Sunday, December 30, 2012


Happy Birthday, Georgia Lee! We celebrated with a balloon release at Mt Bonnell, including 13 birthday wishes and one to grow on. It's a bit of a hike to get to that spot, and we thought about the fact that three years ago today, Georgia couldn't have made it but a few steps as she was incredibly weak, and we were just hours from learning she had leukemia. We are so thankful that she could make it to the top today, and we look forward to the heights she will reach in the years to come.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Everything!

Well, school's out for the holiday break, and we're just about ready for the many celebrations we've got coming over the next 10 days! Christmas, diagnosis and OT anniversaries, a wedding anniversary, a new year ... and a certain someone's 13th birthday!!! Oh my, an official teenager!

Georgia had a clinic appointment yesterday, just to check counts - which were perfect and NORMAL once again! - and she made great use of her wait time by practicing some algebra on the whiteboard wall in the exam room. Such a smart cookie!

We hope all of our Friends of Georgia are spending the holidays with the people they love, and we thank you for continuing to keep our amazing girl on your mind! Happy Everything, y'all!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Beginning of The End for Childhood Cancer

A while back, we told you about a very exciting new immune therapy for adult leukemia patients, in which the patient's own T cells are modified and used to attack cancer cells. The big news today is that doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), a premiere pediatric cancer facility, have successfully treated a child with this same therapy and thus opened the door to further trials and even more victories! Emma has now been in remission for seven months, after relapsing twice with ALL and exhausting all other treatment options. Hers is another amazing and inspiring story - one we hope is repeated over and over in the years to come.

If you'd like to be a part of such ground-breaking, lifesaving research, please consider an end-of-year gift to END childhood cancer! The 46 Mommas 2012 campaign has just 21 more days to go, and we're within $42,000 of our million dollar goal! Thank you all so much for your support this year - and every year. Your donations are helping to CONQUER childhood cancer!

We had such a great time Friday night at the clinic holiday party - thank you, Superhero Kids! It was so nice to see so many patient families and beloved staff members enjoying themselves, and the food from the amazing Becky and her crew at Bountiful was wonderful, as always. Not surprisingly, Georgia and Ivy's favorite part was the carriage ride up Congress Avenue. It was a perfect night!

 See the Capitol building behind them?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy December!

Although, it feels like May or June around here - muggy and warm! Not very Christmas-y, but it doesn't stop us from decking the halls and dreaming of a white Christmas. December always seems to fly by, especially since we have so many special things to celebrate - including a certain someone's 13th birthday! Already?

That said, the month didn't get off to the greatest start for Georgia as we spent the entire day on Saturday at the hospital. She hadn't been feeling well since Sunday, and by Friday evening, we decided we needed to get some blood work done. We had to go the ER at Dell because there were no beds available on 4N, but it was still better to be there than at an urgent care facility. The ER doctor was in constant communication with the doctor on call from the clinic, and we were able to have Georgia checked out from head to toe. Blood work, x-rays, and ultrasound were all normal (normal!), so the probable culprit behind her symptoms is a bad bug, and we're waiting on cultures to confirm that. The hardest part of the day was getting the IV started since Georgia was fairly dehydrated, and they had to poke her five times before her veins would cooperate. She never made a peep, but you know it hurt! As always, the nurses (the three it took to get the IV going) commented on what a "patient patient" Georgia is and how easy she makes it for them to do their job. What a trooper.

The good news is, she's feeling much better and will be back at school tomorrow. She's got her next clinic appointment in a couple of weeks, and I'm sure we'll rehash the whole episode with Dr. Neff, but for now, she's definitely on the mend. In fact, we're all looking forward to this weekend and the clinic holiday party at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, courtesy of our friends at Superhero Kids!

Finally, the word on the street about Comedy GOLD is: Success! We had such a great time and are so appreciative of the wonderful performers and dedicated volunteers. We met our fundraising goal and, even better, made great contacts and inroads for future events, so we're really looking forward to doing it all again! Big thanks and much love to everyone who came out, and we'll see you next time!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lucky Seven

Georgia! It's the 29th! So now how many months have you been off treatment? 

Lucky SEVEN!

