Tag Archive: leukemia


One brave, beautiful soul.

One boy’s dying wish:  Feed the homeless.

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When Taylor Carol got sick at age eleven with leukemia, his father and CEO of Game 7 Entertainment Inc. got busy.  Taylor’s dad, Jim, went to work creating a video game platform that would help families and friends raise money to fight cancer.  Visit PledgePlay.com to take the first swing against cancer.

Needles have been replaced, sewing machine ramped up, socks and microfiber purchased in bulk and Sock Monsters are now sprouting up daily:  

In the beginning, there were socks.  Soon these socks were altered to form the tiny bodies of multi-fibered, colorful sock monsters.  All appendages are sewn together using a sewing machine and are attached by hand.  Next, the monsters are stuffed:

These three are brothers.  Erick suggested a more sophisticated line for those Uptown folk who match socks and underwear, so from pairs of casual socks found mainly inside loafers and beneath dockers, we’ve created the “Uptown Monsters.”  They’re all sewn up and are now ready for lips and eyes:

Buttons are chosen carefully by the girls to highlight various features and colors of each individual monster. The buttons are then pinned in place to verify proper color-coordination by our fully-certified crayon-carrying children.  Next, the monsters pose for baby monster photos and get to sit on the desk for the day in preparation for their future in the business of making-people-smile-at-work while raising money and awareness in the battle against cancer:

My youngest inspired the three-button sweater-vest concept.  She enjoys drawing sock-monsters as much as snuggling with them:

Thank-you for taking the time to learn more about these ever-curious oddities.

Bye.

Things are really heating up here in the south.  I’ve heard it rumored that running in the summer air down here is like swimming.  Only underwater, you try not to breathe – outside, you haven’t a choice. It’s a challenge to get enough air right now, but I think this will only help in the long run (pardon the pun). 

I’m amazed at all the support coming in via email and comments regarding the upcoming fund-raising and half-marathon and all I can say is **Thank-you!**  It means a whole heck of a lot to see both friends and strangers reach out with encouragement.  Agreeing to run a marathon is not an easy decision and in this case it’s compounded by the fund-raising goal.  I’m in a new town where I know very few people and I’m not a natural runner.  As with the cancer-battle, this isn’t an act of physical endurance as much it is pure determination.      

This morning, near the end of my run, I thought about the people I’ve met who’ve inspired me.  Thinking of them took away the awareness of my fatigue and allowed me to make one more stride after one more stride until I crossed the imaginary finish-line.  Out of breath from trying to breathe in the thick air, I thought to myself, only twelve more miles to go!  Right now it doesn’t seem possible, but with each stride I’m a little closer to my end goal.  And as a team of mothers and fathers; sisters and brothers; husbands and wives and children; taking on this disease and running full tilt toward a cure; stride by stride, we’re that much closer to our goal for a cure.  

Tomorrow, Celli and I are walking for a cure for human and canine cancers: The 2008 Dogs Walk Against Cancer.  Lymphoma is a common cancer for dogs, so we’re proud to be taking part in an event to raise money and awareness for we two-leggers and our four-legged friends.

Thank-you again for your support!

I found this delicious phrase on a Cafe’ Press bumper sticker raising money for breast cancer awareness.  It’s time to start brain-storming fund-raising ideas and today I’ve been looking into selling items online to raise $2400.  I’m looking for funny catch phrases like F$%& Cancer or Kick Cancer’s Butt: Been there, done that!  I’m hoping for bumper-stickers, mugs and t-shirts.  Feel free to share your catch-phrases and ideas!  

I’m considering goofy things like “Pet a beagle for a dollar” on the sidewalk, so really, no idea is too silly to post.

Every year Team in Training members raise thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) participating in marathons, half marathons and triathlons.  And every year thousands of families just like mine benefit from the support of the LLS in battling blood cancers.  So, I’m considering running in the Kiawah Island Marathon (off the coast of South Carolina) this December to give something back and to work on strengthening my body.  I also think it would be a great way to meet people.  All expenses are paid for training, travel and lodging at LLS events, but you need to raise a minimum of $2400.  Could I raise $2400 in time?!  Training begins August 2nd.

Ideas for fund-raising?

Gratitude

I was just re-reading some past entries and the encouraging comments readers made. It brought tears to my eyes to remember that battle, but more so to feel the love from friends, family and even strangers who are united in the same cause: To survive and beat this disease. The wisdom in the messages left by fellow bloggers was simple, yet profound: Snuggle your babies or do whatever reminds you of why your fighting so hard; take a break and let others help; take in each moment with gratitude; and my personal favorite, “FUCK CANCER.”

Not only did these words of comfort and advice resonate then, they resonate still. Your support crossed miles and is timeless. I am forever grateful for the courage our friends and family put forth, the research they did on their own to better understand blood cancers, the gentle hand in helping with our girls or preparing food to feed our family when Erick was working hard to step in where I left off. And my gratitude to my husband and children who did their best to make life “normal.” As I’ve often said, normal never felt so good!

There was a moment, after my first treatment, when I considered letting the disease take its course. The first treatment was horrible. I developed blisters inside my mouth and throat and was too weak to move or eat much. I hated myself for feeling so weak. Erick sat with me and tried to give me the next dose of Prednisone, but I told him “No more.” I was certain death would be a welcome reprieve to this misery. My husband persisted and we wrapped the pills in peanut butter and bread so they would go down easier. Reflecting on this moment, it was definitely my weakest, but with Erick’s help, it was also courageous. Everyone battling cancer learns early on that strength in this fight does not come from muscle, but from somewhere deeper. It emerges when we think we cannot move forward and carries us until we can stand on our own. We learn early on, we are stronger than we ever before imagined. And when we emerge outside our treatments, the challenges we face daily pale in comparison to our darker battles.

The things that stay with me today are not the difficulties of the treatments, but instead the kindness, the love and support; the greater journey that extends out before me.

With gratitude,  Samantha

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