Monday, April 30, 2012

A note from Cara's Mom, Heather

After 16 weeks of training and fundraising and hundreds of miles logged on the road, Team Cara ran in the St. Jude Country Music Marathon Saturday. The marathon was an unforgettable experience in many ways for all of us, but the coolest part was knowing we were running for Cara. It was an emotional and wonderful day. I'm still getting my thoughts together about completing my first marathon, but in the meantime
here's a note from Cara's mom, Heather, that she wanted me to share with you.

Hello to all who have been following this "Run for Cara" journey. 

I write following the weekend that we spent in Nashville running to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  It was a very emotional weekend for me since my sweet daughter, Cara, is currently being treated at this amazing facility.  Until Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) hit this special girl in my life, I had no idea how amazing of a facility this is.  St. Jude not only is researching to make my daughter cancer free, but all the other children who follow her in treatment.  They do this at no cost to the patient.  In other words, momma’s insurance pays what they deem reasonable, and St. Jude never asks for any additional money from momma and daddy.  Personally, I didn’t know such a place existed until Oct. 3, 2011.  So any chance I get, I tell anyone who will listen about the amazing place where my daughter is being treated.

In addition to writing how St. Jude has personally touched my life, I'm also writing to tell how each person who wore the “I Refuse To Give In” shirt touched my life.  I had the opportunity to watch many of the people on “Team Cara” cross the finish line of one of the most grueling (but fun) experiences of their life.  And all of them were doing it in honor of my daughter.  I cannot put into words how awesome it was to watch that experience.  I hope that I get the opportunity to see these individuals pick up their running shoes and join me in a race in the near future.  I feel really blessed to have so many people supporting my family through this journey of getting Cara cancer free.

I want to thank Jenny for creating our shirts and spreading the word about this journey.  I could not believe how many people showed up in their cool, pink shirts and ran for such a great cause this weekend. 

Thank you again for continuing to keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.  We are currently in week 16 of 120 weeks of treatment.  Cara continues to get a chemo pill every night as well as getting chemo administered via her port every week.  We continue to travel to Memphis about once a month so that she can get a spinal tap of chemo.  She continues to keep fighting the fight.   Some days she, as well as the rest of the family, do better at keeping up the spirits and not letting cancer keep us down.  Cara recently suckered mommy and daddy into getting her a new dog, a Yorkshire Terrier, and that has seemed to brighten the mood of our little girl.  Please let us know if you are in the area and if Cara’s counts are up, we would love to have you stop by for a visit. 

Cara, Garrett, Wendell, and Heather

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