We're celebrating over Daddy's cheesy lasagna, but YOU folks could mark the occasion by joining us at Comedy GOLD tomorrow night! Get your tickets, or make a donation, HERE. Now, onward to Dec. 29th!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Tuesday

Forget about the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The really big day is today, Giving Tuesday! "#GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations." We think this brand-new movement is brilliant and positive and keeps the focus of the season where it should be: helping others. So, if you'd like to GIVE this Tuesday, we've got a host of worthy organizations listed in the sidebar on the right, or you can search past posts for gift ideas that support a variety of childhood cancer causes. For today, you might consider purchasing one of these items, all of which benefit the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Regardless of the election results, here's something all political parties can stand behind: we must support childhood cancer research. And that's exactly what Democratic National Committee spokesperson Brad Woodhouse and Republican National Committee spokesperson Sean Spicer agreed to do by shaving their heads to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Originally, they made a bet on the presidential election, with the winner getting to shave the loser's head, but in the end, Brad Woodhouse decided to shave too, and they both went under the clippers this morning on "This Week with George Stephanopolous."

Raising awareness! So awesome and so desperately needed. Currently, less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute's annual budget is directed to research on the 12 major types of childhood cancer combined, so a bipartisan statement like this might encourage the powers-that-be on both sides of the aisle to push for increased funding to the NCI and specifically to pediatric cancers! A girl can dream ...

If you'd like to make a stand for childhood cancer research, join the fun this Friday at Comedy GOLD! And even if  you can't make the show, you can still make a donation here, in support of the 46 Mommas and St. Baldrick's. It's going to be a great night for a great cause, so come on out and let's CONQUER!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


We are thankful for many things this Thanksgiving, especially Georgia's event-free appointment on Monday - Dr. Neff actually said all of her counts were "NORMAL." We are thankful for normal.

We are also thankful for all of you and the love and support you have shown Georgia and our family for nearly three years. It's been a long road, and we have further to go still, but we know that you have helped us get this far. We are thankful for our Friends of Georgia.

Here is a beautiful letter of thanks written by my Momma friend, Audra, that says it all perfectly. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and know that we'll be thinking of you tomorrow!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Give thanks. Walk.

Today, supporters in 90 communities across the country are walking to give thanks and raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Even if you can't participate in a walk, donations are greatly appreciated! And as always, we encourage all Friends of Georgia to take part in the St. Jude Thanks and Giving holiday campaign by shopping with one of their partners in support of childhood cancer research. Make saving children's lives part of your holiday tradition, and "give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not.” Thank you!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Comedy GOLD

Do you love to laugh? Do you want to help kids with cancer? Then have I got an event for you! Comedy GOLD is a night of improv and stand-up comedy with some of Austin's funniest people, and proceeds will benefit the 46 Mommas campaign in support of the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Tickets are $20 online and $25 at the door - and space is limited! There's nothing funny about what kids in treatment go through, but we want to laugh in the face of cancer as we raise funds to CONQUER it. So we're bringing the GOLD to raise the GREEN for childhood cancer research, and we'd love for you to join us!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


On Election Day, 46 kids in the U.S. were diagnosed with cancer. 46 more will be diagnosed today. And tomorrow. And every weekday until we ACT. Watch and share this video from the 2012 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave in Los Angeles. Help us reach our goal of raising $1 million for childhood cancer research through the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Please lend your voice and be an ally because kids can't fight this battle alone. Special love and thanks to Max's Love Project for the video, featuring Momma fedoras available at MaxLove, with proceeds benefiting the 46 Mommas. And make sure to look for our girl in three pictures - pink dress, obstetrician Halloween costume, and close-up at the end. You might even see me lose my mohawk!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy (Belated) Halloween!

From a Bookworm and Hermione Granger

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bigger Than a Breadbox

After we came home from the hospital on January 4, 2010, one of the first things we did was buy this breadbox. Georgia had eight prescriptions, a pill cutter, a pill organizer, and various other "accessories," none of which we wanted to leave out all the time like a constant reminder of treatment. Not good for our Peachy Keen attitude! So we found this breadbox, filled it with her meds, and parked it on the kitchen counter, where it was opened and closed hundreds of times over the last 34 months. The scheduling was so intricate (this one everyday, this one three days a week, this one once a week, this one once a month, not these together, those always together, with food, before food, after food ...), it's truly amazing that researchers ever figured out what worked among the ever-rotating combinations. Each time we got a new schedule, we stuck a post-it on the inside lid with a detailed AM/PM menu, plus dosages, even though we all knew it by heart after the first day. And after the first year or so, little by little, the contents of the breadbox started to gradually disappear, especially since APRIL 29TH, 2012. And once her port was gone, all Georgia had left to complete was a six-month run of antibiotics ...

