirt, climbing trees, finding bugs, telling jokes, doing crafts.  She had just turned 6 when we found out she had cancer. Bone cancer, osteosarcoma, in her left femur. She was diagnosed in april of 98. She battled her disease with grace and strength that I have never seen before. She cared more about my feelings than her own. She had her leg amputated in aug of 98 and she went on like nothing had happened. She continued to fight the disease, it spread to her lungs and she went through lung surgery and many more different drugs, nothing worked. She died at home surrounded by her family, pastors. She took her flight through Heavens Gates on July 23, 1999.
Katie is my Hero, my Inspiration.
Her web page is below.


Michelle
{Angel Katies mom 2/15/91 to 7/23/99}

Heaven's Angels ~ Katie

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Kevin's Magical Smile (written by Kevin's Aunt Julie) - In February 2004, my nephew Kevin Willis was diagnosed with stage 4 Ewing's Sarcoma.  Kevin was a normal 10-year old boy when he was diagnosed who had many friends and liked baseball, video games, and anything to do with World War II history.   Kevin's favorite video series was the "Band of Brothers".

Kevin first began experiencing pain in his left leg in September 2003.   Our family just assumed he hurt himself playing with his buddies on the playground one day at school or when he fell on the ice.   Kevin had an X-ray done on his back and it showed nothing, yet the pain continued to worsen. When Kevin had an MRI done in February 2004, his battle began.  At the time of Kevin's diagnosis, the cancer was in his left pelvic bone, sternum, skull, and was moving down his legs so his outcome was grim from the "get go" per the doctor's.  

Kevin endured chemotherapy and radiation and all of the side affects that come with those things.  Through it all, he was our beautiful, smiling Kevin and played practical jokes on the nurses and doctors at Akron Children's Hospital all of the time.

Kevin worsened when the doctors stopped his chemotherapy to radiate the primary tumor on his pelvic bone in December 2004.  Once the chemotherapy was stopped to do the radiation, the cancer spread quickly.  Kevin developed several large tumors on his spine that took away the use of his legs.   After Kevin has lost the use of his legs, he became very withdrawn and mainly only spoke to his Mommy, Daddy and Emily.  We as a family understood that Kevin had to deal with this in his own way and with those closest to him.

The doctor's had given Kevin only a few weeks to months to live, and there were no words to express the grieving that our family was doing for Kevin, Lisa, Greg, and Emily.   Emily is Kevin's 4-year old sister.   There was no way for us to understand Kevin's thoughts and fears and those of Lisa, Greg, and Emily.  Kevin earned his angel wings April 21, 2005.

All we can do is continue to battle all of these Children's Sarcoma cancers together.  Although we will never watch Kevin attend a school dance, dance at his wedding, watch him have his own beautiful babies, or be a professional athlete as he had hoped,  he will always be our greatest soldier and hero!   When Kevin reached Heaven, he had his own Band of Brothers waiting for him with open arms.   Some of his Band of Brothers are his Grandpa Cookson who was a World War II veteran, his Great Uncle Bob who was shot down in Kobe Japan in World War II, his Grandpa Willis who he never knew, but I know was waiting, and all of those brave soldiers who have left us way too soon many years ago.

All of us will miss you forever Kevin, but I can hear you talking to me that you are alright.  I hear your laughter everyday and I know that you are healthy, happy and most of all, smiling!!!!

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Kimberly's Sweet Angel Kisses ~ Kimberly was always a very sweet natured person who always thought of others over her own needs.  She loved her family and always enjoyed when we we all got together for family events.  Kimberly enjoyed being around her friends, and she had many.  Kimmy had this plan that she wanted to go into a future helping others and she was a good listener.  She chose a career in Physical Therapy and was working toward that goal.  Kimberly was in her senior year of high school when by a freak accident a knot appeared on her neck between her collar bone and neck.  It was a day that we were soon never to forget.  It was on Labor Day of 2000.  We took her to the doctor on the next day and after checking different sources soon discovered that she was diagnosed with a rare form of Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  She received several rounds of chemotherapy and they discovered by catscan that the treatment was not touching this disease.  Kim was then recommended to a Doctor that specialized in Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and we were sent to Barnes Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis, Missouri.  Kimbery was then started on a different kind of
chemotherapy but once again the catscan showed very little response to the treatment.  After seeing other specialist it was determined that Kimberly's best option was to under go a Stem Cell Transplant using her own cell's. Kimberly was very determined to win and she had an abundant amount of faith, as did her father, sister and myself.  Kimberly went to school and continued to work all through her treatments until she went to the hospital for this
Transplant.  It was very hard on her both physical and emotionally but she was determined to see it through.  Two weeks after Kimberly was released from the hospital after a 31 day stay she went on her Senior trip with her classmates.  This was to the amazement of many who seen what the hospital effects had on her. Kimberly had to go through 29 radiation treatments after
she retuned from her senior trip. But Kim was determined not to be beaten or lose out on anymore than she had to.  What courage and strength my baby had. Kimberly was in remission for almost a year when during a check up the disease had returned, only this time in the lungs.  Chemo was started right away and she was in remission for about three months when the Hodgkin's came back more agressively then ever.  We begin a new treatment right away but
the shrinkage was not significant enough to help.  It was then determined that Kimberly's best chance to survive this awful night mare was to go through another Transplant, only this time with a doner.  This was not an easy task because she only had one sibling and she was not a match.  The search covered the national registry and after a search of five million people, yes 5 million, a perfect match was found in Europe.  We were so happy, Kim's illness was getting worse and we just knew that our miracle had arrived.  Kimberly arrived at the hospital on December 3, 2003 and we were
told on December 4, 2003 that the condition her lungs were in was in very bad shape.  They gave us a 15% chance of survival and recovery of this disease if she went through with the transplant that was scheduled for the 14th of December.  If we chose not to do the transplant she would have a couple of weeks if we took her home.  We chose the15 % chance of life. Kimberly went through the transplant with flying colors but her lungs could not recover.  We lost our sweet angel on December the 22nd of 2003, only seven days before she was to turn 21.  Kimberly fought an amazing battle and her courage and strength and never ending ability to keep that beautiful smile touched the lives of all who knew her and many that didn't get the privilege.  She had a compassion for others that many young people fail to share.  Kimberly sweet darling you will be remembered and loved and missed so very much.  Kimbery is sending Sweet Angel Kisses to all who knew and loved her.   God Bless You Sweet Baby....
P.S. Kimberly's favorite scent was Sweet Pea.

