Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Fun

Decorating the tree

Ivy, the Nutcracker Mouse

A visit from GG

Letters to Santa

Christmas morning tea party

We hope yours was very merry, too! We're looking forward to a brand new year and some big birthday fun in the next few days, so stay tuned! Thanks, y'all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Give Life

For our final gift idea this year, we want to encourage you to give the ultimate gift of good health:

Give Life

First, donate blood. We have been overwhelmed by your willingness to roll up your sleeves in honor of Georgia, and thanks to you, the Blood Center of Central Texas has another 150+ units of blood at the ready - and counting! We hope blood donation will become a regular event for all of our generous donors as there is always a need for blood and blood products throughout the year. Right now, if you donate at any of the Austin-area blood banks by January 4th, you'll receive a pint of delicious Amy's Ice Cream! And if you live outside the area, we encourage you to visit your local blood bank and donate!

Next, register as a bone marrow donor. The National Marrow Donation Program is constantly searching for donors to match patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other diseases in need of a life-saving transplant. The NMDP website is full of information for potential donors, including facts and myths about the registration and donation process, so take a look and please consider registering. All it takes to join is a cheek swab from you, and you could Be the Match that makes the difference!

Finally, register as an organ donor. This national site is a great place to learn more about donation and transplantation, and if you're in Texas, you can register online at the Glenda Dawson Donate Life - Texas Registry. Our dear little Liam is currently awaiting his new heart in Houston, thanks to another family who chose to give this incredible gift of life. We're sending special love and prayers to him and his family, and all the other patients and families facing serious illnesses this holiday.

Thank you thank you thank you for the many "gifts" you've given our family this year, and we hope you're able to celebrate with the ones you love.

This tree is from the American Childhood Cancer Organization's Annual Tree Lighting Event in Washington D.C.. Each gold ribbon on the 23-foot tree represents a childhood cancer survivor - including one for Georgia Lee! To learn more, visit ACCO's site here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bon Voyage

Well, almost! It's not quite time yet, but Saturday, we went to Georgia's Make-a-Wish trip Departure Party! Everyone was so lovely, and we all enjoyed meeting some of the generous folks who either work or volunteer with the organization or who "adopted" Georgia's wish and helped raise funds to make it come true. It takes a lot of helping hands and open hearts to grant these wishes, and yet, we were able to celebrate with two other families going to Disneyworld, so imagine the time and energy that went into making that happen! Which made us think of another gift idea ...

Give Wishes

Whether you offer your time, talents, or treasures, the Make-a-Wish Foundation gladly accepts and greatly appreciates any kind of "help" you can give. An easy way to support the Central Texas chapter with a $5 donation is by texting WISHKIDS to 90999. Or go here to the national site to see the many ways you can make a child's one heartfelt wish come true!

Thank you, Kathryn and Scott, for a GREAT party!

CAKE! And how 'bout those contacts? Looking good!

Thank you, Barfield Family and Casis Elementary!

Thank you, Fowler Family, Good Shepherd, and their "Secret Santa!"

Thank you, Make-a-Wish Foundation!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Give Courage

Once again, Georgia sailed through her day surgery without incident. While she was in the procedure room, we were in the waiting room, and the pianist in the lobby of the hospital actually played "Georgia on My Mind." It was perfect and kept us focused on our warrior girl.

Watching her undergo these day surgeries so many times, so easily, you might forget how brave Georgia is and how much courage all kids in treatment have to muster up every day. To symbolize that courage, and to have a tangible reminder of their incredible journeys, many children, like Georgia, participate in an amazing arts-in-medicine program called Beads of Courage. Originally started for oncology patients, the program now reaches children battling cardiac conditions, burn injuries, and other serious illnesses and offers them beads for things like every needle poke, procedure, or night in the hospital. Georgia got three awesome beads for hair loss, and we made two of them into earrings for St. Baldrick's!

Recently, CBS News profiled the program:

Awesome, right? So how about this gift idea ...