Which she did. Today. So, as per usual, we will celebrate another milestone tonight - truly, truly the END of treatment! We'll carve pumpkins, smash pill bottles on the driveway (like Mighty Tater!), and put buckets on our heads and dance. And as for the breadbox, Ivy had a great idea: We could put bread in it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Moving Right Along

Georgia had a clinic appointment today, and although her counts were a little low, everything still looks really good! We'll just be keeping an eye on her and shoo away any viruses that want to come calling - especially once she finishes up her antibiotic next week. Yes, next Monday is the last day of her last medicine and marks six months off treatment! She has done so well so far, and before we know it, another six months will have passed, and she'll be one year off treatment. Amazing!

Also amazing is the support that Votre Vu has shown the 46 Mommas and the St. Baldrick's Foundation in the fight against childhood cancer. I had the honor of speaking at their local event this week, and they announced another $5,000 donation to the 46 Mommas, bringing their total to over $20,000 since July. And they have no plans to stop! One dollar from the purchase of every French Accents item goes to childhood cancer research, so please stop by their website soon!

Georgia and Ivy both had busy weeks at school last week, culminating in the Homecoming tailgate and volleyball games at Ann Richards and the Fall Festival at Parkside. We've got lots of spirit around here and are looking forward to Halloween next week!

Go Stars!

Ivy "trying" to not get wet at the balloon toss.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Fifteen years ago, the Lance Armstrong Foundation was created to provide people facing cancer a support team to help them face the disease head on. In honor of this special anniversary, here are the 15 Defining Moments from LIVESTRONG's First 15 Years, our personal favorite being No. 2: Making Survivorship a Priority.

In other news, Georgia was voted NJHS Member of the Month. She was inducted a month ago. I tell ya ... 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

More Girl Power

Our budding writer received another honor this week when she was asked to read her essay on Title IX at a statue dedication ceremony for former Lady Longhorn Coach Jody Conradt. It was a lovely, very crowded, event, but all of the Ann Richards girls did an excellent job, and Georgia got an enthusiastic response to the story of her great aunt, Ruthie. There were over 600 folks in attendance, so the best picture I could get was of the giant video screen!

 Even with 900 career wins, the most important number to Coach Conradt is 99:
the percentage of her players who graduated from college.

 Out of 683 essays, one girl from each grade was asked to read hers.
Several people at the ceremony were friends with Ann Richards, 
and it is always extra special to hear, "Governor Richards would be so proud of you."
Georgia's essay:
What Title IX Means to Me

         Title IX is important to me because it promotes fairness. It requires that boys and girls be provided with equal opportunities to participate in sports and other school activities. It also requires that female athletes receive athletic scholarships, equipment, and coaching that are equivalent to what male athletes receive. Because it promotes equality, I think of Title IX as civil rights legislation, and I am grateful for the opportunities it has given me, especially since I know that other women in my family never got those same opportunities. 
        My great aunt grew up playing baseball, and when she was in high school during World War II, she was asked to play in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Many male professional baseball players had joined the military, so the female players were brought in to keep baseball going while the men were away. At first, the crowds made fun of the women, but once people saw that they could really play, the league became very popular, and my great aunt was a crowd favorite and All-Star player. But after the war was over, the men returned, and the AAGPBL eventually closed down.
         Title IX wasn’t enacted until 1972, so my great aunt didn’t have the opportunity to play sports for her school because there weren’t any girls’ teams. She only played with friends in vacant lots, and they used old equipment. Her family didn’t have much money, and without an athletic scholarship, she couldn’t afford to go to college. She worked for the government her whole adult life, but she was able to coach several girls’ softball teams and helped many girls in her town win championships and get college scholarships. Her athletic skills were finally recognized in 1988 when the AAGPBL was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but I’m sure if Title IX had been enacted for her generation, her life would have been much different, and baseball would have been an even bigger part of it.
         Even though I don’t play sports, I know that I have been affected by Title IX. When I was little, I played on soccer and basketball teams that sometimes included boys. It was a great experience for me because I felt like I was being treated fairly, and I had a uniform and a good coach – all thanks to Title IX. I also think Title IX has helped girls get other equal opportunities and created schools like Ann Richards that empower girls to “attend and graduate from college” and “lead with courage and compassion.” As I get older, it will help keep me focused and keep my eye on the prize – a college education!