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Kristy's Hearts n Flowers 

Kristy was diagnosed with Acute Lymphblastic
Leukemia on November 4, 2003.  Kristy is an amazing
child who has most certainly battled this awful
illness with great strength and courage.  Kristy is
now 16 years old and enjoys bowling, choir, and her
two Chihuahua's Mitch and Mickey.  Kristy is a very
good student in school and takes pride on trying her
best to well.    We are so blessed have such a special
child. 

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Kyle's Calming Cotton Blossom ~ Kyle was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor in March, 2000 at the age of 13.  Kyle loved sports, especially baseball and golf.  His favorite baseball team was the Atlanta Braves and his favorite player was Chipper Jones, who he was able to meet.  A couple of years after his diagnosis, Kyle wrote a poem for school:  "If someone gave me just one wish, I would wish for a boat so I could fish.  If someone gave me just one prayer, I would pray that God would make us care.  If someone gave me just one miracle, I would ask that sickness be invisible".  Sadly, Kyle's only hope was a miracle that did not come.  Kyle lost his battle with cancer on October 22, 2002. 

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Lauren's Dance with Dolphins:   As Lauren�s health declined, one of her last wishes was to go with her family on a cruise to the �Mexican Riviera.�  She longed to be near the ocean she loved so dearly with the wonderful sea life below. Her room at home was a virtual aquarium, filled with an array of dolphin paraphernalia, including books, drawings, jewelry and sculptures. Her favorite summer camps were those that involved studying marine life, snorkeling and scuba diving. The high point of our cruise and possibly one of the most treasured experiences we would ever share was the Dolphin Adventure in Puerto  Vallarta. The  ravages of her brain tumor left her with severe handicaps such as double vision, near deafness, facial  and lower extremity paralysis  and pain. Despite her limitations, Lauren watched the dolphins leaping in the water around us, patiently waiting to join them. As we lowered from her wheelchair into the water, Lauren was beaming with joy. There she was living her dream, surrounded by her family and three massive dolphins. These 600-pound gentle giants immediately seemed attracted to her, but at the same time seemed to sense her frailty.  They carefully rubbed their bodies against Lauren in a seemingly caressing and nurturing fashion. She danced and frolicked  with them, rode on their backs and even gave one a kiss. �This has been the BEST day of my life,� she exclaimed as the adventure came to a close. For a few precious moments nature�s magic had allowed Lauren to escape from her broken body and find true happiness and pure joy� a dream come true for a seventeen-year-old girl.

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Lindsay's Luscious Buttercream~ It was February 25, 2002, five days after Lindsay�s 19th birthday, that she discovered a lump beneath her right collar bone. Tests the next morning showed atypical cells were present, but it wasn�t until March 8th that our world was forever changed with the diagnosis of cancer. Numerous tests taken in the next few days showed lesions in the chest, lung, liver, abdomen, and pelvis. It took two weeks to confirm what type of cancer � Stage IV Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma.

It is a rare and very aggressive cancer, with approximately 300 cases diagnosed yearly in the United States, only 50 of those being in Lindsay�s age group (it most often strikes between the ages of 2-6). Chemotherapy was immediately started. Throughout the first year, scans were periodically taken which showed we were winning our battle against this monster.

However, post-treatment scans told a different story when new growth was discovered in her chest wall. At this point, surgery was indicated, but they needed to shrink the tumor first, so a different type of chemotherapy was started. On August 21, 2003, she had seven hours of surgery to remove the tumor, which also involved removing six ribs, two pieces of her lung, and scraping off a little bit of her sternum. After eleven days in the hospital, eight of which were in intensive care, her surgeon described her recovery as nothing short of incredible and remarkable, and was amazed and impressed by her determination to get better. This was not, by far, the end of her journey.

Radiation to the margins of where the tumor was taken out was planned, but as we were (literally) walking out the door to go to her first appointment, the call came which told us, again, more growth. This time it was on the underside of her diaphragm. So, a third chemotherapy was started, which did nothing to shrink the tumor. Then a fourth chemotherapy was started, which not only did nothing to shrink the tumor, but more growth showed in the chest wall where she had the surgery.

Shortly after this, she started having excruciating pain near the tumor that is on the underside of her diaphragm. Tests showed that as it grew it started pressing on some nerves in that area, so radiation was started in an effort to alleviate this pain (thankfully, it worked). The fifth chemotherapy was done simultaneously along side of the radiation, but sadly, it did not give us the answers we have prayed so hard for, as there is more growth again. The Dr�s have said they have run out of options for drugs that they know work against rhabdomyosarcoma, so once her white count and platelet count comes up, she will be trying an experimental chemotherapy. Throughout all of this, Lindsay has been incredibly strong and determined in her efforts to beat this. She doesn�t hesitate to try to help others going through this same battle. She has the love and support of her family, friends, and the community behind her. On a daily basis, she continues to amaze those that come into contact with her. We love her so much, and pray that she wins this battle. For more on Lindsay, visit her web site at www.caringbridge.org/ny/lindsaym. Please feel free to leave a message.

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Sweet Lindsey's Sour Apple    Our Sweet Little Lindsey Ann was diagnosed with a rare form of Liver Cancer, called Hepatoblastoma, on September 8th 2006 at the tender age of 15 months.  Lindsey had 3 rounds of chemotherapy and then on December 12th, 2006 she had surgery to remove part of her liver.  She will have 2 more rounds of chemotherapy after the surgery.  We are waiting for the day when we can say "Remission Accomplished."  Lindsey is definitely a fighter.  She has had a few small bumps in the road to recovery, but overall she has been a real trooper.  So many people have joined hands in prayer for our Precious Angel on Earth, and God is answering our Prayers.  We feel so blessed to have been chosen to watch over one of God's precious little Angels.  We pray for complete healing for Lindsey Ann.  

