Friday, October 22, 2010

A friend of mine was asking on Facebook about blog themes. I have seen quite a few and thought to myself, "that would be a good way to increase my posting." Well, honestly, so far it hasn't helped. I try to remember 12 of 12 each month. And I have attempted NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month, each November) a couple of times, without success. So, I thought I would attempt my own one day a week posting for fun. And here it begins. Please play along and give me my 15 minutes of blog fave, lol. Post your blog address in the comments. (And if I have stolen someone else's theme, I'm sorry, add me to your blog roll, because I haven't figured out how to do that yet.)

I know introduce "Fun Friday Fotos." A random, fun photo from your Friday.

Today, after school, Nate felt the need to show me what he had in his pocket. So here we have my first Fun Friday Fotos entry:

A Little Boy's Pocket Full of Treasures

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Light the Night 2010, Part 1

Last night was the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walk to raise funds for blood cancer research. Not only is this where I work, it is an organization that I whole heartily believe in. When I interned at Children's Hospital, I got to see the benefits of LLS to families first hand. Now, I get to help make it happen. Yesterday, I got to bring Light the Night to the children in the hospital. It was an all day affair. We started with taking stars for the children to decorate to hang at the walk site, so those coming out to walk would know that the children were with them. In the evening, we had our own little walk at the hospital complete with balloon release and walk around the oncology floor.

These are a couple of my super star volunteers. I put a call out for Spanish speaking volunteers to help me at the hospital, in case there were children/families who spoke only Spanish. Mrs. D. (principal extraordinaire (now retired), I have mentioned her before) and her bilingual hubby Dan. I very much appreciate their participation and it was great to see them both again.

This sweet girl is Melanie. She could not come out with us because it is not safe for her to be around other people right now. She was alone when I came by her room, playing with her play dough. I had to wear a gown to visit her. We had so much fun decorating stars. I didn't want to leave.

Meet Gary, aka Turbo. Turbo and his dad are well known around the office. But, this was the first time I got to meet him. When he's not putting all of his energy into fighting his cancer, he likes to do things like skateboard. Last week he was visiting a water park and fell and broke his leg. Even that has not slowed him down much! Turbo is not the only fighter in his family. His dad is an amputee who designed his own snow board that he could attach a crutch to so he could balance and keep snowboarding. This family rocks!

We had three "Arches of Hope" along the walk course. We hung the stars on the arches to remind everyone why we do this. We also had a table at the walk site where people could decorate stars to hang on the arches.

Another arch starting to get decorated.

Dad: You're going to put all those balloons in your car? I don't think so. Plan B. As you can see, the back seat is already full of balloons. We had to get them to the hospital somehow... Along with the ice chest, snacks, binoculars, glow sticks...

I just thought this was a cool photo of the start finish line. The sky was pretty, but the clouds were coming in. I was hoping the rain would hold off until after the walk. (It did. But, we did get a nice lightening show in the distance.)
The walk site had some really cool activities for kids. There were bounces houses and this really cool tricycle track.
Another view of the tricycle track.
The banner making table, for teams who had not yet decorated their team banner. They had paint and markers. It was a quick fix, but some really cute banner came off that table.
This was the view from the moon roof of my car, making sure the balloons stayed put!
We made, with all the balloons in tact. See Part 2, for more from Light the Night!
Light the Night 2010, part 2

We were not allowed to bring latex balloons to the hospital. So, we were able to get permission to release the white "survivor" Light the Night balloons on the hospital patio. The patients were given mylar star balloons to keep. Here we are getting ready to release the balloons. Each balloon had a small glow stick in it to "light the night."
Fortunately, we had enough balloons for every to participate! Family and friends are really part of the fight too. It was fun to have so many children participate.
Check out the little guy in his Batman jammies. Dad pushed his IV pole while they walked. The young lady sitting in this photo, she did the "walk" in a wheelchair. But, she walked out on the patio with us to release balloons. (Unfortunately, the photos of the balloons going up didn't turn out. But, I did hear that they could see them from the walk site.)
Signing the banner for "Team Children's." Two children led the hospital walk carrying the team banner. I do not having any still photos of the walk. I have video which I need to download. (Leave a comment and let me know if you want to see it.) It really was amazing/heartbreaking/heartwarming/inspiring.
The little guy signing the banner is Jason. He was visiting his cousin who is in treatment. Jason goes to Nate's school. They were in the same kindergarten class. It really is a small world, and you never know cancer may touch someone you know.
Having a snack after the walk
I didn't get this little sweetie's name. But, she sure loved the balloons. Not even able to walk, but she's a fighter. So unfair!
This Melanie was not able to leave her room, I brought her back a couple of balloons after the walk. Mom was back when I stopped by. I introduced myself and told her I had been by earlier to decorate stars with Melanie. I kept one and left one in her room. Mom explained that she had gone home to take a shower and visit with her son. She said she does not get to see him much when Melanie is in the hospital. And when she returned Melanie was crying and asking why she left her. Can you even imagine being in that position? Here's Melanie with dinner that mom brought back for her.
This is Carlos. Carlos happened to arrive at the hospital the same time we returned with balloons. His plan was to play for the children on the oncology floor. Instead, he helped us unload and set up for our balloon release and walk. He was awesome. After, he played a song for my dad and I as we sat down for the first time of the day. It's awesome to see young people giving of themselves.

I am truly blessed to have a healthy family. I am also blessed to have a job that I love that gives me the opportunity to give back everyday. Oh, and it's not too late to donate to Light the Night, you have until October 31st! I'll even make it easy, here's the fundraising site for my team: