Monday, April 30, 2012

Thanks to WSU Soccer and Greeks!

I wanted to post a much delayed but huge THANK YOU to our friends at Wright State for hosting another Ally's Army event.  The soccer team again played a game at "Ally's Army Night" and the Greek organizations on campus raised funds in her honor.  This year they raised a little over $1600!!  Wow.  The most heartwarming part was when they brought the check to us.  Last year, they wrote the check over to us and we could decide which organization to send it to.  (we chose A Kid Again).  This year they brought the check over shortly after Caulin was diagnosed.  They knew how heartbroken we were about that so they wrote the check with "In honor of Caulin Booher" in the memo line.  And we talked that we would let Caulin's Crew decide which organization(s) were worthy of this money.  Such a nice tribute to raise the money on behalf of one child and then again pass along the tribute to the other.  We are really all in this whole "cancer family"...and we continue to just try to do what is best for all of the kids. 

Just this weekend we went to the Basebald event at WSU.  This time it was WSU baseball.  They played a game and raised money for St Baldrick's, an organization that funds research for childhood cancer.  At the end of the game, all of the players (AND COACH) shaved their heads in support.  That's just unbelievable to me!   We also watched with much pride as Caulin threw out the first pitch just like the champ he is. 

Here are some pictures from the soccer event:
Ally and her friend Jordan

Love Rowdy's shirt "Greeks 4 Ally"

These are some of the Greeks

Basketball Head Coach Billy Donlon came to the game

Here is Ally accepting the check from the top Greek organizers
Here is Ally handing it over to Caulin!
We have seen so much support from our hometown college.  Neither Jerad nor I even went there! Always grateful to WSU.  First basketball..then baseball...all trying to do something to make a difference and show compassion for these kids.

Ally has a long day at the hospital coming up.  She is doing some testing at the lipid clinic and then also a visit to the Hem/onc clinic for her monthly bloodwork and checkup.  She is doing a little better this month too.  She is loving her Zumba class and I really think it is helping both her joint pain, her sleeplessness, and hopefully her weight issue.  I will post more after our appointments.  Thanks for keeping Ally and all of the kids in your prayers. 

Save the Date:  The 3rd Annual TJ Chummps Rally for Ally Motorcycle Poker Run will be held June 16.  Calling all motorcycle friends for this awesome and generous event.  TJ Chummps is one of our favorite restaurants (they are very charitable) and I love seeing the wait staff wearing Rally for Ally t-shirts when we go in!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fundraiser for three local heros

Thank God for good blood counts!  After worrying most of the month over what was probably a bad blood sample....Ally got a good report on her blood.  Her hemoglobin and platelets were back up  and her ANC was the highest I have seen it (4500).  I am always grateful to get good news..just wish I didn't have to worry for a month before it!  Ally also had a sinus infection for pretty much most of the month.  She ended up doing 10 days of antibiotics and now that is gone too!  Her brother and sister have both had a fever this past week.  I am hoping that she doesn't get it.  (If so, it will be her first fever that we don't have to rush to the hospital within an hour.)  Fevers with her still scare me so I have been going through a large amount of lysol and wipes!

We are still dealing with issues with her weight.  We watch every calorie that we can and we are pretty strict about what she eats.  I hate that my 10 year old daughter has to count calories.  We also try to exercise every day.  She has started doing Zumba classes and she really likes them.  So now we are considering this Ally's "sport" and making it a priority.  Just like any other child would go to their sport practice, we are trying our best to do this with her. (well we is actually me since Jerad really wouldn't want to do this, hah!)  She even got a few of her friends to go with her which makes it all that more fun. 

Unfortunately, all of these attempts to mitigate her weight gain have not seemed to help much.  So Dr B recommended we go to the lipid clinic at the hospital.  They can do some testing of her metabolism and hormones and see if all the chemotherapy (and more likely her radiation) has affected her.  I remember when doing the radiation at UC the docs there mentioned it could affect some of the glands (thyroid, pituitary, etc).  Maybe there is some outlying reason why she keeps gaining weight.   They will test all of these things at the clinic and hopefully be able to help us.  They shared with me that 50% of ALL survivors have a weight problem throughout their life.  But if that is all I have to worry about I will take it!  They just want to get a little more involved so as to avoid other issues (diabetes etc).  So one more area of the hospital is going to have a Barnett visit. 

We were pleased to finally get the opportunity to go the Emily's Beads of Courage Dayton Dragons game.  This is a game just for the Hemoc kids with their families and their nurses!!  We have missed this the last few years for various reasons.  I got the chance to thank Emily's mother for providing these beads for our children.  Ally has "worked" really hard to earn her beads.  She is immensely proud of them and so am I.  I truly value them as one of our most precious things. (if the house were on fire, I would grab them!)  When she wanted to take them to school to show her classmates I became very nervous.  Scared they could get lost, stolen, etc.  But they came home safe.  Here is a picture from the game of my three heros in life wearing their beads:

Kayleigh, Caulin, and Ally.....all three ALL leukemia kids from Beavercreek! 

I loved watching these kids interact at the game.  They sat and compared beads and chatted.  They truly have a kinship like no other.  Only they can understand what it is like to go through cancer treatments as a child.  They are all only about a years difference in age too.  And I believe all three will grow up to be extremely compassionate people in the world and will go on to do great things.  While their siblings were complaining of the cold complaints from these three! 

And last but not least, I wanted to let you know about a couple fundraisers.  The first one is going to be at the Beavercreek Golf Club this Friday night (20th).  It is a shopping event with all proceeds going towards Curesearch for these three kids.  Ally's Army, Caulin's Crew, and Kayleigh's Crusaders.  Please consider attending if possible.  All three kids plan to be there!  (I will be at the retreat for Dayton Children's but Ally should be there!)  We are grateful for any money raised for this awesome organization.

Another event is being held at Charming Charlie's at the Greene Sunday night.  This is for a great doctor at Dayton Children's who is running for LLS woman of the year- Dr Patricia Abboud.   All the money raised goes to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Man/Woman of the year is the event that Ally was the honored hero for last year (and which Dad ran for the year before that).  We are going to this event too.

Charming Charlie's (next to Von Maur) $10 admission, gets you 20% off your entire purchase!  There will be a raffle and refreshments too!  The store will open JUST FOR THE EVENT from 6pm-8pm.

Thank you Ally's Army for continuing to pray for our girl.