Thursday, March 31, 2016

All Smiles 2.0!

Tuesday's endocrinology appointment went very well, and although we still have lab results and bone scans to get back, all signs are pointing upward and onward! They were pleased - and amazed - by how much Georgia has grown since going off treatment, especially in the last year or so, and the bone age test that's coming up will show us if her growth plates have fully fused as they should. Unless the labs tell us something different, we'll continue the supplement regimen as it is for at least another year, but she'll need some level of supplement throughout her life to stay ahead of any further damage and to keep from reversing the good work she's done over the last three years. And because she hasn't had the headaches she was experiencing last spring, we're confident they were blood sugar-related. As long as she continues to fuel up after exercise, she shouldn't have any further problems there either. So all in all, Georgia is in great shape heading into her 5th year off treatment - 13 months until the BIG day!

Celebrating 47 months with migas, as you do.

As much as we're always looking forward, we're often looking back as well, and it was this time last year that Ivy braved the shave in honor of Georgia. That was really something, wasn't it?

She still talks about that whole experience, and we're still just as proud of her as ever. And one year later, she's got another new look ...


She's looking at about 18 months with her new tin grin, just like Georgia, and she's actually thrilled about it. As if I could love that smile any more than I already do ... : )

Somehow, April starts tomorrow, and we've got a few events on the near horizon. We've been invited to a St. Baldrick's shave at UT next weekend, our annual blood drive is in May, and we're planning our MaxLove ambassador trip to the clinic - thanks to everyone who donated! We're also working on a couple of other fundraising ideas for the spring and the fall, and we hope to have details on those soon. And in just under four months, I'll be shaving with the 46 Mommas in Las Vegas for our Lucky 7 event! So, lots of opportunities to raise awareness, hope, and funds for research, and we're more than happy to be able to do it. Thank y'all for your continued support!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Sometimes, the best Easter portrait is from the pre-shoot dancing. Do the Bump!

We had such a fun, long weekend, and we hope you did, too! Georgia has an endocrinology appointment on Tuesday, which also happens to be March 29th, so we'll probably celebrate 47 months over some Easter candy. : ) Our Boston post is still forthcoming, as well as some fundraising news, so we'll "see" y'all later this week!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Local Legends

We're back from Boston, and we had the BEST time! Even with three of five days with cold, drizzly weather, we walked from one end of the city to the other and saw many of the sights that great place has to offer. And our visit to Brown University in Providence? Let's just say we cancelled plans to visit other schools up there because, well, they just couldn't have measured up in Georgia's eyes. : ) More on that and a full trip report in the next post, but for now - St. Baldrick's at Dell Children's!

Just as we have for the last five of six years, we took part in this favorite event and had so much fun. We ended the day full up to the top with love and gratitude for the people there who have been with us throughout Georgia's journey, including ...

The fabulous Becky from Loving Libbie Memorial Foundation! They have just been gifted with the most incredible food truck (look how beautiful it is!) and will be hitting the road to fill hearts and tummies with love and delicious treats all over Austin. Becky does so much for families at the clinic and hospital, and no one deserves this honor more. We are so happy for you!

We also saw precious Keagan, who we met at last year's event, just after she was diagnosed with a Wilm's Tumor. Since then, this little warrior has kicked cancer's booty and turned two years old, and she is just as sweet and feisty as she can be. It was wonderful to see these two survivors together!

And finally, the two people who were the most instrumental in Georgia's success during and after treatment and who hold such special places in our hearts ...

We love you, Nurse Dina!

Words fail. Thank you, Dr. Neff.

Just over a month away from four years off treatment. My how time flies ... xo

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Pen Is ...

Well, that luck o' the Irish appears to be continuing as Georgia and I both got some great news this week. Our esteemed poet has been accepted to the Sewanee Young Writers' Conference - one of only nine kids! - and will be spending two weeks this summer writing beautiful verse at the University of the South! I'd say she's just a wee bit excited ...

As for me, I was selected for the Austin cast of Listen to Your Mother, which is a celebration of motherhood in the form of original readings performed live by their authors. I'll be sharing a piece I wrote about Georgia's journey, and a portion of the show's ticket sales will benefit a local non-profit, SafePlace. I have some Momma friends who were in the show in their cities, and I'm looking forward to raising more awareness and meeting some creative folks. Check out the videos online - inspiring!

We're off to Boston tomorrow - for more Irish traditions and history lessons - and will get to spend some time with my Rhode Island Momma, Bekah, and her family. It's the girls' first time on a plane in a few years, and they can't wait to see the hotel, but I think they'll find the city to be pretty cool, too. : ) Have a great week, y'all, and we'll back in time to wish you a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Luck o' the Irish

I was very lucky to be able to travel to Las Vegas this weekend for an amazing St. Baldrick's event - the McMullan's Irish Pub event! I met Brian and Lynn McMullan this summer at the VEO conference I attended, and they have been so incredible in helping us plan the 46 Mommas Lucky 7 Shave at the pub. Their event is one of the top fundraisers for St. Baldrick's each year - shaving over 400 heads and raising over $500,000 in one day! The joint was buzzing for sure, and it was so fun and so inspiring to see. In fact ...

Oops, I did it again ... Shave #6!

I accepted an on-stage challenge, and between my trusty assistant, Alyson, helping to work the crowd and a few online donations, we raised $1500! 

As exciting as it all was, the biggest, and most touching, moment of the day was when Criss Angel dropped by. He shared a few words about his son, Johnny, and his current treatment for ALL, and then, as further proof of his generosity and dedication to fighting childhood cancer, he presented Kathleen Ruddy, the CEO of St. Baldrick's, with a check for $100,000. Amazing.

It's quite something to be among people who are truly moving mountains and making a difference for these kids, and we're so honored to be a small part of it. Alyson and I are looking forward to a great event of our own in July, but we'll be energized by this weekend for a long time to come. Thank you, Las Vegas!