The face of an angel

I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to write tonight. My husband says he does not have a wife anymore… he has a blogger. He needs me to spend some time with him. I will just say that today we had a great day. My mom is here and I know that I made the right decision on making her wait to come out and see us. She is stronger now and Ronan is stronger as well. Having her here is the perfect timing. She gets to see her sweet baby grandchild while he is feeling great. That is exactly what I wanted. I took Ronan out for his first time in 7 weeks. We went to Yogurtland and sat outside with Liam, Quinn, my mom, Gay, Chet, and Cal (Liam and Quinn’s buddies) Ronan was practically glowing. He was so happy to be out and with his brothers and friends. We sat outside on this beautiful AZ night and the boys played and giggled. I’m going to talk to the doctors tomorrow about Ronan being around other kids. Taking his childhood away from him is just not fair. He needs to be around other kids. Of course I had out the hand sanitizer every 5 minutes, but that’s o.k. At least he was out:) It was exactly what he needed.

My friend, Charisma, got back from Toronto today. She sent me a really beautiful email about her experience and I wanted to share. Instead of blogging a bunch tonight, I thought I would share a couple of things. Here is a little bit of what Charisma experienced.

Maya,
I thought this trip to fundraise would be so heart breaking and sad- which was ok, I was ready for it. But you’re never ready to see kids fight so hard for their right to live. However, they inspired me so much!

A Dr. spoke at the gala dinner last night. He’s a Doctor from “Sickkids Hospital” in Toronto.
He said fund-raising equals life. (- whoa! ) He also said, “There is a cure.” There are new drugs out there to develop that can trick cancer cells from multiplying by getting the cancer cell to kill itself. 5 of his former patients are either; in residency, the lab or med school. By the time these kids finish school, there will be a cure. “This time” he said, ” it’s personal”
The beauty of the story is, kids weren’t surviving before. In the 80’s (?)there was a 5 percent survival rate for pediatric cancer patients. Now its 80 percent due to funding and awareness. There is HOPE! A little girl shared her story her survival of cancer. She said when my grandpa was in med school and if I had been diagnosed then, I would have died. But now, I live to see another day. ( Her grandpa discovered her illness) uh! So brave! So clear , so inspiring. And she’s not even 13 yet.

I know Ronan will make it! I just am sure of it. He will win and he will have changed lives by just being him. A fighter! A spunky little man with just the right amount of angel to stare cancer down!
I talk about Ronan to everyone I can. I talk about his bright eyes. I was on the plane home with Robin Antin from the Pussy Cat Dolls I told her to tweet about you and send her peeps to your blog. Hopefully she’ll do it. Other pediatric cancer patients are lucky a child with such a face has cancer. Unfortunately or fortunately, he will motivate more people to do more and give more because of his good looks. -And that’s ok. Its more meaningful to be the poster child for pediatric Cancer than the Gap. Yes? ( Not that you asked for that, Maya. No one wants their kid to be ill. – I hope you can see the silver lining in what I’m trying to articulate, a bit poorly.)
None the less, I read your blog every day, every post. I want to buy a Tee! A few! Do you have any left?
That’s all. Love to you!
Charisma

Charisma is inspired, and moved, and is getting her wake up call in life. She now knows helping with childhood cancer awareness is something that she is going to be part of, for the rest of her life. She knows this because she looks at her beautiful little boy, Donovan, and knows it can happen to anyone. There needs to be more funding, more hope, and a cure. Charisma loves Ronan and loves us and is part of our army of angels. I know she hugs Donovan a little more tightly at night and I am so glad I can give her that gift. Even through all of my pain, it is worth it to me.

