Friday, July 10, 2009

"Tonight's the night!"

Over a year ago, I read about a dad who shaved his head in memory of his daughter. I remember casually mentioning to a few students that I wanted to shave my head, too. Sort of a test run. Just to see how they would react. And I heard, "I'll pay you NOT to shave your head!"

I guess they thought that would sway me against it. But it actually convinced me that I HAD to do it. People react when women shave their heads.

And now? In less than 12 hours, I'll be bald. My husband, 14yo niece, friends and even my hairdresser are running in the 5k. My husband is going to shave his head with me!! (Think it's not a big deal for a man to shave his head? You don't know Sandy. :)

And in the past month, we have raised over $3000 for St. Jude. That's more than triple my original goal! I'm blown away by everyone's generosity!!
A high school friend just cut 17" off her hair to donate to Locks of Love to make wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. And The Huntsville Times printed an article this morning which will reach beyond our circle of [amazing] family and friends.

So why are we doing this? Well, no one can tell you why St. Jude's is incredible better than a cancer parent.

No one ever thinks that their child will be the one- the one diagnosed with an illness that could take their life before it has begun. In our busy lives, we don't often pause and think about how life, as we know it, can change with one ugly word-cancer. Noone is ever fully prepared to watch their child get stuck with needles or have to stick them themselves or intentionally have poison put in their child's body or watch their child lose their hair or sit in a hospital for days upon days. We weren't. But in those moments, those awful moments...

We had St. Jude. The doctors and nurses gave us hope. They made us feel as comfortable as we could. Everyone went out of their way to make sure that our whole family was provided for- housing, food, transportation, prescriptions, school, and, most importantly, medical care were taken care of for us. Our main concern was our child's health, as it should be. And a bill? We have never seen one. What our insurance doesn't pay, st. Jude covers. And that's not all. These doctors and nurses became our family. The other families became our family. These people really love their jobs and they love these kids. Not only are they treating our kids but they are working tirelessly to find the cure. In the words of our son's doctor, Dr. Wayne Furman, "I look forward to the day that I am called and told not to come to work. A cure has been found." St. Jude has provided life for our son and hope for us and many, many others.--Melissa Thomason

I might cry tonight. 'Cause that's what I do. [I come by it honest. My mom called me this morning after reading the Huntsville Times article...crying. LOVE that woman.] And I won't deny that some of the tears might be because I hate the way I look. But that's not why I'm tearing up now. Those tears are for the children who fight this terrible disease. And some of them die from it. Some of them lose their hair and NEVER grow it back, because they don't survive. And there are SO, SO many of them.

I've posted about some of them, and I'll continue to post about more. And a lot of those posts will be about Evan. Okay, now I'm crying already... I'll have to write more about him another day. But for now? Suffice it to say, every "cancer child" is a reason to support St. Jude.

But Evan? Evan is my first reason. I love you, buddy.

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