Lindsey is the youngest of 4 children.  She has 3 older brothers wrapped around her little finger (and her da-da too).  She loves to listen to music, sing, dance, and to go for walks.  She does not know that she is suppose to be sick, and almost always has a smile on her face.  Please feel free to visit our website at www.LindseyAnn.net to get updates on how she is doing. 

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Lisa's Starlight Starbright ~My beautiful daughter Lisa Emily was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March of 1996 when she was 12 years old.  She went through 3 1/2 years of chemotherapy, spinal taps, bone marrow biopsies, and surgeries with incredible bravery.  On the last day of her treatment, they did a final spinal tap on her.  We were planning an end of treatment party on the ride home in the car.  Shortly after we arrived home, the doctor called and said Lisa had relapsed in her central nervous system. We were devastated, but Lisa went back into treatment with determination to beat this "monster" disease.
She relapsed again shortly into treatment, and it was decided she had to have a bone marrow transplant.  Unfortunately, no one in our family was a match for her, so she had an unrelated  but perfect match donor.  Lisa had her BMT on September 15th 1999, and was progressing wonderfully, until she developed a fungal infection she couldn't fight off. There were many complications, and Lisa was placed on a vent. Our Angel Lisa went to Heaven on October 3, 1999 at 10:33 A.M. with me and my husband holding on to her....
Lisa loved life, and loved her friends and family with all of her being.  She had a smile that would turn heads, and sparkling green eyes filled with love and compassion for other children going up against cancer.  She wanted to be a child psychologist when she grew up, to help other children in pain.  Lisa loved to sit out and look at the stars at night, and when I look up at the stars now, I think of my beautiful Angel Lisa, looking down on me from the starlit night, and feel her love surround me.  I love you Lisa my little braveheart, and I can't wait to hold you in my arms again!
Till we meet again,
XXXOOO,
Mommy

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Madison's Magical Wisteria ~ Madison Maleah was 2 yrs old when she was diagnosed with an Ependymoma (brain tumor) in April 2005. She underwent surgery where they removed all of the tumor. She also endured 6 weeks of radiation and only part of her hair.  Madison is now 3 and is currently in remission and doing great! She is a very special little person and has touched all of our hearts. She became known as the flip flop kid at St. Judes. She is our magical princess and we thank God for each beautiful day that he gives for us to spend another day with her.

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"Makade's Marvelous Coconut Cream Pie ~ Makade Gaige Thom was diagnosed as having Hepatoblastoma on November 16th, 2005, just 9 short days after his 2nd birthday.  He immediately had surgery on November 18th, 2005 to remove the tumor encompassing his liver.  They also had to remove the left lobe of his liver as well as his gallbladder.  During this surgery, they also installed Makade's chemotherapy port into his chest.  (This is his medal of honor!)  Makade was placed on a rigorous chemotherapy treatment that began on December 1st, 2005.  Makade went through 3-day chemotherapy treatments every 21 days, along with a weekly chemotherapy injection.  He was hospitalized shortly after his first chemotherapy treatment for severe dehydration.  Following later chemotherapy treatments, Makade was sent home on IV fluids to prevent an unnecessary hospitalization.  Makade's last chemotherapy injection was on February 24th, 2006.  As of February 25th, 2006, Makade is still cancer free!  He follows up monthly with the oncology clinic at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.   

Makade is a fun-loving little boy who can light up a room with his smile.  He enjoys playing with his older sister, Madisen.  He's a sports fanatic and does all the other things little two-year old boys do.  He's a handful at times, but the world wouldn't be the same without him here.  We are very grateful to have Makade in our lives. 

You can keep updated on Makade's prognosis by going to www.caringbridge.org/visit/makadethom.


 

Matthew's Mellow Amaretto ~~Matthew was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) on March 31, 2000, just two days after his 14th birthday.  He was placed on a very intense schedule of chemotherapy which was to last for 2 � years.  Unfortunately, he relapsed in December 2001, while still on treatment.  After attaining remission for a second time, he underwent a Bone Marrow Transplant from an unrelated donor on March 26, 2002 � just three days before his 16th birthday.  He celebrated his birthday in the hospital and came home in record time � 15 days after the transplant.  We were devastated when he relapsed again on May 31, 2002 � just 66 days after his transplant.  This time his leukemia was too aggressive for his body to fight, especially so soon after the Bone Marrow Transplant.  He came home on Hospice in early June, and earned his angel wings at home, surrounded by his family, on July 22, 2002.  He fought hard and rarely complained, even with numerous hospital admissions for chemotherapy and it�s complications. He faced more in the last 2 � years of his life than most of us will face in our lifetimes.  We are so proud of him.  He made a profound impact on so many peoples� lives - people from all over the world, as shown by the outstanding number of visits to his website (www.caringbridge.com/mo/matthall).

Matthew loved the computer and computer gaming. His gift from Make-a-Wish was a laptop computer that he took with him every time he was admitted to the hospital.  It was his link to the outside world, especially when he was feeling bad or could not go to school or be with his friends because of the risk of infection.  He loved to burn candles in his room so it would smell good when he went to bed.  We miss him so much and he will always hold a special place in our hearts.  We will never forget him.  We love you, Matthew.

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Max's Sensational Strawberry Kiwi ~ Max was Diagnosed at 32mths with NF1 after we took him to a Neurologist because he was not yet speaking and was having trouble with his walking skills. He is now 9 years old and is an amazing and inspirational kid.  Max suffers from speech problems, numerous cafe au laite spots (coffee stain like birth marks), UBO's on his brain - these are like the cafe au laites and are not harmful - low muscle tone, a plexiform fibroma (complex tumor) on his right elbow and some small learning disabilities.  In November of '02  after a routine MRI he was diagnosed with a tectal astrocytoma (brain tumor).  Because of it's location it is inoperable, but he had a third ventricelotomy (a hole poked in his ventricle) after diagnosis because of the hydrocephalus (fluid build up) caused by the tumor.  He recently was given the okay to go from 6 mths between MRI's to 1 year because the tumor is currently stable. In 2005 Max was diagnosed (and is on medication for) a seizure disorder.