My last little thought is a comment on my blog that brought me to tears tonight. It’s from somebody that I don’t even know, but it really moved me. I would like to share that as well. Here it is below:

I have always been a believer that everything happens for a reason-no matter how small and seemingly insignificant-and that eventually the meanings for your actions become clear. That being said, the other day while in line at the grocery store, I picked up a copy of Us Weekly. While skimming I read that Tori Spelling had set up a Twitter account for her son and ended up adding him, Tori and then Denise Richards on Twitter.(I promise this is all relevant.) I do not read “Trashmags” and I log on to Twitter every once in a blue moon, so I really do believe this is special. Moments after I added Demise she tweeted something about 20k reason why and a link. I was intrigued and opened to find a fan page to get Oprah to do a show on Childhood Cancer. I began reading posts and looking at pictures of children who had lot their fight and whose parents simply wanted them to be “seen.” I fell asleep crying and in the rush of the past two days, completely forgot about it…

Today I went looking for my mothers blog, and happened onto the wrong one. It was one about mothers being better mothers before they were mothers. I skimmed and scrolled down to the comments where I saw a comment that said, “If you want to learn a thing or two about being a mother, read this blog.” I clicked through to find a beautiful little boy staring back at me-your army boy Ronan. I sat for about 2 hours and read this blog from start to today. I cried happy tears and sad tears and I laughed and sighed and felt your pain. In 2 hours I felt like I knew you, Ronan, Woody, Quinn, Liam, Mimi Kay, Lindsey, Winston, everyone. I was transferred into your heartbreaking and miraculous world. I would just like you to know that I am here. Both with you and for you and don’t hesitate to email if you just need to vent. I live on the East Coast, in CT. But I hope someday I will be able to meet you and your beautiful little fighter.

Love, hugs and prayers,
Cassidy

So, Cassidy… I just wanted to say thank you for this. Your email really touched me. It gives me strength to see that good things are coming from this heartbreaking journey we are on. It brings me joy to know that Ronan’s story is making a difference in people’s lives. He is the most special little boy and is going to win this fight for all of the other kids out there. He is strong enough to take this on and give others hope in their darkest hours. I, as his mother am his biggest advocate, and he inspires me everyday. He inspires me to work harder, be kinder, love stronger, and never give up. It is through his eyes that I see our battle being won. He is worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears that comes from this. I will never give up hope and I will never stop fighting for all the children that also have to endure this kind of pain. If anything, I just want the people reading our journey to be the best parents they can possibly be to their kids. A child is the most precious thing on earth and if you are lucky enough to have kids who are healthy… please don’t ever take that for granted. You have no idea how lucky you are.

That is all tonight. My husband is giving me the death stare 😉 Goodnight and sweet dreams to you all!!!

Family, friends, love and laughter

Tonight was one of the best nights I’ve had in a very long time. My heart is so full of love that I feel like it could explode! The Diamondbacks game was a huge success and I heard the tickets that were sold for our foundation almost SOLD OUT! Thank you all so much for coming and for those who could not come but still bought tickets to support Ronan. A huge thanks to Becky for coordinating everything, giving us an awesome tour, and making sure we were all taken care of. I am so happy I finally got to meet you. I smiled, laughed and cried tonight and it all felt good!

I finally got the chance to meet a very special young man, Will and his mother. I have heard about Will since day one of Ronan being diagnosed. Dr. Wood spoke of him very early on. Will is a Neuroblastoma survivor and is 18 now. I was soo honored to finally meet them; I have been dreaming about this day for a very long time. I talked with them for a bit and completely broke down and the tears came pouring out. They were tears of happiness, sadness, and hope. So much hope. Will is a beautiful boy and I can tell he is much wiser than other kids his age. He’s got a twinkle in his eye like he has a secret. Maybe someday he will share that secret with Ronan. I know that Will and his family will forever be a part of our lives and I can’t wait to get to know them better and to introduce Ronan to them.

