Thursday, March 31, 2011

Coin Stars*

This week, we started our Leukemia & Lymphoma Pennies for Patients campaign at Parkside. You may recall that the poster girl is someone near and dear to us. : ) Our goal is to collect $500 over the next three weeks, and each week, the class that brings in the most change gets a special treat. This week, Georgia's class had the high total, so they'll enjoy a free game period one afternoon. Next week, the prize is popcorn and a movie in class, and the final week, it's a pizza party. Plus, I promised that if we could meet our $500 goal, one (un)lucky staffer would get a pie in the face!

Well, I don't know if it was the pie or the pizza or just the pleasure of helping others, but those rascals brought in over $970! In one week! So now, we've upped the ante to TWO pies for $1,000 - I know we can do it!

If you'd like to bring Pennies for Patients to your school, contact your local LLS chapter here, or email us! Have a great weekend, y'all!

* This post brought to you by CoinStar, the machine that took 45 minutes to count our many, many coins! It even broke down for a minute, it was so overworked!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blessed to Be Busy

Hello! It was a busy week, but a great week! For starters, check out Georgia's guitar solo from Thursday's recital, and make sure to look for the high-five from her pal, Jenna, at the end - so cute:

Everyone played so well - it was very impressive. Next up was the Parkside campout over the weekend. We drove out for the evening's festivities of s'mores, a fairy hunt, and the campfire sing-along, but apparently missed the big excitement - rain and HAIL! Nobody seemed to mind too much, though, as the running, hiking, and swimming started right back up again after the storm. Fun! But we had some tired girls with us on the way home:

Ivy, Georgia, and our friend, Gracelyn snoozing
(pardon the terrible phone picture!)

This is the time of year that things really ramp up at school, and the weeks fly by. We're just so thankful that Georgia is healthy and able to enjoy all of the fun with her friends. As you know, getting back to school was a huge motivator for her throughout the first eight months of treatment, so she is taking full advantage of every day. And Ivy couldn't be happier for her. It's really wonderful to see.

As we've said many times before, a big part of Georgia's success has been due to your support and prayers, and now we really want to share all of that love and energy with another family - the Smalls. Andrew is the nephew of one of my best friends from high school, and he is in a valiant battle with a brain tumor after nearly five years off treatment for ALL. His mother and grandmother were two of the first people to reach out to us when Georgia was diagnosed, about five months before his tumor was discovered. They offered us so much encouragement and hope, and now, I want to return those gifts and offer them all of you as well. Please, please pray for Andrew, his parents, his two sisters, and the family and friends that love him so. He is a special boy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

St. Baldrick's Wrap Up

Another year, another GREAT St. Baldrick's event at Dell Children's! At press time, the total amount raised was nearly $115,000 - and counting! Georgia had a great time volunteering at the t-shirt table with me and the nurses and running around to all the activities (and getting her hair sprayed BLUE!) with Ivy. Our dear friend and neighbor, Mr. Weldon, was brave enough to get bald in honor of our girl and raised over $1,000 for the cause - so awesome! Donations will continue to be accepted throughout 2011, so feel free to support St. Baldrick's and childhood cancer research anytime!

This week, Georgia has a guitar recital, a video project, and the much-loved Parkside campout! Luckily, we're slowly but surely putting the finishing touches on her new room (she and Ivy have always shared a room to this point), so she has a brand-new bed to fall into at the end of her busy days. And being the LLS Girl of the Year has its perks, too - warm cookies and cold milk delivered to our door tonight in honor of Georgia's acceptance to the Ann Richards School! Thank you, Sarah, and all of the MWOY candidates!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The STARS at Night ... Part Two

It's Spring Break! In between St. Baldrick's events, we decided to take a "quick" trip to Ft. Davis in West Texas. We stayed at the Stone Village Tourist Camp, which is an old motel that has been completely renovated and updated - so cute! The first thing Georgia and Ivy wanted to do was hit the pool for the first swim of the season!

The next day, we toured the actual Fort Davis, and Georgia and Ivy got their Junior Park Ranger patches after correctly answering many questions about the Fort and taking an official pledge. They had volunteers in period costume giving tours, and the whole place was overrun with Boy Scouts! Interesting ...

We drove over to Marfa just to look around a bit, but it was lunchtime, so we didn't get a chance to see the Lights. We had big plans for the night at the McDonald Observatory anyway. What an amazing place! One of the darkest places in North America, too, which is perfect for stargazing. We took part in several of the programs offered, including an up-close tour of the Harlan J. Smith Telescope, high on a hill in the Davis Mountains:

At the end of the tour, Georgia was invited to help "move" the giant telescope back into place - which she did with the flick of a switch. Amazing!

The highlight of the day was the "Star Party" after sundown. We saw many stars, learned how to identify different constellations, and even got a quick look at Mercury, which, we were told, only 1% of the world's population has ever actually seen. How cool is that? It was pretty crowded because of Spring Break, so we decided to skip the lines for the little telescopes and call it a night. But we'll be back for sure!