Max is an amazing kid and brother to his 5 yr old twin brothers Anthony and Noah.  He works hard at school and with his therapy and is now understood almost 95% of the time and his muscle strength is improving. He loves baseball, computers, gamecube and playing with friends. He is a lovable, caring and smart little boy who amazes and inspires us daily. He is very excited to get his own candle and even more excited that it is strawberry like one of his favorite fruits!  You can read all about Max and his journey at his website:  www.caringbridge.org/ma/max

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Maxie's Marvelous Dogwood -Maxie's Story written by Mom, Christy
During the spring of 1993 I was shopping for baby stuff for the little "girl" I thought I was having. Well, I was induced at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX on April 2nd, 1993. On that morning Maxie Lee Lagourney was born c-section. He was a small but healthy baby boy. He was so pretty everyone thought he looked like a girl. My little future star, he was a ham from the beginning. Loved to get attention, and listened to everything. Except for having colic, he was a great baby. He brought joy to my family because he was the first and only great grandchild and grandchild on my side of the family. My Mom, his grandmother, bonded with him immediately.

When Robert, his little brother came along, on October 26th, 1994, Maxie was happy. He rubbed Robert and told everyone to see the baby. Robert loved Maxie from the moment he was old enough to know that was his brother. They are like Frick and Frack, but oh the bond they had.
In 1997 we moved to Virginia from Texas and they loved going to school here.  Maxie loved his school and his friends. He had the biggest, purest heart of any person I ever met. If he loved you, he loved you completely, no questions ask. He was so proud of his little brother Robert. From the minute Robert was born they were together like glue most of the time. Robert always wanted to be with Maxie and Maxie did not care one bit. If he had a friend at school, boy or girl they were his friend forever, not just this week but from them on. His friend Shawntae told us how he would run around the lunch room and take everyone's cucumbers. He loved cucumbers. NO.. he loved all food. Most of all ... he was happy ... and he was loved.

*************MAXIE'S CANCER HISTORY*************

This chapter in our life started July 23, 2003. Maxie had not been feeling well for about a week. He had an upset stomach and he looked a little yellow. I took him to see Dr. Sandlin our family doctor. When they walked in Dr. Sandlin told the nurse she had never seen Maxie sick;  EVER!
After a short exam, Dr. Sandlin turned to me and handed me a small pack of Kleenex. �You are going to need this, it is serious!
He needs to go to the emergency room now! I will call ahead.�
We were both hoping it was not what we were thinking. Trying hard not to say the word. A few hours later with tubes in his nose, down to his stomach, IV�s running and a lot of X-rays and cat scans, we were told.... The doctor, with tears in her eyes, told us she thought it was a cancer and that she wanted us to go to another hospital were they do cancer treatments on children all the time. That night at midnight we were taken across town to MCV Hospital, in Richmond.
The next few days are a blur. Tests, tests and more tests. Finally they said they need to do surgery to see if they could take out the tumor and what kind it was. They found it was attached to his bile duct and on his liver. It has a lot of veins and arteries running through it so it could not be removed. They did a biopsy on the tumor, liver and bone. The bile duct was blocked so they had to put a drain back and a tube in his side so they could drain his bile. He was jaundice so chemo could not be started at this time. A few days later the test were back. IT WAS CANCER, A VERY RARE, HARD TO TREAT KIND AND EVEN MORE RARE WHERE HIS WAS!  It was ALVEOLAR RHABDOMYOSARCOMA STAGE III
The suggested treatment was surgery but without that option, massive chemotherapy and radiation is next.  56 LONG HARD WEEKS OF TREATMENT AHEAD!
He had trouble with high blood pressure and had some seizures or strokes. His weight dropped to the point he had to have nourishment administered through his port 18 hours a day for weeks.
Around Thanksgiving he got the flu with zero white count. They gave him massive doses of antibiotics and saved him. He was still taking his chemo once a week and a big dose overnight every 3 weeks in the hospital. He was also given 6 weeks of radiation. We were told the radiation damaged his spleen badly and his liver some.
In Jan. he had 2 weeks off with no treatments. Then test were run to see how the tumor was doing. (The last report back in November said it had gone from the size of two big fists to the size of a lemon,  but has fingers going into his bile duct.)
Ever since he had radiation his body had gone down hill. In Feb. an MRI was done and the tumor looked the same size but looked dead. I think the treatments might have been too much. As his tumor shrank and died, it blocked off his digestive track. The main blood supply to the liver was running through the shrinking tumor and was killing his liver. The word transplant had now been said! His last CT scan of his head was GREAT! Food at this time would not go through him and he was in the hospital and in a lot of pain. He had another MRI, it was very bad news. The tumor was thicker and bigger? They put in a stint so his billiruben would drain. They were going to do a bypass between his stomach and small intestine so he could eat again. That never happened.
Sunday, March, 21st he got a very high fever and a yeast infection in his port. He had a very bad reaction from the antibiotic and we almost lost him. They put him in ICU. He went down hill fast after that. The infection spread. His lungs filled with fluid. He did not want to talk and soon could not breath. Thursday, the 25th, they put him on a respirator to help him breath. His last words were, "MOM, I, AM SCARED.... ! DO NOT LEAVE ME!"
Saturday, March 27th, after 7 long weeks in the hospital, we choose to turn the lung machine off and take out the 16 IV's and tubes that he had.  Maxie fought a hard battle for 8 short months. Gracefully and painlessly his life ended.  I chose to turned off his respirator after only two days of life support, Knowing there wasn't any chance of survival.  I held him and cried as they turned the machine off.  He lived for almost three minutes until it was time to go. He gently opened his eyes and passed away surrounded by friends and family and nurses. He was never afraid of leaving the Earth, just of leaving his family, I knew this because we talked of the outcome often. The Angels were happy to have him join them and we are at peace also knowing he is on our "team." I love you Maxie and miss you so and each day is one day closer to being with you. 

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Michael's Marvelous Mango Papaya~ Michael was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on 7/15/99 at the age of 5.  He finished treatment on 9/16/02 and is doing well.  It was a very bumpy road, but he handled it like a champ.  Michael enjoys POKEMAN�, math, drawing, and aggravating his little sister!