The kids had a blast at the game. Woody and Liam didn’t make it which I was sad about. They planned on coming but then got tied up at home with Ronan having a bloody nose. It turned out to be fine, but by the time they were ready to head over to the ballpark, the ASU game was getting ready to start. You know our loyalty to those Sundevils… nothing gets in the way of that:) They headed to the football game instead. I think Quinn had enough fun for the both him and Liam though. I really enjoyed being surrounded by all of my friends’ kids tonight. I saw Quinn laugh and giggle more than I have seen him do in a very long time. Those Willits’ boys know how to have a good time. With parents like theirs, it’s easy to see where they get it from. Thank you Gay and Barry for bringing your 3 beautiful boys and supporting and loving us. Everything is so much more fun when you all are involved:) I wish I would have taken more pictures tonight. I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot. Tonight I needed to relax and let go just a bit and that is just what I did. We sold a lot of shirts at the game! Mainly to friends and family. My friend Jen and I went down into the lower 100 level to see some of my other girlfriends who were sitting down there. Lauren, Heidi, and Christy and their kiddos had a section to themselves so we joined them for a bit. Jen and I made quite a stir with our huge bag full of tee shirts. Soon, strangers were asking what they were for. I used my strongest voice possible and told them they were for my son’s Foundation and he has cancer. The man behind us bought one instantly for his wife. The woman two rows back wanted to know how much they were and when we told her 20 dollars, she said she would like to have one, but couldn’t really afford it. 5 minutes later she said she changed her mind, because it was for such a good cause and handed us a 20 dollar bill. The woman next to her only had 10 bucks and said she didn’t need a shirt but wanted to just donate it to him. I instantly started BAWLING. And not the kind of cute cry where the tears just innocently roll down your cheeks, but the kind of bawling where you are a total mess and can’t stop. Thank goodness I was surrounded by my friends. They hugged me, kissed me, loved me and Christy even came and sat on my lap and fed me peanuts:) I think it was the kindness of the strangers that did it. They don’t even know Ronan, but they know he is worth fighting for and they are willing to fight for him. I hope these people tonight are blessed with many things in their lives. I truly believe in good karma. I know it exists and someday, they will be repaid.

After the game, Jen, Ashley and I headed to Chelsea’s Kitchen for some dinner. We were starved and Chelsea’s is my favorite neighborhood place to go. We had to wait about 30 minutes for a table so we sat outside and just enjoyed it. We watched Ashley(who is 7) do back bends in the grass, pick flowers, and play in the fountain. We quietly talked about the present time and the future. I have known Jen since the 8th grade. She was a year older than me in school and I have always worshiped the ground she walked on. She is smart, athletic, funny, beautiful, and someone who tells it like it is. I LOVE people like that. She just moved back here about 5 months ago and I now know that someone put her back here with me for a reason. She was meant to help me during this roller coaster of a ride. She is someone who you can put in charge of something, and it gets done, no questions asked. And if anyone knows how to get things done, it’s Jen. Plus, she makes me laugh like no other. I feel like we have connected souls and being around her always makes me feel at peace. She has a calming effect on me. I don’t feel that way around many people these days, but with her it is always there. After dinner we walked out to the valet to get our car. The cute 18-year-old boy who went to open my door saw that all 3 of us were wearing matching shirts. He goes, “You all have matching shirts. Do you mind if I ask what they are for?” Now, because of the rawness of my situation, and the core age group of my target audience which is usually parents and grandparents, I guess I wasn’t quite prepared on how to answer this question to an 18-year-old valet boy. So, I just blurted out my normal answer which is, “It’s the Foundation for my 3-year-old son who has cancer.” He then responded, “Oh, well that’s cool. Good luck with that.” Bless his heart. Jen and I were hysterical once we got into the car. Not only was his response priceless but it reminded us of one of my favorite skits on Saturday Night Live called Debbie Dower. If you don’ t know what I’m referring to, you really should Google it and watch it for a laugh. Basically there is this girl, Debbie, who is always the downer of the party. Whenever her friends take her out or have her over for a good time she ruins it by telling awful stories the entire episode. They play this wah wah type of music throughout the skit and it has always cracked me up. I was totally Debbie Downer to that 18-year-old valet kid. I swear I could hear the music playing in the background during our conversation. It was worth it though because we cracked up about it almost the entire way home. Ahhh the little things in life:)

I came home to a sweet Ronan and even sweeter Karen all cuddled up on my couch. It melts my heart to see those two together. Thank you Karen for taking such precious care of my little guy so I could go out and celebrate him and his amazing fight. He is sleeping peacefully next to me and I am going to whisper sweet nothings in his ear about all the people who love him. Friends, family, and strangers. Thank you again, to all of you. Thank you for loving us, believing in us and supporting us. We will forever be grateful for all of you. Goodnight and blessings to you all!!