January 21, 2009 was a long time ago.
It's been 4 1/2 years since Brady's diagnosis, but it feels more like 10 years.
I think it has more to do with the fact that we have been busy helping 4 babies grow into kids than anything else, but nonetheless, it seems like ages ago.
There are days when I am tired and I start wondering if we should continue raising money for pediatric cancer causes. I am embarrassed to admit that, but there are days when homework, t ball schedules, illness, and just the ordinary challenges of parenting convince me that I don't have the energy for anything else. I begin to wonder...why?
But then a catch a glimpse of a picture that sits on a shelf in my living room. In the picture, a smiley-faced boy about 20 months old stares back at me with a bald head. Although you can't see it in the picture, under his footy pajamas are two tubes that stick out of his chest awaiting the next round of chemotherapy. When I see that picture I can literally feel my heart break as I remember being THAT mom holding THAT child.
That is WHY.
Sometimes it is not the limits of my own time and energy that make me question the small efforts we make in this fight. Sometimes I just start to wonder if what we try and do really makes a difference. Our goal this year is to hit $10,000 in total monies raised in the past 5 years. That sounds like a ton of money, but in actuality, $10,000 only funds approximately 200 hours of research. Is that enough to make a difference?
But then I read my email for the day. Each week I hear of a child (some weeks 2, 3, or more) who have lost their battle with Neuroblastoma. I read about families in other countries who are desperately trying to fund a trip to the US to meet with a doctor who might be able to save their child. I read about families who have lost babies, Kindergarteners, and teenagers to slow, agonizing deaths because of cancer. I read about families who have been financially devastated, whose faith has been shattered, and marriages that have ended because of the devastation cancer causes.
And I am reminded...This is WHY.
When I see Brady running on the soccer field, writing his name on top of his homework paper, and chasing his brother across the yard, I am reminded of the miracles that have brought us to this place. He is a survivor, and we are so humbly thankful for that. But just like 2/3 of all pediatric cancer survivors, he deals with long term side effects from his treatment. He cannot sweat out of half of his upper body and face which means he gets hot (and stinky!) faster than other kids. He is at increased risk of scoliosis and other spine issues in years to come because of his radical surgeries. And then there is "the spot" that we continue to monitor.
And then I know it. This is WHY.
Please know that we understand that there are hundreds and hundreds of causes that need your support. Please know that the prayers you so willingly say on our behalf mean more than any financial contribution you can make.
But if you feel led to do so, please help us by supporting our stand this year. It is our 5th Annual Alex's Stand and we are hoping to make at least $1,650 in order to hit that $10,000. Details about how you can help can be found on my Facebook page or below.
Williams Family 5th Annual Alex's Lemonade Stand
September 1st and 2nd, 2013 at the Oakfield Labor Days in the Park Celebration
We cannot do this without the amazing support of our friends, family,
and community. Here is how you can help:
1. We need volunteers to work at the stand! Working is easy and a great
opportunity for kids and families to get involved. Let me know if you can
cover one of the shifts below:
Sunday September 1st
Monday September 2nd
*Our family has been asked to help judge the parade this year! I am really
in need of some great volunteers to help before/during/after the parade!*
5:00-7:00 (take down-muscles needed!)
2. Help us fund the supplies needed to have our stand!
--Donate a Walmart gift card (approximately $80 needed to purchase
ice and baking supplies)
--Buy a large container of Country Time Lemonade (yellow) at
BJs for $6.99. We need approximately 8 of these. Let me know if you
can help in this area. Lemonade can be dropped off on my back porch
or I can pick it up from you:)
--We also need approximately $70 in supplies from Batavia Restaurant
Supplies (cups and boxes for baked goods). If you would like to make a
donation toward these supplies, you can write a check to Megan
Williams or better yet, come shopping with me:)
-$150 has already been spent on application fees and health department
certification. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP with our up front costs!
Your donation toward supplies will multiply into a GREAT BIG
DONATION to Alex's!
3. Make a donation directly to our Alex's page. This donation is
tax deductible and will count toward our total. Follow this link:
4. Join our baking team! Every year we bake hundreds of lemon cookies,
lemon bars, and lemon poppy seed muffins to sell. This is always a fun time
and we are generally done in less than 4 hours. Our baking day will most
likely be Saturday August 31st, later in the day. Details to come.
Thank you friends, family, and neighbors for the love and support
you continue to show Brady. Let's all come together again and
do something for the many, many kids still in the fight.
Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if
we do not give up.