Sunday morning, May 15, 2005
Happy Birthday to you.
Wow!! The girl I didn’t really think would live to see age “6” just celebrated her “8th” birthday. THANK YOU, dear Lord!!!!!!! And thank you dear Christi Crew for checking in. All is well and we feel so blessed! Without a doubt, we are!!!
Christi and two friends celebrated the 8th birthday in a “pink and funky” way by going to Libby Lu’s. It’s a little girls’ dream store where they do your hair, fingernails, make up, costumes, etc. and have you dance around the store all with lots of glitter, of course! Nearly everything is pink at Libby Lu’s! (And it seemed like it was just a big pile of glitter by the end of the evening and the girls couldn’t have been more delighted.) My deepest thanks to Linda for being “game” and making it all to happen! THANK YOU!! On the way back to Linda’s car I overhead the girls talking that they’d use their rock and roll headsets to put on a broadcast about Christ’s birthday party. One girl acting like a reporter said, “This is a birthday party for Christi Thomas, a cancer survivor.” And Christi piped in with, “I’m not a survivor, yet.” It nearly took my breath away as it taught me she must know a lot more than I think she knows about this beast which has drawn us all together- a beast called cancer. Ugh!
Christi's 8th birthday really arrived on Thursday, May 12th with me softly singing, "Happy Birthday" until I witnessed a precious little smile form on her face from where I stood at the foot of her bed. Prior to my singing her awake, I was on my knees by her bedside as I have done countless times - this time in prayer of thanksgiving for the fact that she actually made it to eight! I truly never thought she's make it to eight when she was only five and diagnosed with this horrible cancer. Many times I have dreamed that she was diagnosed with another type of cancer for which there is a cure then my reality brings me back to the fact that sadly it indeed is neuroblastoma - the worst of the worst in terms of survival, a cancer unlike some others, a cancer for which there is no cure. Of course I believe it is a miracle that she is now “8”! Praise God! Of course, eight isn't enough for me; I had to go and ask our Maker for her to make it to nine too, but I know it's not my decision.
At school, she passed out her favorite cookies that we made together the night before and after school we went to our family's favorite photo store "The Picture People" to have her 8th birthday pictures taken. As always, they did a fabulous job of capturing the girls in priceless photos I shall forever treasure. It was hard to select which poses I liked the best. And then we took the finished photos home as they were ready in an hour! Amazing! I'm certain some will appear on CT's website very soon. Thank you, to the Picture People!! (They are a nation-wide chain so if there is “The Picture People” story by you - check it out. You won't be disappointed!) Finally, the big day ended with a merry-go-round ride.
We also had a small family birthday party for the “Crea 8 tive” one yesterday. It was delightful. So happy am I that my sister and her family was able to attend as they live about four hours away from us. We dearly treasure the love and laughter they give us. The party was a “smashing hit” and it was fabulous to get together and catch up with everyone last night. We are so lucky to have such tremendous family and friends.
Christi again had fabulous blood counts at the hospital recently. I think this may have been the first time that all of her blood counts drawn from the port inside her chest were in the “normal” range in years. That can only be a good sign! They were: 4.7 white, 11.8 hgb., 170 platelets, and a 2700 ANC. The LDH which measures tumor activity was 207 (100-190, normal). She currently has a few more days of ABT 751 to take in this 13th round and then she’ll get seven days off. She’s done really well. One day she “tossed her cookies” after taking it and we felt horrible that we didn’t happen to have any extra around to give her the day’s chemo, but I guess we should just be thankful that that was a rare occurrence.
MEMORIES OF THE MONTH:
*Shayne also participated in a sprint duathalon (Bike and Run) at the Olentangy Caverns with “Uncle Jeffy” in early May. He sweetly gave the girls a high five hand slap when he raced passed them so sweet! After the race, we all explored the caverns together. Very cool!
*He also took the girls to the “Girl Scout Father / Daughter Prom” following the high school’s prom while the decorations were still up. All the girls put on their fanciest dresses. (Christi & Shayla still had dresses that were all thanks to MSKCC’s prom two years ago in NYC. Thrilled was I that they still fit! Wow! I’m going to write MSK to tell them and to let them know we’re heading to NYC for a visit this summer). While they had a wonderful evening of food, dancing and festivities at the prom I stayed at home and worked on a paper for my latest OSU class.
*WFOB's Live Radio Broadcast - Poor Christi had taken her ABT that morning as always and I was hoping she'd get through this 13th round without her "loosing her cookies" but that didn't happen this month either. She had taken her ABT the morning she was to appear with Shayne on WFOB's live radio broadcast promoting the Poker Run and her Lemonade Stand. Shayne said she lost it as soon as she got out in the parking lot just before she went in and didn't feel very well during the entire 60 minute broadcast. (In complete Christi style she blamed Shayne for his “bad driving” though instead of the chemo what a hoot! She wants me to drive next time. Funny!) Well, I've listened to the radio show and I thought she did a fabulous job - reading "Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand" to the audience. Shayne was absolutely wonderful too. (No, I'm not bias, smile.) Doing the WFOB (
*Celebrating Christi’s 8th birthday party with Linda and the girls at Libby Lu’s was certainly a highlight.
*Getting together with family for Christi’s birthday was a blessing.
*Professionally, I had a really neat experience take place. A most wonderful and talented woman - friend and awesome college Professor asked me to be a guest speaker for her education class of graduate students taking her Language Arts class at the Ohio State University. I’ll admit I was nervous wishing it were at least an undergraduate class, instead of Master’s degree students, but all went fine and I really enjoyed the opportunity to share what I do in the classroom with my students with some other teachers and soon to be teachers getting their Masters in Teaching at OSU. (Thanks, Mary Jo!!)