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Michael's Morning Rain Shower ~ Michael was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma (a childhood type cancer) at the age of 30.  The percentage of adults that get this type of cancer each year is less than 1%.  Michael lived only 10 months after his diagnosis.  His wife Jennifer shared the following phrase that Mike had told his dad the week of his passing......  "God has the power to stop a storm and he can stop the atoms in my body, but my spirit will live forever."  Michael was an avid hunter and outdoorsman, who had a zest for living life to its fullest.  He left behind his wife Jennifer, his sister Dana (who is a cancer survivor herself), and parents Lynn and Bob who will all miss him deeply.   Because Michael was such an avid outdoorsman his family is working diligently to raise the funds to have a wetland named to honor his memory and his life.  Michael earned his angel wings on  4/11/04 but his spirit still remains strong among those who knew and loved him. 

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Nicholas' Peaceful Pear Berry ~ Nicholas came into this world on August 3, 1992 at 8:37pm and on that day and at that time Rosemary and Charlie�s lives stopped for a joyous and splendid moment and they knew their lives would never be the same again. It was one of the happiest days of their lives. Nicholas was welcomed into this world as his parents lovingly cradled him in their arms and providing him with unconditional love, care and protection. He was their son and he was their gift of love to one another. The rest of his family happily awaited his arrival in the next room and shared in the joy of his birth and welcomed him with their love in the first minutes of his life. He was our grandson, nephew and cousin. He became Nick-a-Nick and Pumpkin to his grandmothers. I will never forget the jubilation in Charlie�s face at the arrival of his son, the excitement in his voice and happiness in his hugs. I found great humor in seeing my sister Rosemary sitting in bed eating a tuna fish sandwich after she just finished giving birth while she carefully watched each of us hold Nicholas for the very first time. You see - it was one of the happiest days of our lives too. I will never forget seeing Charlie, Rosemary, Joey and Nicholas together as a family for the first time. On this day life was very, very good.

For 6� years of Nicholas� short life he was a healthy, happy, charming, engaging and spirited young boy. He loved his brother Joey and together they were quite the duo - the greatest brother tag team I had ever seen. And how they excelled in mischief and once Zachary was born they became as my sister Lisa refers to them as the �three musketeers� - and there was no stopping the three of them then.

 Nicholas was diagnosed with Stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma - it was a disease that we never heard of or could hardly spell. All we knew is that it was terminal.

Nicholas ended his valiant battle and left this world on August 4, 2002, at 9:25pm - just as he entered it - lovingly cradled in the arms of his mother and father, with his brother Joey close by and surrounded by family who loved him dearly. This was just one day after his 10th birthday. Nicholas went from his parents� hand to God's hand and there was never a break in the continum of love. On the day that Nicholas died, the world stopped for many of us and a piece of us died as well. We loved him so very, very much.

Read more about Nicholas' life and journey with cancer.....

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Paige's Perfect Wildberry Cobbler (written by Paige's mom) ~ One day upon leaving Paige's Aunts house..I picked her up and noticed a very large and hard mass
on the back of her leg. I took her to her doctor and she sent us for an xray. After getting the xray..we were told to go back to the doctors office. Then....I was told that she needed to have a biopsy. When I heard the word "biopsy" I was thinking...NOT AGAIN.
Her father had just had breast cancer the year before (1994). She had her biopsy and we were told she had rhabdomyosarcoma (cancer in the muscle). Our lives were turned upside down. My precious little redheaded girl went through a year of chemo and radiation. When they did the radiation..I was told it could cause a
secondary cancer later in life. I said..WELL..I DONT WANT TO DO IT THEN!! I was told we had no choice. If she didnt get the radiation..she probably wouldnt be alive later to possibly get another cancer.  Well...Paige remained in remission for about 6 years.  Her father battled many cancers including breast,
bone, and lung cancer until finally taking his life on March 12, 2002. That was devastating to all of us. He was only 37 years old. We tried to get back to our lives and mourn his death at the same time. Then about 2 months after his death..Paige began complaining of
leg pain in the bad leg. I immediately called her oncologist and was told to take her for an xray. We were hoping it was just growing pains. But once again we were given devasting news. Paige now had
Osteosarcoma in her leg. This is probably radiation induced too. Again our lives were turned upside down.  Paige began another year of chemo which made her terribly sick...long hospital  stays which she hated.  She would sit in there and cry just to go home. I felt
terrible that this was again happening to her. She had leg salvage surgery in October 2002. Paige finished her treatments just before Easter 2003. She also had to do a couple months of physical therapy to help her get her leg straightened out. Since then Paige has been trying to catch up at school and going to her regular checkups. Around the end of May 2004 she began complaining of leg pain again and had to have xrays done. This time we found out that the hardware in her leg has pulled away from the bone causing her pain. So now she is scheduled to have surgery in July 2004 to
remove the old hardware and replace it with a rod. The doctors say this will be better and more comfortable than what she has now. I am hoping and praying that her problems are over. My little girl is 12 years old now and has showed us all strength and courage through everything she has had to endure. She is the bravest little girl I know. Paige Haney is my hero!          

 

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Paul's Pleasing Spearmint Sensation ~ Paul was 14 years old when he was diagnosed in Nov 10, 1999 with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma of his left maxillary sinus.  We were referred to Dr. Beverly Raney at M.D. Anderson in Houston, TX.  On Thanksgiving Day Nov 24th Paul started on VAC (a 3 chemo combo) alternating with Topotecan (another chemo), he also had 6 weeks of radiation.  It was a 10 month treatment that ended in Sept 2000.  On March 2001, an MRI scan showed that Paul had relapsed to his left neck.  Again Paul was treated at M.D. Anderson for relapse with chemo Ifosphamide, VP-16 and Doxorubycin and again he had 6 weeks of radiation.  This treatment also lasted 10 months and ended on Feb 10, 2002.  Paul is now 20 years old and is still in remission.  He has not had any problems from treatments as of yet.  We continue to pray and give thanks and hope for Paul's continued health and enjoy each other every single day! (written by Paul's mom, Irma)
 

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Ricky's Rockin' Caramel Pecan Pie ~ Richard "Ricky" Scott entered our world on March 8, 1976, all 8lb12 ozs with curly dark hair and big, chocolate brown eyes.  From the beginning he was a special child, he was the bond that blended two families into one.  With Ricky's birth, his 4 sisters and 1 brother became one family--no steps, no halves-- just one big family.  When he was six, he got his wish and  welcomed a new baby brother into the family. Oh how he hovered over him those early years.  He loved his cats and his dog Harley,  his family, Mustangs (the car not the horse), motorcycles, babies and airplanes....not necessarily in that order!  (How many 11 y.o. boys come home from school, decline going outside to play with their buddies preferring to stay inside, lying on a couch with a 6 week old baby taking an hour nap on their stomach!?)

