Thank you, Thank you for your donations! Thanks to your generosity we raised $2, 225 for childhood cancer research and clinical trials!! Way to go Team John!!
On Friday when I got home from work there was a message from Cindy, John’s nurse at Children’s Specialty Clinic. She was calling to see if I would be willing to share John’s story on Saturday at the CureSearch walk opening ceremony. She told me she knew it was short notice….I didn’t need to say yes…. Ugh..For a moment I considered ignoring the message. I never got it right? Then I thought to myself John never had any choice in any of what he’s gone through. I’ll do it. I called Cindy back and she got me in contact with the person I needed to talk to. No one ever said, but obviously someone either backed our or something came up at the last minute.
Late notice yes, but that was probably a good thing with the first week of school. I would have been nervous about it all week. Late last night I worked on writing John’s story of survival, revising, practicing out in the garage in the mirror framed in hockey sticks, revising and finally going to bed around 2. Once again I worried about doing “right” by everyone.
Dad and Jill (We have 2 “Jills” in our extended family. When I mention Jill,Mikko will ask which one and if it’s the Jill that was with us today I say, “Uncle Tim’s Honey Bunny Jill) arrived bright and early and then we were on our way to St. Paul.
We checked in, I went for a short walk to get my thoughts together and then we went to the opening ceremony. Miss Minnesota was there and she spoke a bit and Dr. Perkins from Children’s Hospital Minneapolis spoke. She talked of Jane that had passed away shortly before this event last year and how she loved to make duct tape wallets (I had seen her work on these in the playroom at the hospital.) Jane’s mother continued with the duct tape wallets and over $13,000 had been made for CureSearch by selling them! Then it was time for John and me. We got through it and I think it went well. John received 2 rounds of applause during my short talk. He definitely didn’t mind that! Next they called for walkers that were present in memory of a child that had lost his/her battle to cancer to come up and get a balloon. The balloons were released as the DJ played Clouds by Zach Sobiech. That was a touching ,tough moment. Lastly before the walk began the survivors were called to the stage to receive their survivor medals. Another “moment”….
Then we were off for the walk. It was hot, hot, hot and that was an extra long 2.2 miles! Maybe it felt that way because we were clumped together for a while…who knows….but it was hot! We thought we heard there were going to be water stations…nope. It was a long, long way for John and he became a little unpleasant until I put him on my back. We walked a good portion of the walk like this. He would get down in the shady parts. Towards the end John had really had it and he threw his water bottle and then gave it a couple of good kicks. It was probably too much for him as he hasn’t done that much exercise at once. After one such fit I told him to knock it off…he’d just been up on stage….everyone knew who he was. He didn’t care, but we made it to the end and with a little water and shade his temperament greatly improved.
We went to the closing ceremony were we learned that $80,000 had been raised with this walk!!! While Jill, Jeffrey and I were at the closing ceremony, John and Grandpa Bob were in the pavilion getting John’s face painted like a pirate. When we met up with them they were headed to get a balloon from Gumdrop the clown. Well, gumdrop was in high demand…the wait was forever in line. I’m talking a good half hour! The kid wasn’t budging…he was waiting in line. We finally get to the car, place the sword balloon in the back (Pirate face…sword balloon), started the car and “POP”.)….the dang balloon popped, John started to bawl and Grandpa was out the door to get him a new one before I could stop him. Are you kidding me? Another wait…we were seriously one of the last groups to finally leave and I’m pretty sure Jill will never ride with us again.
Jill and I were making mental notes for next year. 1. Recruit way more people to join Team John 2. Bring all those people to the walk! (Thanks for coming Lisa!) 3. Bring water on the walk (Duh….I know) 4. Have a picnic afterwards or order pizza like another team did. 5.Bring something for John like a scooter for the walk.
It was a privilege to be a part of this day and I’m so glad we were a part of it. Thank you again for your generous donations!!
The sword balloon…..John, Grandpa and Jeffrey sat in grandpa’s back seat on the way home while I drove. John decided to make that annoying squeaky sound by rubbing the balloon. It must have been like fingernails on a chalkboard to Jeffrey because he was going insane and there my dad had to sit in the middle of it….all…the ….way…home! He too will probably never ride with us again!
Later in the afternoon we went over to Jill’s friends place in Prescott and enjoyed a fun afternoon on the water. There was a jet ski there and Jill gave John a few rides and he loved it! She gave me a ride…and she didn’t drive nearly as cautiously with me! I’ve learned a few new things about Jill in the past two weeks. 1. If you take her up north by hell or high water you better get her a real campfire to roast her marshmallows over 2. She seems to be able to throw caution to the wind all in the name of fun…ok…that may be a slight exaggeration…but there was absolutely no fear for her on that jet ski!! At one time when I was riding with her and sitting behind her…I just leaned forward, bear hugged her and hung on!
Jon wasn’t with us at the walk this morning as he and Tim were at their Aunt Sandy’s funeral. Sandy passed away this past week from cancer. They said her service was very nice and they saw several of their aunts, uncles and cousins. My heart breaks for Sandy’s children especially right now. Not only was Sandy fighting cancer, but there father, Jon’s Uncle Jimmy is too. How can that be? Have I ever told you I HATE CANCER?!
Tomorrow Jon, Jeffrey, Tim and I are golfing in a special tournament. I will tell you more about it later. I’m excited to see the people that will be there, but I’m not looking forward to golfing. I haven’t swung a club since before John was born and I stunk then! Jon wanted me to go swing at wiffle balls tonight. I passed because really…what good was that going to do.
I just may drop from all the exercise I participated in this weekend walking (longest I’ve went since injuring my foot), swimming (included in that would be jumping, attempting to climb up a 2 rung ladder to heave my out of shape body onto a swim platform…this is very difficult to do with zero upper body strength, but obviously amusing from the comments I was receiving from the beach.) and now golf. At least it’s a best ball scramble thing and they won’t be using any of my balls!
I need to get this old weary body to bed. It was a day packed with meaning, emotion, a few fits, and lots of fun!
Thank you again for supporting Team John in the CureSearch Walk ….be it by donations or positive thoughts. You guys rock!!
Love, Hope and Blessings,