Give Beads

You can actually donate glass or polymer clay beads or make a general donation to help bring Beads of Courage to every child who is battling a life-threatening illness. We are very passionate about this program and have seen first-hand the incredible boost these kids get from carefully selecting their beads and wearing them with pride. Georgia is on her third string and loves being able to record and share each step of her journey, each act of courage, one bead at a time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sweet Sixteen

Wednesday is Georgia's 16th LP-ITC, so to mark the occasion, may we suggest this sweet gift:

Give Cookies

Cookies for Kids' Cancer was founded by a mom inspired by her son's fight against Neuroblastoma. By purchasing their gourmet cookies - or hosting your own bake sale! - you're helping fund research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancers. And if you're trying not to overdo it this holiday eating season, how about one of these cool t-shirts instead?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Give Hope

Georgia is feeling great and looking forward to some holiday school performances and to Ivy's debut as a mouse in The Nutcracker! She also hit another milestone this week - she got contacts! She's taken to them like a natural and hasn't had a bit of trouble. It's something she's been thinking about for over a year, but she's promised me she won't completely forgo her stylish spectacles - "the look" Mommy has become quite attached to over the past six years! : ) Pictures to follow!

And so, another post, another gift idea:

Give Hope

This year, you have been so supportive of our fundraising efforts. The dollars you have donated will go towards patient services, research, and the quest for the ultimate gift - a CURE! We happily encourage you to continue this mission of hope by making a donation or purchasing items offered by the organizations listed in the sidebar or the cause of your choice. These groups really depend on us to help fund their life-saving work, and there are many ways you can support them and find a wonderful gift for someone on your list as well.

For example, the St. Jude Thanks and Giving Campaign has a long list of retail partners donating a portion of sales to fight childhood cancer. You can find everything from gift cards to clothing and candy - all of which benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. LIVESTRONG has holiday cards available on Shutterfly, and several organizations have online gift shops with calendars, t-shirts, and other items that enable you to "give back" and promote the cause at the same time.

Our CureSearch donation page will be up until December 11th and our St. Baldrick's page (the Let's Conquer button in the sidebar) until the 31st. And our dear Dianna, who just ran the White Rock Marathon this weekend (her 10th event this year!), is still fundraising for Team in Training, in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, so you can click on her picture in the sidebar if you'd like to donate. Finally, we can't stress enough the importance of local patient services, so please consider supporting the groups in your communities that are making this journey more bearable for patients and their families.

Thank you to all of these organizations - and thank YOU for supporting them and US this year. A great woman said this recently, and I think it's very fitting for this post, for this day:

I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. - Elizabeth Edwards

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tis the Season

Well, the decorations are all up, and we just opened the first box on the Advent calendars, so it looks like December has begun! And in keeping with the spirit of the holidays, Georgia decided to dedicate a portion of this month's posts to "gifts" we can all give to further the fight against cancer and/or to support survivors and their families. Consider it "Georgia's Favorite Things 2010" - just without all the housewives screaming, and sorry, nobody gets a car. : ) So, here goes ...

Give Books

I think we've established that our girl is a reader - a super reader, a bookworm, a literature enthusiast. She's read everything in our house, the local library branch, and whatever her Kindle can spit out at least twice (I may or may not be exaggerating), so to list all of those titles would take forever. But fear not, Georgia has compiled a short-ish list of some of her favorites from the past year, perfect for the reader in your life - even you!

Single titles:

1. Huckleberry Finn
2. The Giver - Lois Lowry
3. The Phantom Toll Booth - Norton Juster
4. Summer of the Monkeys - Wilson Rawls
5. Mandy - Julie Andrews Edwards
6. The Egypt Game - Zilpha Keatley Snyder
7. Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell
8. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - Robert C. O'Brien
9. Caddie Woodlawn - Carol Ryrie Brink
10. The Candy Shop War - Brandon Mull

And for the series:

1. Any and all Nancy Drew mysteries
2. Any and all Roald Dahl books
3. Harry Potter
4. Percy Jackson
5. The Chronicles of Narnia
6. Sisters Grimm - Michael Buckley
7. Peter and the Starcatchers - Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
8. The Doll People - Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin
9. The Gideon Trilogy - Linda Buckley Archer
10. The Name of this Book is Secret (Secret Series) - Pseudonymous Bosch

Now that you've got your shopping list, head over to (or the Schaumberg, Illinois Borders store if you're in the neighborhood), and a portion of your sale will benefit SuperSibs! One of our favorite organizations! But hurry - December 2nd and 3rd only!

And if you're still in the market for books, Take Your Child to a Bookstore on December 4th, a day to celebrate these treasures in our communities! Happy reading, y'all!