The good life came to a screeching halt when Ricky was 12 and they discovered a gr. 2 astrocytoma in his brain.  He had successful surgery to remove it at BCH followed by radiation at YNHH.  In the next two and half years he blossomed into quite the young teen, proudly tackling his school work, which he loved despite some minor learning disabilities,  flirting with the girls, learning to fly (yes a real plane!) and just being a 'normal' kid.  However, 2 1/2 years later a 'routine' annual MRI showed that there was another tumor growing...this time more dangerous; it was in the brainstem; it was inoperable.  Radiation was tried again and for a while it held it in check, but it started growing again, slowly affecting his motor skills, the vision in one eye, eventually his speech.  Throughout his treatment, he remained an inspiration to us...his optimism knew no bounds, he laughed, he played practical jokes, he enjoyed what he could and dismissed! the rest.  When another lemon was thrown his way, he just made more lemonade.  That last summer, his 16th, he went skydiving; he got his Learners Permit and got to ride in his '66 red & white Mustang convertible that Dad finished restoring that summer...even entered it in a car show and won 2nd place!   He had a blast during his Make A Wish trip to DisneyWorld and went back to school that fall, but still with that impervious smile on his face, despite being in a wheelchair now and fighting off the effects of chemo.   By mid October, an MRI showed that the tumor actually was starting to get smaller--the experimental chemo was working--but reality was setting in, it was apparent that it was too little too late and our funny, courageous,  precious son went earned his angel wings on October 31, 1992.  After that, there were times when I thought our family would fall apart...the unspeakable  pain, the loss seemed too much to bear.!  But then I would picture that laughing, smiling, handsome face and remember the courage and strength he always showed and knew that I could do no less.  My memories of Ricky, together with his little brother, now older than he was when he left us,  who in so many ways is like him...yet wonderfully special and different in his own light, have helped us all to continue on....not move on, not move past 'it'....just continue on.  While I have to accept that he's no longer here physically, I know too that he is, in fact, still with us....his spirit is HERE....he's shown it in many ways over these last few years...and I have no doubt I will see his smiling, handsome face and feel his warm hugs again one day.

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Robert's Refreshing Ocean Breeze-- Robert was diagnosed with ALL in February of 2001, he was 9 yrs. old.  He relapsed in February of 2002, received a bone marrow transplant at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN and relapsed again.  Robert died on November 17, 2002.  His lifespan was April 28, 1991 to November 17, 2002.  He was an 11yr. old boy with an amazing love of life...his greatest passion was fishing and the ocean.  Being by the ocean and watching the waves and feeling the ocean breeze on his skin made him happiest of all...especially when he was surrounded by his family including two sisters, a little brother, and his best friend, Ryan-they were "fishing fools" together.  Robert dreamt of surfing the ocean waves one day.  He mastered his casting skills early on and loved all things that were from the ocean.  Robert was a natural at everything he did.  He mastered anything  and everything he tried.  He loved people and has been known to many as not only a fisherman, but a "fisher of men..."  His true love of life and family and friends touched countless lives during his short time here on earth with us...we know that he is sailing the oceans of heaven with our Lord...at peace and happy.  He has gone on ahead-again.  Please visit his webpage:   www.caringbridge.org/fl/robertmitchel

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Sabrina Leigh Bolton, 9/16/83 - 3/17/04  Sabrina's Web Page

Sabrina's Sweet Cucumber Melon~ (Sabrina 9/16/83 - 3/17/03) Sabrina is our sweet angel daughter.  At the age of almost 15 (August of 1998) she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma of the left peri-rectal region.  At that time she was very active in school and loved volleyball (she played on the varsity team as a freshman).  She endured 11 grueling months of chemotherapy and finished treatment in the Summer of 1999.  She was getting her life back and getting back into sports and normal "teen" stuff when, just 15 months off treatment, she relapsed.  This time the tumor was in her right kidney.  Her kidney was removed and she once again began chemotherapy.  She also went through radiation during both sets of treatment.  She finished therapy again in March 2001 and then began traveling to Bethseda Maryland for an experimental vaccine.  She completed vaccine therapy in August 2001 and sadly relapsed once more in November.  This time the tumor was in a rib and on the back of her right lung.  She couldn't' stand the thought of more treatment but being the strong young woman she was she once again agreed to chemotherapy and radiation.  God blessed us once again and allowed Sabrina to achieve remission.  She started college and life was good.  In October 2002, during a checkup, we learned that the monster was back and that nothing could be done about it this time.  That was by far the most devastating news we had ever received.  We were told that she might only have weeks to live.  Once again she proved them wrong.  She lived over 5 months with at least 4 of those months being filled with good times for her.  She felt good and was able to get out and do things that made her happy.  God had plans though that we didn't and still don't understand.  On March 17th Sabrina Leigh earned her angel wings.   She was peaceful when she left this world and finally was cancer and pain free forever.  Read about Sabrina's entire journey at  CaringBridge.org - sabrina

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Princess Sammy's Sweet Cranberry (aka Princess Sammy's Christmas Cranberry) ~ Samantha was born on November 1, 2001. A beautiful little blonde princess. She has always been very outspoken and independent. Sammy loves doing normal little girl things. Some of her favorite things include, the color pink, dressing up as a princess, getting her finger & toe nail's painted, and being spoiled by everyone that comes in contact with her. Sammy was diagnosed with Pre B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in March of 2004 at the University of Virginia. Which in our opinion is the greatest place for treatment, and emotional support. The same month Sammy was diagnosed we gave birth to our new daughter Hannah. Now, we think Hannah was a blessing because we were able to bank her cord blood for Sammy just in case....  Sammy's treatments having been very successful. We are now going into the continuation phase! She has touched many peoples hearts since being diagnosed. I think she has made many people realize life is very precious, and if a little innocent girl can get a life threatening illness, then we should live everyday as if it was our last!  