*Receiving a special rosary from the
*Having our entire Thomas team plus Grandma Nonee and Paw Paw Joe in our living room - all literally up on our feet cheering and screaming for #12 - "Afleet Alex" during the exciting Kentucky Derby is a great memory of the month. Thanks to the Scott family for letting us know ahead of time about the awesome horse owners who agreed to give Alex's Lemonade Fund some $$ if Afleet Alex came in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd and it was a great 2nd place finish. And Liz Scott was just as stunning as ever in the most awesome "Kentucky Derby style" lemonade hat a local florist made for her. What a hoot! Goooooooo, Liz! (More on Afleet Alex at the end of this journal entry, #143. hee hee)
*Enjoying the beautiful weather and playing the board game "Life" on the front porch with Christi.
*Learning that one of our wonderful friends from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC wrote a song in honor of Christi called “Little Giant”. I believe it is a jazz piece and it was performed for a
In reflection, as the end of the school year is rapidly approaching, I pause in thanks and praise that Christi only missed one day of school this year due to illness and she only missed about 8 days for all of her hospital trips to CHOP with Shayne. As the school year began, I begged God to just allow her to be alive by the last day of school. I think she made it! For a little girl living in continual active treatment for a cancer for which there is no cure, I think that's pretty impressive! We have been richly blessed by His goodness.
Thank you to the sweet, incredible folks who sent birthday cards, emails, treats, etc. You've continued to amaze us with your continued love for this little sweet pea and we shall forever be grateful for your support!! THANK YOU!
CALLED HOME: Mason from
Thanks for checking in. I’ll update again next month in mid-June after the Poker Run and the Lemonade Stand. Please join us if you can. We’d love to see you! Here’s wishing you and yours a healthy, happy and peaceful summer! Thanks for everything!!
With peace and gratitude,
Christi’s Joke: What is a baby’s favorite website? (Google, google, go
Shayne and Eric (Webby) will be racing in the Alan Boos Duathalon this coming weekend. The race is in memory of Alan, a young man and incredibly talented athlete from
Saturday, June 4th “3rd Annual Christi Thomas Poker Run” with all monies to benefit “The Make a Wish Foundation of Northwestern Ohio”. We hope you can join us whether you have a motorcycle or not! Registration will begin at the AmVets in
Friday, June 10th “Alex & Christi’s Lemonade Stand” at the Old Fort Bank Westgate Office (beside the new Taco Bell and across from McDonalds). Please join us on “
She’ll finish this #13th round of oral chemo and then take one more. Then we plan to be heading to NYC for a quick vacation visiting awesome folks and place in NYC and then down to
Alex's Lemonade is fast out of the gate
By Marc Schogol
Nearly a year after Alex Scott's death from cancer at age 8, Alex's Lemonade Stand is still up and running. In fact, it will be at Saturday's Kentucky Derby in
A horse coincidentally named Afleet Alex is one of the favorites, and the horse's Philadelphia-area owners - who already have contributed substantially to the charity to fight childhood cancer - promise a share of the $2 million purse if Afleet Alex finishes in the money.
In addition to rooting for Afleet Alex, Liz Scott, Alex's mother, plans to be at Churchill Downs, too - running the lemonade stand at the Derby's invitation while husband Jay stays at home in Wynnewood to deal with other charity business.
Since then, he said, Afleet Alex has kicked in about $87,000 to Alex's cause - including $37,000 raised yesterday during a charity auction at Churchill Downs. If Afleet Alex wins the
Alex's Lemonade Stand has given out more than $1 million in grants to Children's
Having exceeded Alex's goal last year of raising $1 million, the Scotts have raised the bar this year, all the way to $5 million. So far, they've received about $400,000 in pledges and donations, and they are working on plans for a thousand lemonade stands nationwide the weekend of June 10 to 12 and 4,000 more during the rest of the summer.
The story of Alex, who was diagnosed at age 1 with an often fatal form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, is the inspiring tale of a little girl who wanted to do something big to help others like her.
Although she was getting national publicity, and even though hundreds of lemonade stands were operating nationwide, last year's $1 million goal seemed just a little girl's dream.
But when Alex died in August, the running total was over $800,000 - and Alex knew that Volvo of North America, which set up lemonade stands at its dealerships, had guaranteed to donate as much as necessary to reach $1 million. When the year ended, the total was more than $1.4 million.
"I still live with a lot of sadness every day, and I always will," Liz Scott said. "Just to have my daughter back, I would change everything in a second."
Auction nets $37,000 at Churchill
By Mike Jense
The bidding at Churchill Downs kept going up - "thirty-two, thirty-two... thirty-three thousand. Thirty-three, thirty-three? Thirty-five!" - and by the time it was done yesterday morning, $37,000 more had been raised for Alex's Lemonade Stand.
Alex's Lemonade Stand is the official charity of Kentucky Derby contender Afleet Alex, and Liz Scott will be at the racetrack with two of her children, manning the stand Friday and Saturday. Yesterday's fund-raiser for the charity that fights childhood cancer was a live auction for a season of breeding with Afleet Alex's sire,
Afleet Alex managing partner Chuck Zacney kept on bidding, but a man in the back of the crowd also kept raising his hand. After awhile, Afleet Alex trainer Tim Ritchey leaned toward Zacney and whispered, "You're bidding against one of the richest guys in the world."
B. Wayne Hughes, owner of
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