Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rally for Ally

Wow. What a weekend. We were in Jerad's hometown for his 20th high school reunion. In conjunction with the reunion, his wonderful classmates organized a benefit concert to raise money for LLS. This took them about six months to plan and was a serious undertaking. The band that played, Live Bait, was a big one in Perry County back in the heyday. And they came back together as a reunion to play on behalf of our little girl. They called it the Rally for Ally. Several of them live out of state (Florida, Tennessee) and so it was a major undertaking to come home, practice, and get it going on again. Thank you Rob, Mike, Mike and Eric for doing this for our girl. We are so grateful and again so humbled by all the support shown to our family during Ally's trials with leukemia.

I am an outsider looking in. I have a difference perspective being that I did not grow up in Perry County. Everyone kept telling me that this was the biggest thing to hit Perry County in a long time. People from young to old came out in support. Both to support us, but also to see this band that everyone loved. Someone said they had 1000 people there at one point. I am fairly certain that the number was greater than the total population of Jerad's hometown of Junction City.

They sold t-shirts and koozees. They auctioned off several items signed by the band. They had a 50/50 and the winner donated her share back to the cause. They are supposed to be getting me a total amount raised sometime soon and I will post. And I have lots of pictures and video that I would like to compile and get out here soon.

Thank you to Jenny, Sheri, Tammy, Nikki, Billie, Cindy, Eric, and Craig for your planning. (apology if I left anyone out) ...all of the members of Live guys ROCK. Thanks to Sideliners for hosting the event. Thanks to all who donated. And thanks to all of our family members who took tickets, sold shirts, etc. It really all came together and will again go down in my memory banks as a wonderful night.

The most amazing part to me was this: Every few minutes someone would come up and introduce themselves to me. Each time they would tell me that they recognized me from the blog...and I had never met most of them. I was thanked numerous times for keeping the blog, so that the people a little further away can keep in touch with Ally and all of us. A few people tried to convince me to write a book (I already did! it is right here). And lots of people made me feel worthy for what I have written and that makes it all worthwhile. Because I do get tired, and I run out of useful things to say, and I don't always want to keep up....but then I remember that I have 1400 people reading our story and I get my butt in gear.

Lots of people told me that if it weren't for an eight year old little girl....this whole group of friends wouldn't have gotten back together. I watched them listening to Jerad as he spoke with tears running down their faces and being grateful that our girl had been responsible for this.

Seriously, I think this entire story could be a movie. 8 year old battles the disease while literally thousands of people band together in an army behind her. Here in Beavercreek, back in Perry County, and really all over the US. We continue to do good and raise more money for the Leukemia Society (thanks to my Dad and all our supporters) than anyone in US history. Ally has no idea what all of this means. But someday she will. I have it all documented right here for posterity. Ally's Army is amazing.

Ally stayed back in Beavercreek with her brother and sister...unable to travel because of low counts. Thanks to Miss Lisa for taking extra sweet care of my babies while I was gone. Ally is feeling great again after having five straight days without any chemo. Just a little note: whereas on Tuesday she would not attempt to do the Bonzai slide, today she did. She played with the kids and had one happy Mama watching from the sidelines. I feel very blessed.

Sadly, today we mourn yet another loss of one of our own. Skye Getter lost her battle with cancer today. She is flying free in heaven tonight. The sweetest little girl, just about Ally's age, who battled and battled against her kidney cancer. She was also one of Dr. B's patients. God Bless Dr Broxson for all he does for these kids. We are mourning tonight and prayerfully thinking of the Getter family during this difficult time.


  1. Janel, it was such a pleasure to help put together an event that touched so many people. People were stopping me in the grocery store today to tell me how much fun they had, how inspired they were by the turnout and the generosity they saw from their fellow community members. It was another incredible night in Ally's Army history, and I'm so glad I was there. I will let you know the grand total raised tomorrow as soon as I visit the bank and we see how much our night deposit included. I am guessing that we hit our goal of $10,000! I'm so sorry to hear that a friend has lost the battle to cancer. We will keep working hard to help you and others fighting this battle. And I'm glad that we have joined together to make a difference, all because we know a little girl named Ally, who has inspired us and continues to do so everyday.

  2. I'm so sad to hear about Skye. Cancer sucks, but keep the faith and continue to fight. We are all right behind you and everyone else affected by this horrible disease.

  3. Janel - I couldn't say it any better than what Jenny wrote above. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be a part of Ally's Army. Saturday night was put together to let you know that we are here, standing behind you and your family as you fight this courageous battle. I am so sorry that one of your friends has lost the battle. That has to be so hard. Ally is our inspiration and one day she will know that she made a difference in so many lives and that we look at life differently - because of her. It was great to see you Saturday. See you for the Light the Night walk in a few months. Take care of you and your family.
    Sheri Cobler

  4. Your wonderful little girl and your wonderful blog have opened my eyes to a new world. It has given me the wonderful opportunity to help! I have supported causes many times, but had never been actively involved as I am now:) I lost my grandma to esophageal cancer, making me a supporter wanting to do more, yet not really knowing what else I could do, but your little girl's story touched my heart as well as so many others around me and made me want to be more involved. Thank you for that. Being part of these benefits is truly humbling and one of the most worthwhile things I've done. The feeling of trying to make a difference is amazing....
    Nikki Ward