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Sarah Anne's Cinnamon Spice~ Sarah Anne was 2 � when diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in May of 2000.  She endured 2 �years of chemotherapy and completed her treatment in November of 2002.  She is a great big sister to a little sister and a little brother.  Sarah Anne, through her battle with leukemia, has developed into such a sweet, caring and compassionate little girl. Sarah Anne is constantly thinking about and praying for all the little children who are just beginning and those in the midst of their battle with cancer. Thanks for supporting Candles 4 Kids!  Read more about Sarah Anne @ www.caringbridge.org/al/sarahanne

 

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Sara Rose's Sweet Love ~

When you think of me�

Think of sunshine,

Wishing stars,

Rainbows,

And Butterflies.

When you think of me�

Think of tea parties,

Flowers,

Beanie babies,

And playdates with friends.

When you think of me,

Know that my life has been filled with such joy!

I love you!!!

Sara Rose

�We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary. What is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).�

Sara Rose was always an angel. We used to tell her that she floated into our arms at birth. She was a very loving little red-haired artist who touched many lives. Sara had an enormous passion for life, always making the best of every minute despite the circumstances. A brain tumor took her life three weeks before her sixth birthday, but not her spirit. Her legacy lives on in the minds and hearts of all who knew her. Besides art, Sara Rose�s favorite activity was a tea party with her friends. The next time you have a cup of tea, remember Sara Rose and let the gift of her life touch your heart!

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Sean's Sweet Banana Nut Bread ~ Sean was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in November 1997, just after finishing high school.  He went through a year of grueling treatment including chemo and radiation.  After treatment he was declared cancer free and enjoyed 2 wonderful years in remission.  Then, in November of 2000, he was told that "it" was back.  Again he endured surgery and went through 10 months of chemotherapy.  He finished treatment on his 22nd birthday in September of 2001.  Just 5 short months later, in February of 2002 he found out that "the beast" was back again.  Again he opted to go through treatment and again he obtained remission.    Sean went through more in his lifetime than anyone should ever have to endure and yet he didn't complain and somehow managed to find humor in most situations.  He was one of the strongest and bravest people that I know.  Sean earned his angel wings on April 13th 2003.  His smile, love of life, sense of humor and most of all his awesome bravery will never be forgotten!  Sean you are now and forever will be our hero!  Read about Sean's journey at www.caringbridge.org/nj/seanb

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Spencer's Cherries 'n Chestnuts ~ Spencer was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rhabdomyosarcoma on January 14, 2004, shortly after he turned 2 years old. He had an abdominal tumor that was too large and invasive to remove during the initial surgery. He completed 12 weeks of chemotherapy, followed by a second surgery, in which the tumor was successfully and completely removed, followed by radiation and more chemo. Overall, he has undergone 10 months of aggressive chemotherapy, 2 surgeries, 20 days of radiation, 7 hospitalizations, 17 blood product transfusions, and more neupogen shots, low immune system days, and blood count checks than we can count. All before his third birthday. And even more amazing is the fact that Spencer, for the most part, has acted like he didn�t even know he was sick. He loves the treatment room/play area at the oncology clinic and has bossed every one of the volunteers, Child Life Specialists, and his nurse into playing with him at least a dozen times each. He�s convinced that the whole clinic is his personal playground, and the pokes and prods are minor inconveniences that occasionally get in the way of his playing there. He cries every time we leave and wakes up in the morning begging to go back. He even enjoys being bald�because, well, really, what 2-year-old boy do you know that enjoys getting his hair washed and brushed? He has been amazingly unaffected by the fight of his life, and we are in awe of his resilience and energy.

For a two-year-old, Spencer grew to be very accomplished at holding still for shots and port-a-cath accessings, became an old pro at dragging his home infusion iv backpack around the house (even though it was almost as heavy as he was), and was quite the expert at playing in as wide a circle as humanly possible without having to actually move his iv pole with him. He is one tough kid. We are thrilled to say that Spencer is currently in remission (as of 11/17/2004). He finished his last day of chemo just days before his 3rd birthday, and talk about a celebration! Spencer loves dinosaurs, fishies, snakes, frogs, spiders and pretty much anything creepy and crawly. He also loves his mom, dad, big sister Annie, and his baby sister Sophie. Feel free to visit Spencer�s website at www.caringbridge.org/tx/spencer/.

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Steven's Pumpkin Cheesecake - Steven was diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on April 17, 2001, at the age of 13.  He fought heroically and courageously.   He was always optimistic and had a strong faith.  He would often put his arm around me and say, �I�m going to be fine, mom.  Everything�s going to be okay.�  He was put on the most aggressive arm of the treatment protocol and through the course of the next two years he battled bravely and with such grace. He always prayed for the other kids who wouldn't make it.

Steven had a hunger for learning and a love for life.  He liked school and being with his friends.  He and his brother, Tony, were best friends and would giggle late into the night when they should have been sleeping.  He enjoyed being with his family and was a pinochle fanatic.  He was an enthusiastic sports fan, especially his Philadelphia teams.  He took pride in his country and had planned to be President of the United States one day, as well as a pediatric oncologist.

On May 30, 2003, Steven relapsed while still in treatment.  He continued his valiant fight with honor and class, still smiling and concerned for others. He never lost his sense of humor.  As his hair was falling out, he asked his nurses to come join his �coming out� party.  His next treatment step would have been to go to a bone marrow transplant but he never made it. On June 29, 2003, just four days after his 16th birthday, Steven died from complications with the chemotherapy. He never recovered his WBC and he developed staph and strep infections followed by kidney failure and subsequent liver failure. He fought right to the end.  Steven  was surrounded by his family as he passed from our arms to God�s arms.