 Thanks for everything, Coach Conradt - Hook 'em!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The State of The Fight

This is a wonderful article by Dr. Robert Arceci, M.D., Ph.D., and chair of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee. It's full of important information (including a great graphic too big to post here), with this being the highlight, I think:

Research makes all the difference. However, with the National Cancer Institute committing approximately 4 percent of their budget in 2011 to childhood cancer research funding and recent reports from the National Institute of Health showing research funding has reached its lowest point in history, there is a crucial need for alternative means to provide grants to researchers that will enable them to continue projects that show promise. Without this, research that could lead to improved cancer survival rates and treatment advances will be delayed or never reach their full potential. Added to this challenge is the fact that pharmaceutical companies often shy away from developing childhood cancer drugs because of low profit levels (only 2 drugs have been approved by the FDA in the last 20 years to treat children with cancer).
This is why we do what we do. Join us, and let's CONQUER childhood cancer!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ivy!


I just took that picture yesterday, and somehow, 
that angel cake turns 9 years old today.

Happy Birthday to our sweet Ivy Francis.
You make us so happy, and so proud, every day!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 30

Two months ago, I shaved my head with the 46 Mommas at the Shave for the Brave.

I'm keeping it shaved - and continuing to fundraise - through December.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, but I hope we've shown you 
how you can do SOMETHING to raise awareness, hope, and funds all year long.

This is what we did to raise awareness for our warriors. 
And then we did what every reasonable person would do.

We danced.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Five Months OT!

Well, despite the rain, the CureSearch Walk was a resounding success - and the perfect way to celebrate Georgia's FIFTH month off treatment! We didn't actually get to walk, but we did brave the rain for the ceremony. Georgia was the second highest fundraiser, and the Peachy Keens got fifth place in the team totals. Woohoo! Overall, the event raised $72,000 and counting, so THANK YOU to everyone who donated or bought art or lemonade, and we hope you'll join us next year!

THREE survivors in this picture - 
Coach Brown (top left), Georgia, and Coach Mason-Murphy (bottom right)

Peachy Power!

Super Girl

Super Sibs

 Super Cousins

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hope on Wheels


Hyundai Hope on Wheels is an initiative made up of more than 800 Hyundai dealers across the nation, with the mission of raising awareness of childhood cancer and celebrating the lives of children in the fight. Since its inception 14 years ago, Hope On Wheels has donated more than $57 million to pediatric cancer research centers nationwide, and yesterday, Dell Children's Medical Center was the recipient of one of 45 Hope Grants for 2012: 

Pretty amazing. And you don't even have to buy a car to help out. Check out the Five Ways to Lend Hope a Hand, and you can make a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Next Tuesday, October 2nd, is LIVESTRONG Day. Lance and company are planning the largest display of support for cancer survivors in history by sharing 100,000 messages on Facebook and Twitter. And for every message shared, $1 will be donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation for programs and services that directly support people fighting cancer. Click here to share your message, and it will be posted automatically on October 2nd.

And just so we're clear: It's not about the bike. It's not about the jerseys. It's about the 28 million survivors and the $500 million LIVESTRONG has devoted to the global fight against cancer. We stand with Lance, and we'll continue to FIGHT.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Color It Forward

Votre Vu, one of the biggest supporters of the 46 Mommas, has been really raising awareness this month. If you're on Facebook, make sure to "like" their page, and one dollar will be donated to the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Also, click here to see a feature on our favorite cover girl!

And don't forget to check out their wonderful French Accents cosmetics! Again, one dollar from the purchase of any of those products will be donated to the 46 Mommas. These sales, plus the generosity of Votre Vu's CEO, Harold Zimmerman, have already raised over $15,000 for our campaign, just since July, so we're looking forward to a long and very successful partnership with these beautiful folks.

Nice bracelet there, HZ. : )

Thanks for the Momma makeovers, Votre Vu - it was a real treat!

Monday, September 24, 2012

She's a Pepper

Georgia had her fifth OT appointment today, and it was wonderfully UNeventful! She did really well with the blood draw, her counts look great, and she's got just one more month of antibiotics - the time has flown by! We celebrated with lunch at Chili's in support of St. Jude:

Georgia's pepper tells her story - from diagnosis to SURVIVOR!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Doubly Aware

In this last week of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we want to remind you that September is also Blood Cancer Awareness Month - very important to our family as well.

From The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:

Each September, LLS observes Blood Cancer Awareness Month as a way to let the public know about the LLS resources available for blood cancer patients and their families.

Since 1949, LLS has invested more than $875 million in research for the discovery of breakthrough therapies that are saving lives today. And survival rates for blood cancer patients have doubled and tripled, and in some cases, quadrupled.

LLS has made enormous strides over the years, bringing us to the edge of cures. Therapies and treatments are now, at this moment, saving lives and improving the quality of life for many patients, making this an extraordinary moment in time.

We are certainly thankful for the research that produced Georgia's treatment protocol, and we appreciate LLS's participation in that research. We've come a long way, but there is still much work to do - especially for pediatric patients - so the continued vigilance of organizations like LLS is critical to improving treatments and finding cures.

You can help fund life-saving research and assist patients and their families by donating to LLS or taking part in one of their fundraising programs, like Light the Night, Pennies for Patients, or Team in Training. It will take all of us to get there, but until we do, we will remain RELENTLESS for a cure!

And don't forget - tomorrow is The Big Day at Chili's! One hundred percent of net profits from all restaurants will be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital! I think I know what we're having for dinner ...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Return

Over the last two months or so, we've noticed a big improvement in Georgia's energy and overall health. She's feeling great, moving well, and laughing a lot. It's obvious that the last bits of 28 months of chemotherapy have left her body, and she is building up her stamina more and more every day. Case in point, I just bore witness to an EPIC all-out, no-holds-barred pillow fight:

And even as I braced for the inevitable fallout (which actually never came), the sound was music to my ears. It's been a long time!

Good thing Georgia is in such great shape - the Austin CureSearch Walk is one week from today! We're looking forward to a really fun event and would love for you to join us. Sign up with the Peachy Keens here, or donate to Georgia's page here - she's just over $50 from her goal! Raising funds for research is the perfect way to close out Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so we hope to see y'all there. Thanks!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Join Team Ethan

These are my friends, Chris and Kim:

This is their precious son, Ethan:

In honor of Ethan's courageous battle, they started The Ethan Jostad Foundation for Childhood Cancer to provide support for patient families and to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. Kim is one of the top fundraisers for the 46 Mommas, and their foundation was recently awarded a grant by the Chase Community Giving program, so they are thrilled to be able to reach that many more families and to continue to share Ethan's story.

Every day this month, they have been posting a fact about childhood cancer on their foundation Facebook page, and this one is particularly familiar - and important - to us:

Leukemia is the most common cancer in children, but as with most childhood cancers, the symptoms are often suspected to be, and initially treated as, those of any number of common childhood illnesses. Many times, children go for weeks and months without a confirmed diagnosis, which is especially problematic with acute and/or more aggressive cancers. 

Georgia's only symptoms at diagnosis were extreme fatigue and pale skin. From the first day we noticed a change in her behavior to the day she was diagnosed was exactly two weeks. We were extremely lucky that we caught it when we did, and our greatest piece of advice when facing lingering, unexplained symptoms in your child is this: Ask for blood work.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Get Swabbed

Today is GMA host Robin Roberts's "new birthday." She is undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat the myelodysplastic syndrome she developed as a result of breast cancer treatment. Her donor is her sister, which is actually fairly rare as there is only a 35% chance that a recipient will have a sibling that is a suitable match. And as intense as the preparation for this procedure is for the recipient, I think Robin's got the right attitude:  You have to change the way you think, in order to change the way you feel.

Which brings us to our regularly-scheduled plea to get swabbed and register as a bone marrow donor! AND

Research shows that younger donors are best for patients because they provide the greatest chance for transplant success. But by all means, if you're between 45 and 60, please register as well!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Giving Hope

Here's an easy way to do SOMETHING for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Give Headbands of Hope. The mission of this organization is to "fund childhood cancer research and spread hope in all girls, one headband at a time." Each of the 46 Mommas received a glittery green headband at the Shave for the Brave, and they were super soft and comfy on our bald noggins - perfect for girls going through treatment. Plus, for every headband sold, one will be given to a girl fighting cancer and $1 will be donated to St. Baldrick's - so it's a win-win-win!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hi Tech Help for Childhood Cancer

Exciting news from the computer world and, specifically, our homegrown global sensation:

To combat the void of new, innovative childhood cancer treatments, Dell has made a multimillion dollar, multi-year commitment to design and develop technology to help its research partners significantly accelerate treatment options. The Dell Children's Cancer Care initiatives help power clinical researchers and doctors around the world with high-speed cloud computing solutions that can allow experts to identify and share personalized treatments in days instead of months. Dell is also helping nonprofits worldwide as they provide comfort and care to young cancer patients and their families, including establishing remote learning opportunities for hospitalized children, issuing grants to cover cancer treatment, and funding pediatric care facilities and supporting outreach work.

Watch this video to learn more about these initiatives - click on the arrows to make it larger.
And if you're on Facebook, click here, watch the video, and Dell will donate $1 to childhood cancer research!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Why Do We Fight?

Over halfway through September - please do SOMETHING to raise awareness.