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Laughter and tears

What a weekend we’ve had.

Saturday the kids and I left the house early so dad could sleep. When Pete works nights it’s best to get out of Dodge and let him catch his much-needed zzz’s.

We headed over to FishHawk Ranch to start putting together auction baskets for the Cure Kids Cancer Challenge. If no one wants to show up and buy raffle tickets, it’ll be bad for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation because the won’t make the research bucks….but good for me because my chances go up of winning some of these rocking items! Let me just share that if you’re coming, and you have a daughter somewhere between the ages of 4-16….you may want to plan to drop some serious dough on raffle tickets for the Hannah Montana tickets…4 of them, prime seats! Apparently these tickets are like pre-adolescent gold! I just heard that the new Indiana Jones movie is going to be titled “Indiana Jones and the hellish attempt to buy my kid some freaking Hannah Montana tickets!”

But besides the wonderful and rare tickets up for grabs, we’ve also got funs stuff like Lightning tickets, an autographed Derek Jeter jersey, a Brad Richards jersey, spa trips, massage baskets, baskets from both the Gators and Noles (hope they don’t eat each other!), Zoom teeth whitening, countless restaurant packages and so much other good stuff that if I told you, I’d have to kill you….ok, not really, but it was VERY dramatic, right?

One other extremely cool thing I want to share is the Hyundai Hope on Wheels drawing. A Hyundai SUV with handprints of cancer kids from all over the US is up for raffle. The tickets are 20$ and the proceeds of the raffle sales will be split between the Pediatric Cancer Foundation and St. Joseph’s pediatric cancer research. I would love to win this SUV, not just because my vehicle gets 3 miles to the gallon, but what an amazing tool to raise awareness! One of the handprints belongs to Taylor Arrington, a Brandon girl who bravely fought Ewing’s Sarcoma. She passed away this year and I’ve had the privilege to work with her mother on the planning committee for the CKCC walk.

I sure hope that as many of you that can make it to the walk will be there to show your amazing support of our dedication for a cure.

After we packed what seemed like a million auction baskets, I hauled the kids out to a birthday party for a classmate of Rachael’s. These are fun people…they have a pet alligator. But in the course of the day, playing, running, having too much fun and WAY too much sugar, Rachael got hurt. All I heard was wild screaming and I knew that it was one of mine. She comes over, sobbing and blowing snot all over me and can’t tell me what happened, but she can sure identify the culprit. She’d gotten smacked down in the bounce house, which caused her to whack her face on her metal bracelet, leaving a lovely flower imprint on the bridge of her little nose. She’s retelling the horror of her painful ordeal when the little boy…we’ll call him “the bouncer”…came up and apologized. He was so sweet and sorry for having hurt Rachael on accident and she felt better after he said sorry. I thanked him for being kind enough to check on Rachael and then he says the words that made my pancreas jump into my throat.

“I’m sure sorry she got hurt, but she was trying to mount me like a pony!”

Doesn’t that really just explain it all?

There is some much-needed prayer tonight. Our friend Hannah Deal is at All Children’s Hospital in the PICU. She aspirated in her lungs, she developed pneumonia and she is now on a ventilator to assist her breathing. It sounds as if the situation is improving, but she needs every prayer for her recovery and her miracle. Her family is so diligently waiting to see how she is when she is allowed to wake up, they are keeping her sedated so that she doesn’t try to pull out the tubes. Lisa has said that they want every moment that they can get with her, but that she doesn’t want Hannah to suffer. Please keep them lifted up in prayer as they go through these painful times.

I got word that 2 brave angels went home to their perfect, cancer-free bodies in Heaven. Brooke Williams and Chase Sammut were both battling the kind of brain stem tumor that Hannah has and we need to pray for their families as their hearts are grieving for their lost children.


ps…the Brandon Times ran a fantastic article with pictures (not in the online version) of our favorite fashionista with her new best buddy Lexie Tucker. It was a great piece on the Cure Kids Cancer Challenge!

and Tampa Tribune ran this touching editorial written by Lexie’s mom, Sherry Tucker. The Tucker family lost their son last year to the same brain tumor that Hannah Deal is battling, and they now run the Giving Hope Through Faith Foundation. They are an amazing family, and she wrote a truly beautiful piece.

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