Our world is no longer the same.  Steven has left a legacy of love and caring. The world is a better place because Steven was here.  We continue on, living our lives in a way that honors Steven�s memory.  We look forward to the day we will all be together again.

 You can read more about Steven at http://mysite.verizon.net/vze8esj6/index.html

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Suryan at the beach

Suryan's Succulent Lemon Grass ~  Suryan was the diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in November 2001.  He bravely endured 10 months of chemo therapy and 7 weeks of radiation.  He completed therapy in September, 2002 and was in complete remission.  In March, 2003, after only 6 short months of enjoying his cancer free life, Suryan and his family were told that "it" was back.  He faced his new challenge like he does everything.....bravely and with a strong will to win!  He never allowed the treatments to slow him down.  While taking 10 more months of chemotherapy & 6 weeks of radiation, Suryan still enjoyed surfing (his favorite past time), playing his guitars, riding his mountain bike and spending time with friends and family.  He holds his head up high and makes the most of each day!! 

The last treatment regimen didn't get Suryan completely into remission so now his Dr.'s (and his Mom) are working on finding a treatment plan that will hopefully wipe out this cancer monster once an for all! 

A cure was not to be for Suryan. He passed from this world to the next May 13 at 7:45a.m. while lying in his mothers arms.  Read more about Suryan and his mothers quest to raise money for rhabdo research at www.caringbridge.org/fl/suryan

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Teresa's Tempting Spice Cake ~

Teresa is now 15 years old.  (She will be 16 on May 23, 2005) On January 2, 2001 at the age of 10 she was diagnosed with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  Before she was diagnosed, she was playing basketball on her elementary school team.  She is now a sophomore in high school.  She enjoys going to church activities, hanging out with her friends, talking on the phone, and irritating her brother.  Teresa is a very loving girl, but sometimes she has the temper of a redhead.  (Teresa's hair grew back a deeper red than it was before it fell out.)  We are truly blessed to have her in our lives.  We love her very much.  Teresa finished  chemo treatment on April 15, 2003.  Teresa continues to go to the doctor for checkups and after her June 2006 appointment she will only have to go annually (yahoo!).  April 2008 is when she will officially  be considered a cancer survivor.  We look very forward to that day.

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  Tommy's Tannin' in the Tropics~  On November 19, 1998 in one profound moment, our lives changed forever.

Our son Tommy was diagnosed with t-cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at 17 years of age.  As a devoted athlete and an honors 12th grade student, he had just started what was to be that memorable senior year of high school.

Tommy finished 3 years and 4 months of treatment on March 5, 2002.  He fought and sacrificed so much and did it all with much growth, courage and determination.  He had many tough times ~ but he always flourished with his incredible spirit and strength.

Through this experience, Tommy found his passion with medicine and is currently pursuing a career in medicine.  His dream is to practice in Pediatric Oncology.  Even through the numerous grueling bone marrow aspirates, spinal taps, and hundreds of chemotherapy treatments...two major surgeries on both his hips, shoulders and knees for Avascular Necrosis which developed as a result of chemotherapy . . . he continued to excel in college by consistently making the Dean's list with outstanding academic achievement.  I am extremely proud to announce that Tommy will graduate in May of 2004 from Pennsylvania State University with a major in Physiology and a minor in Biochemistry.  What a dream this has been!

As we have traveled this most difficult road with our family and friends, the inspiration that Tommy has given and shown us each and every day has been our survival through this entire journey.  We celebrate each day of life as a true gift.

We continue to hope for what is yet to come . . . pray for our children who courageously battle these horrendous diseases and celebrate their growth through their endless determination and strength.  We cry for the innocence of life we've lost and those to come . . . which everyday breaks the soul of our hearts.  

a note from Tommy's mom: I am extremely proud to announce that Tommy graduated in May of 2004 from Pennsylvania State University with a major in Physiology and a minor in Biochemistry.  He has been accepted and will be attending Penn State College of Medicine in the Fall of 2006.  What a dream this has been!
 

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Travis' Pleasing Pomegranate ~ Travis was born on Jan 4, 1997.  He was a very lovable boy, he loved hugs (not one but two) and he would get upset if he didn't get his hug.  He was very handsome, beautiful blue eyes and blond hair.  He never met a stranger, he was very friendly. Travis loved to play Nintendo and was very good at it, he loved watching cartoons-scooby doo was his favorite, and Toy Story was his favorite movie.  Travis was a very smart boy, before the age of 4 he could count and he knew his abc's.  Travis was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in July of 2001, he died on October 21, 2001 from a rare side effect of the chemotherapy he was receiving named Veno-Occlusive Disease.  Travis lived a very short life but touched the lives of many and will forever be  kept in the hearts of his family and his friends.  You can read more about this special boy at http://www.TravisWhitman.com

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Tyler's Spicy Surprise ~ Tyler was diagnosed with ALL (leukemia) on Nov. 16th 2002 at the age of 8.  He went into remission very quickly and then began maintenance therapy.  While on maintenance it was discovered that the leukemia had come back and that Tyler would now need a bone marrow transplant.  Tyler has a very rare chromosome that made treating him and finding a bone marrow donor more difficult than normal.  His family was all tested and none of them were a match.  On May 19, 2005 a bone marrow match was found (from the bone marrow donor registry)!!  He received his bone marrow transplant on July 13th.  Tyler and his family had endured so to get to this point.... they prayed that this was their miracle.  It wasn't meant to be.  On Aug 19th it was discovered that Tyler's body had not taken the donor marrow and that it had only grown Tyler's own bone marrow back.  The good news was that Tyler had once again obtained remission.  On December 28th, 2005 Tyler's family once again got the news they never wanted to hear.  The cancer had returned and this time there was very little that could be done.  Tyler's body is very tired and can't take harsh chemo's any more.  He is now on hospice care and is receiving a milder chemo that will hopefully slow down the cancer until another treatment can be found or a miracle occurs. 
 
Tyler is such a trooper and loves to pull pranks and practical jokes.  He loves football and hunting.  He beats his grandpa at PS2 football all the time and grandpa takes him hunting whenever he can.  Tyler's family treasures every day, hour and minute that they have with him.  He is truly a gift from God.
 

 

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