Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Same but Different

To announce the launch of the Georgia and the Peachy Keens Hero Fund, I wrote this post for the St. Baldrick's blog: 

On December 30, 1999, I was in a hospital room, surrounded by some of the people I love most in the world, heralding the arrival of my first baby girl, Georgia Lee. Ten years to the day later, I was in another hospital room, with many of the same people, trying to reason, pray, and will away a potential cancer diagnosis for that same baby girl, which was confirmed the next day. In those moments, my world changed forever. But fifteen years ago, five years ago, and today, I am grateful for them both. 

We had been sent to the hospital on Georgia’s 10th birthday after her pediatrician reviewed her "abnormal" blood work and wanted to rule out "something like leukemia." Of the handful of things they thought it could be, I was sure it was anything but cancer because it would be absurd for my healthy child to have cancer. But the next morning's bone marrow biopsy confirmed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and she started treatment on New Year's Day 2010.

Despite the darkness of the moment, there was still a bit of light. After all, the doctor told us, "It's cancer. But it's curable." We chose to focus on that light and watched our girl fight to move closer and closer to it every day for the next 28 months. She was an absolute champion. 

Georgia has now been off treatment for over two and a half years, and a lot has changed since the day she took her last dose of chemo and claimed her victory over leukemia. Gone are the puffy cheeks from steroids and the joint pains from vincristine. In their place are a determined jaw and ever-stronger swimmer's legs set on kicking harder and faster each day. The timid sixth grader is now a confident ninth grader looking forward to college and beyond. And the concerns and considerations of treatment that used to rule every decision, every plan we made are almost a distant memory. Almost. 

Comparing our life before and after cancer, I am struck by how much everything feels exactly the same and yet completely different. We are firmly back in the routine of school, work, and family time, but we are living a new normal with a perspective that colors everything we see. We know what life looks like when your child has cancer. We know the sobering statistics and the shameful funding percentages. So while we are grateful that Georgia is healthy, we are mindful that many children are still fighting cancer, and without action, many more will be diagnosed. 

We became involved with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation two months after Georgia was diagnosed and have continued to fundraise and volunteer with the organization ever since. My husband and I have shaved our heads, we’ve hosted art shows and a comedy night, and Georgia and her sister, Ivy, have set up their “world famous” lemonade stand every spring. I’ve also been a part of the leadership team for the 46 Mommas and look forward to shaving with them for the fourth time this summer. 

In addition to our regular support, we decided to do something different, something special this year to celebrate Georgia’s 5th year past diagnosis, so today, we’re launching the Georgia and the Peachy Keens Hero Fund. Our goal, and our motto, for the year is “15 for 15 in ‘15” – we plan to raise $15,000 (or more!) for her 15th birthday in 2015. We want to help St. Baldrick’s fund the world’s most promising research into safer, less-toxic treatments and, ultimately, cures for all kids with cancer. We are thankful for Georgia’s success, and we are determined to ensure similar outcomes for other families, too. 

Five years after the worst day of our lives, Georgia is great. She is the same as before cancer, but different. We all are. And we are honored to be able to continue this journey together. We are privileged to watch Georgia living her wonderful life, shining her beautiful light, and we are proud beyond measure of the young woman she is becoming. She has risen to her fullest, best self, and she is ready to put an end to childhood cancer. We all are. No more getting cancer for your birthday. 

Thank you for keeping Georgia on your mind for the past five years, and we wish you all a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Fifteen today ... Five years from diagnosis tomorrow ... Happy Everything to our girl!

And as for her big announcement? How 'bout I let her tell you:

Yes! We have started a Hero Fund, the Georgia and the Peachy Keens Hero Fund, with the St. Baldrick's Foundation, and Georgia wants to raise $15,000 for her 15th birthday in 2015! We're very excited to increase our involvement with St. Baldrick's and our commitment to conquering childhood cancers, and this fund is the perfect way to do both of those things. Click the link above to find out more - and to donate!

We're having a wonderful time at the wonderful world of Disney, and we've still got more fun - and more celebrating - ahead of us. We hope all of you are enjoying your holidays as well, and we'll be back with more adventures in the new year. 15 for 15 in '15 - let's do this! : )

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Best Wishes

In December 2010, we marked Georgia's first year of treatment and her 11th birthday with her magical Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World and Universal Studios. We're currently making that same trip and are so grateful to be doing it without any consideration for, or connection to, cancer. Tomorrow, we'll enter the Magic Kingdom four years to the day from that trip (and on the 29th, no less! : )), but we won't need a special pass, a break for meds, or a wheelchair, like we did then. All we'll need are our tickets, good walking shoes, and a sense of adventure. We've spent many hours of fun at these parks, including last time, and we're so excited to be back again, with Georgia healthy and whole - our fondest wish granted. We'll report back with all the details, but first, make sure to check in on Tuesday for somebody's birthday and a very special announcement!

December 29, 2010

Friday, December 26, 2014


We had another fun- and family-filled Christmas yesterday and are still basking in the merriment today. We started out bright but not-too-early in the morning with ... presents, of course! 


Georgia went for practical with the new backpack at the top of her list.

Our future writer was excited about this gift.

 And our aspiring architect was a bit excited about this one.