And in other star-related news, Georgia, as the LLS Girl of the Year, will be a special guest at the Texas Stars hockey game on Saturday, April 9th. A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, so come on out for some good fun for a great cause!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The STARS at Night ... Part One

Hello all! SO much to tell you! Wonderful, exciting things! First off, the Fado St. Baldrick's event on Saturday was a great success, raising over $50,000! In fact, here's Georgia's eyewitness report:

Hi guys! Well, we had a ball at the St. Baldrick's Fado event. It all started with a ride in a totally decked-out, balloon-covered float, simply dripping with streamers! We rode on down to Fado, humming to the tune of Espada, a pipe and drum band made up of emergency services workers (firefighters, police officers, EMTs). When our little parade arrived at Fado, we were pumped, and very thirsty! Everyone hustled inside and got some drinks. We hung around for a bit then went to have lunch (The Spaghetti Warehouse is highly recommended!). When we got back to Fado, it was almost time for us to speak (I don't know if you know this, but my mom was asked to say a few words about St. Baldrick's). We still had a few minutes though, and we saw a woman there face-painting. Now you see our brilliant plan! After Ivy and I got our faces painted, Mommy said her speech. It was really and truly great. Well, those are the highlights, folks - I'll write y'all soon! : )-)

Lolly joined us on the float


View of the Capitol from our float

Face paint!

It was a really fun day. And it got even better! We had been anxiously waiting to hear if Georgia had been accepted to the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders for 6th grade, and a big fat envelope was sitting in our mailbox when we got home Saturday afternoon. And the answer is ... YES! She's officially a Star!

The letter says, "Georgia Moore - Congratulations. You are now an Ann Richards Girl. Class of 2018!" She is so excited, but it's a little bittersweet, since she'll be leaving her beloved Parkside a year early. The good news is, Ivy will be there, so Georgia will still be a part of the community, and I know her teachers and friends are very excited for her to have this wonderful opportunity. Goodness knows, she deserves it!

Monday morning, we headed out to Ft. Davis, Texas and the McDonald Observatory - to see, of course, more stars! A trip report and pictures to follow in Part Two!

And don't forget - St. Patrick's Day tomorrow and St. Baldrick's on Saturday! Please donate! : )

Friday, March 11, 2011

Have You Hugged Your Nurse Today?

Day Surgery 18 is history, y'all! And Georgia did very well, as usual! We were met at the hospital with chants of "Rock Star! Rock Star!" because many of the nurses had listened to Georgia's radio interview the day before, so she had fun telling them all about it. And as much as she doesn't really want to go the clinic or the hospital for meds or procedures (who would?), the sweet faces and wonderful hugs that greet her every time are a great incentive to get there. So thank you, thank you, thank you Clinic, PANDA, and 4N Nurses - YOU are the real Rock Stars!!!

We'll be joining some of these amazing folks at the St. Baldrick's promotional event tomorrow at Fado Irish Pub. Georgia and I were invited to be in the First Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, which happens to end at Fado, and we'll be speaking about our own St. Baldrick's experience as well. There will be food, music, and, of course, head shaving! All to support childhood cancer research - so come on out for some great fun for a great cause! And if you can't make it, you can click on the Hope banner in the sidebar and make a donation towards life-saving research! Thanks!

Have a great weekend, y'all!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

There She Goes Again

Well, Georgia's quest for World Media Domination continues as she did another radio interview today! She was a special guest on The Dr. Carol Show, along with Dr. Lockhart from the clinic, and the topic of the day was childhood cancer research and ... St. Baldrick's! To hear a recording of the live show, click on the Dr. Carol link above, then "Archives," and then "March 9th, 3-4 pm." We are always more than happy to help get the word out about the importance of research, so thank you, Dr. Carol and Al, and thank you, Matilda from Dell Children's for setting this up and including all four of us!

Georgia and Dr. Carol

Speaking of St. Baldrick's, we are almost to 75% of our goal! We've got 10 days to go, and we really want to hit that 100%, so please click on the Hope banner in the sidebar if you'd like to donate. The event's overall goal last year was $70K, and we brought in over $96K - so this year, we're shooting for $100K, and with your help, we can do it! Thank you!

Finally, I'll ask for your help on one more thing: Day Surgery tomorrow. We are so lucky and very blessed to have such wonderful support, which has helped to carry Georgia through to this point. I just hope you know how much your prayers and good thoughts mean to her - and all of us. We love you!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Reign Begins

Last night, we attended the official kick-off of the LLS Man and Woman of the Year campaign, so Georgia’s “reign” as Girl of the Year is now underway! All of the candidates are very excited to get the fundraising competition going, so it looks like it’s going to be a great year. The campaign runs for 10 weeks, and if you click on the icon in the sidebar, you can learn more about it – and the candidates – and see pictures of our girl as well. And if you’d like to make a donation to a particular candidate in support of LLS, I know they would appreciate it! The winners will be announced at the grand finale event in May, so we’ll let you know how it turns out!

In other news, St. Baldrick’s is two weeks away, and we’d LOVE your help in raising funds for childhood cancer research! We’ll be volunteering at the Dell Children’s event on March 19 as well as a promotional event on March 12 – encouraging folks to Be Brave and Get Bald! We are passionate about this organization because of its support of Children’s Oncology Group, one of the world-wide leaders in clinical trials and studies specifically for childhood cancers. The COG trial that Georgia is participating in recently produced some significant finds regarding a certain phase of her treatment protocol, and although we are past the point of her enjoying the benefit of those finds, we are happy to be a part of any discovery that means a better treatment experience and outcome for these kids. We want to do whatever we can to make sure this critical, life-saving research continues, so PLEASE consider joining us! Click on the Hope banner in the sidebar to make a donation and make a difference. Thank you!

Have a great weekend, y’all! : )