Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ally's Army In Full Force

What a wonderful weekend we had filled with Ally's Army events. On Saturday, which was the most beautiful fall day here, there was a local group who did a Poker Run in honor of Ally and to raise money to fight leukemia. One of my former co-workers,(from when I worked at Iams Pet Foods) Lori Fultz organized the entire event. I believe they ended up with 36 riders..all wearing Ally's Army Battles Cancer pins...a bunch more were dressed in Ally's Army shirts (in addition to their other cool Harley riding gear). They started and ended at TJ Chumps in Englewood, which is a very cool place by the way...especially when the Buckeyes are playing. They went to five other bars in the middle, collecting their poker hand as they went. Another friend of mine from Iams, Ruthann, was manning a table at one of the stops along the way, but I didn't get to see her! So hello and thanks Ruthann!

The group wanted Ally there to present the prizes and be there when they rode in. I have to say it was super cool when I looked up and saw all these bikes coming in (LOUDLY) with Ally's Army shirts on...a huge bunch of riders, almost all of which we had never met. EXCEPT the leader of the pack!!! Which was Jerad's Uncle Bill, and Ally's great uncle...who drove all the way down from JC...took him 3.5 hours to get here...just to do the poker run. What an awesome show of support from one of my very most loyal blog readers! He brought his friend Steve with him. We were so touched that he chose to do this for us and to lead all the motorcycle riders through the poker run.

There's Uncle Bill, this is when I got the goosebumps all over and the big lump in my throat:
Ally with Uncle Bill and Steve

oh....and Jerad


The most amazing parts for me:

1) This was an entire group of people that had never ever met us (except Lori, and uh Bill). All of these people spent their Saturday and paid into the fundraiser just based on CARING.

2) The people were so genuinely kind and moved by our story. Many sharing stories of their triumphs/battles with cancer. I felt like I made a bunch of new friends that day. I wanted to go buy a Harley and leave with all of them. I am not nearly cool enough though.

3) One couple, and I could be wrong on this, but I believe their names were Wes and Loretta, just saw the flyer with Ally's picture on it at a local bar. They said they fell in love with the picture of Ally and just couldn't get her out of their mind. So, knowing noone at all, they came to ride. Then they invited Ally out to sit on their bike and even gave Ally a very special Marine Corp pin that was his. They couldn't wait to meet her in person....and I loved meeting them too. It reminded me that there really are people like that in this world that will just step outside their own lives to help someone. Touching. Truly touching. Here they are: This is Lori's husband Jim who is tallying up the winners...and loser... (which I believe was him)

Ally was a little shy about announcing everything in front of the bikers (don't blame her)
These were the prizes that were handed out. There were also TONS of gift certificates donated by local restaurants, businesses, even the tatoo parlor. I think every biker got a door prize there were so many.
So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Lori for a day that I will never forget. And for succesfully raising $780 that we will put towards our Light the Night team walk on Thursday.

On Sunday, we attended the Community Blood Center picnic down at Carillon Park. Ally is one of their featured heros in their annual report. They asked Dad to speak about his fundraising efforts and how all of that has impacted our area....little by little, dollar by dollar, we are chipping away at this beast called cancer. When he was speaking, I remembered not only all the times that my daughter has needed blood, but my MOTHER too. Apparently between the two of them they have used blood and/or platelets about 75 times. WOW. When he told our story, about him getting cancer first, fighting it, then Mom dying, then Ally.... I could look around the tent and see people visibly taken back by the hardships that we have faced. One family....my family...too much bad stuff....but trying to take the lemons that were given to us and make lemonade. We are trying. We are strong. We won't let all of this get the best of us.

There is still time to sign up for one more Community effort. Our Light the Night Walk, which will be held Thursday night at the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering at dusk. (registration 6:00pm) I just checked and with our poker run money we are close to raising $15,000. But this one is not so much about the money, but about walking behind our girl...our inspirational leader...ALLY...and showing her how one little girl can unite so many to stand up against cancer.
Click here to sign up:

http://pages.lightthenight.org/soh/Dayton10/AllysArmy

And thank you to all who are helping Ally's Army to make a difference.


5 comments:

  1. What a great weekend! I got all choked up just reading about Uncle Bill and Wes and Loretta!! This thing called Cancer is going DOWN!! :)

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  2. you are making the best, hand squeezed, meyer lemon, gourmet lemonade the world has ever seen my sweet!

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  3. So much love for your family and sweet Ally. Just as it should be.

    {hugs}

    Amanda

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  4. Thank you for doing this blog. My daughter, Cami was diagnosed with ALL on 7.10.10. It has been amazing to read through your journey so far. What a brave girl Ally is! I just wanted you to know that your blog has helped me while being thrown into this journey. Our prayers are with you all.

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  5. Terri Barnett ShumakerSeptember 30, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Loved reading about the poker run. That Bill is quite a guy, although I am probably just a bit biased since he is my DAD! Glad everyone had a good time and money was raised for a great cause.
    Love to you all.

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