Poppa and his girls

The Plaid Shirt Gang

Four generations supporting St. Baldrick's through #ScottGiving.

After a delicious Italian lunch, we headed to the movies, which I hope becomes a new tradition. We are big movie lovers, and it's always such a treat to get to go with the whole family. We saw "Into the Woods" and can highly recommend it - fantastic! Then, as a double feature, we closed out the day at home with a late viewing of one our favorites, "It's a Wonderful Life." Indeed it is, friends. Indeed it is!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


It's Christmas Eve, and we're all ready to settle down for a long winter's nap. But first, we're looking back and giving thanks for for the wonderful year we've had. We are truly grateful for Georgia's good health and for all of the support we continue to receive from so many. We have big plans for next year, so we're looking forward to sharing them and seeing what amazing thing Georgia does next. Many thanks, much love, and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week in Review

Eight days til Georgia's birthday and her big announcement! And we're just $46 away from our fundraising goal for this year! Click here to donate and be a superhero for kids fighting cancer!

In other news, Georgia finished up the semester with straight As and had a great early birthday party with her pack of sweet friends. They went ice skating and then caroling in our neighborhood - and reminded us over and over again that they would all soon be eligible to take ... driver's ed! Yikes! I think we'll postpone that adventure until this summer. : )

And our precious Ivy had quite a week last week, too. She has the distinction of being the first person in this house to have a cast! She has a broken wrist, courtesy of a tag game that went awry at school, and will be in the cast for four weeks. After much discussion about the incident, she assured us that she is okay, and she was actually pretty excited to get to choose the color of her cast: 

Mommy's favorite color - and favorite 11 year old ...

Things are heating up around Peachy Keen HQ in preparation for Georgia's birthday, diagnosis anniversary, and big announcement! Oh, and there's also the matter of Christmas and our trip to Florida! It's the most wonderful time of the year, indeed, and we hope all of our Friends of Georgia are enjoying this holiday season. And we can't wait to share our adventures and our plans for next year!

Monday, December 15, 2014

15 in 15 ...

In 15 days, this girl turns 15. And she's making a big announcement ... stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

To a Tee

More holiday gift ideas! One can never have too many t-shirts, right? Never! Especially when they support wonderful causes, like these:

46 Mommas Shave for the Brave! Paperclouds Apparel has partnered with the Mommas, and through December 14th, 50% of the proceeds from these four tees will benefit our fundraising campaign. Each design was created by one of our Honored Kids, and you can make your own unique item by choosing the style, color, and placement of the design. Click HERE to learn more about the talented artists and to place your order. Only FOUR more days!

Superhero Kids! The artist, Daniel Johnston, has donated an incredible new mural to the City of Austin in honor of all kids fighting cancer and in support of our favorite local organization, Superhero Kids. Sponsored by the GSD&M ad agency, this beautiful piece of art, and t-shirts based on the design, will spread awareness and raise funds for financial and quality-of-life support for local children fighting cancer and their families. Click HERE to purchase a t-shirt, and through the end of the month, if you take a picture at the mural and share it with #superherokids, GSD&M will make a donation!

ALSO through the end of the month, you can get your own Georgia Beanie or other awesome MaxLove Brand hat at 40% off! Just enter the code FRIENDFAM at checkout (for headwear only). What a deal!

We've heard from many of you who have purchased the Georgia Beanie or the Scott Giving items, and we'd LOVE to see you in them! Please snap a picture or two and send them our way - either to the Facebook page or our email: Thank you, thank you!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Free and Clear

Today, Georgia got the ALL-CLEAR from the dermatologist! A benign cyst! Nothing to worry about (ahem), and no need to follow-up, other than to have her stitches taken out on Friday - just in time for her swim meet! So she's back to business as usual, and we are all celebrating the news we just knew was coming: Georgia is healthy and cancer-free.

Get your Georgia Beanie HERE.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Big Give

It's Giving Tuesday! Time to make a difference with your holiday shopping dollars, and have we got some ideas for you! You might notice a theme here ...

We love this hat - and EVERY hat - from MaxLove, and we love even more that if you order today, on Giving Tuesday, 50% of sales will be donated to the St. Baldrick's Foundation! So not only are you helping super kids thrive against the odds, you're also funding the most promising childhood cancer research. And you'll look great to boot! Click HERE to purchase the Georgia Beanie!

We have at least one of everything - t-shirts, scarves, and pocket squares - and they are beautiful! Through December 31st, 20% of sales of these items inspired by Georgia's art will benefit the St. Baldrick's Foundation, so place your order today! Click HERE to purchase!

3) Donate and help us conquer childhood cancer!

We are just $86 from our fundraising goal for the year, and we'd love to close out 2014 - a big year for our girl! - with our biggest total ever. And you can put us over the top with a year-end gift! Click HERE to be a superhero for kids fighting cancer and to honor our own superhero, The Amazing Georgia!

Aside from these gifts-that-give, we also encourage you to give the gifts of life - by donating blood and registering as a bone marrow and organ donor. And how about something we can all give more of, our time. Time spent helping our neighbors is time well spent, so volunteer with a local organization and see what a big difference just a few hours can make.

We are grateful for all that you have given to us and to so many kids and families on this journey. It means the world to us - today and every day. Thank you!