|SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1997|
WE'RE BACK (FINALLY)!!
Hello, my name is Paul O'Rear. I'm Ashley's dad. Some of you may not remember me. After all, it has been TWO MONTHS since I have posted an update! (I know, I'm a bad, bad boy!) Many of you have e-mailed me asking how Ashley is doing. Many of you have expressed concern, hoping things are OK since you haven't heard anything in a while. (One or two people even threatened me with bodily harm if I didn't get an update posted soon!)
OK, so here I am. I could make all kinds of excuses as to why I haven't done an update in two months, but that would take too long. I would have to sit here thinking for a long time in order to come up with some really good-sounding excuses. And then they would just sound like ... well ... excuses. So I'll forego all that, and just offer a sincere apology for leaving you hanging in suspense for such a long time. I can't promise that it won't happen again, but I'll try not to let it.
In all seriousness, Susan and I really appreciate the deep interest that so many of you have taken in Ashley and in our family. We are constantly amazed that so many people have become so emotionally involved in our ongoing saga. Your love and concern and constant prayers have been a great source of blessing to us.
So now, let me try to catch you up.
CLEAR LAKE YOUTH GROUP
In my last update, dated August 30, I told you that we had just come home from the hospital, and were expecting a group of young people from the Clear Lake Church of Christ (near Houston) to come visit Ashley on Sunday, August 31. Well, they showed up at church that morning, and after the morning worship service we all ate pizza together for lunch. Then we had a short devotional, and the Clear Lake teens presented us with a check for over $7,000 that they had raised in a garage sale for Ashley! What an amazing group of young people! And what an incredible show of love for a little girl that none of them had ever even met until that Sunday.
BACK FOR MORE CHEMO
We were home for less than a week before Ashley had to go back into the hospital for her next round of chemo. She was admitted on Thursday, September 4, for a week's worth of Cisplatin. One of the interns messed up and didn't get Ashley's discharge papers written in time, so she had to stay an extra night and came home early Tuesday morning (September 9), instead of Monday afternoon. (Susan wasn't very happy about that! Nor was Ashley.)
Thursday, September 11, we headed back up to Children's, to the Hematology/Oncology Clinic, for Ashley to get a shot of Vincristine (chemo) and have her blood counts checked.
THE NEW HOUSE!!
The deal on our new house was coming together. We were supposed to close on Wednesday, September 10, but that fell through. Then we were supposed to close on Thursday, but that fell through as well, and our closing date was re-scheduled to Friday. I was beginning to get nervous. We had already made arrangements for some people to come over to the new house on Thursday night and help us paint the kids' rooms.
Ashley wanted one blue wall, one purple wall, one white wall, and one wall covered with sky-looking wallpaper (pastel blue with white clouds). Justin's room had pink walls, so they definitely needed to be re-painted. The paint had been purchased and the painters were lined up. With the permission of the sellers, we went ahead with our painting party, even though we had not yet closed on the house.
Electricity, water, gas, and phone services had all been hooked up in our name on Wednesday. Friday morning the carpet-layers came to re-carpet the entire back half of the house. We still had not closed the deal. As they tore out the old carpet and began to lay the new, I sat in the middle of an empty living room, waiting anxiously by the phone for the call from the title company saying they were ready to close. Finally, about mid-morning, the call came. "You need to be at our office in thirty minutes with a cashier's check for this amount."
I scrambled. I called Susan at the other house and told her to meet me at the title company. Then I hurried to the bank to get the cashier's check. I was standing at the counter and had just given the bank teller the amount for the cashier's check, when Susan walked up behind me. She handed me a piece of paper with a figure written on it. "The title company lady gave you the wrong amount. The cashier's check needs to be for this amount." I gave the new amount to the teller. Susan went on over to the title company, and I met her there a few minutes later. We closed the deal, and walked out of the title company office as home owners for the first time in our nearly fifteen years of marriage! We were ecstatic! Things were really coming together.
That has been nearly two months ago. The house is great! Ashley and Justin each have their own room. And I must admit, the purple and blue walls actually look pretty good! Our new house is on a corner lot with huge trees. We have a great back yard. It is really a neat house, with lots of character. We couldn't be happier! We are so thankful that God saw fit to bless us in this way. Our lives seem to have taken on a different dimension now that we actually own our own home. It's hard to explain, but somehow it is different.
(Point of clarification: The mortgage company actually owns the house, or at least most of it. If my calculations are correct, after two mortgage payments we now have about $170 equity in our house!)
With the deal finally closed, it was time to move. We rallied our friends together, along with their pick-up trucks and trailers, and scheduled the big move for Saturday, September 13, the day after we closed the deal! Unbeknownst to us, that was the same day that the City of Waxahachie decided to finally lay down the new black-top on Cynisca street (the street we were moving FROM). You may recall from a previous update, that the city had been tearing up that street for months, getting it ready for re-paving. We were given absolutely no notice or warning whatsoever that they would be paving the street on that day, blocking access to our driveway and house during the time that it took for the black-top to be applied and then to cool down.
To make a very long story very short, we finally got everything moved after a couple of run-ins with the construction workers and a city supervisor, and a brief pow-wow with the local police (I called them out myself after a construction crew chief kept threatening to call them). After a long day of hard work, we were all very tired, and we all slept really well Saturday night in our new house!
The week after we moved into the new house, we spent a lot of our time unpacking boxes. We still had to make several trips back to the old house to get little things. On Thursday, we took Ashley up to Children's for her clinic visit and to get a Vincristine injection. Friday night and Saturday we noticed that she was really weak, and was feeling generally yucky. We had a garage sale at the old house on Saturday, to try to get rid of a bunch of stuff that we didn't want to haul over to the new house. The garage sale didn't do very well at all, and we ended up shutting it down early. Ashley was feeling bad and was getting hot the whole day, so we tried to keep her out of the sun and keep her cool.
The following Monday (Sept. 22), we had Ashley's blood work done at the doctor's office here in Waxahachie. That night we got a call from the nurse at Children's. She said we needed to bring Ashley up to the hospital the next morning for a blood transfusion. Her hemoglobin level was low. We took her the next day and ended up staying all day while Ashley received two bags of blood and one bag of platelets. The nurses explained to us that her hemoglobin count was 4. Normal levels are between 12 and 14. They told us that a hemoglobin level of 4 in an adult would be fatal. This explained why Ashley had felt so yucky for several days.
MORE CHEMO AND A SLUMBER PARTY
On Thursday (Sept. 25), Ashley was admitted to Children's for her next round of chemo (VP-16 and Cytoxan this time). She stayed in the hospital over the weekend, and came home Monday evening (Sept. 29). That night, she went over to a friend's house for a birthday slumber party. She decided that she wanted to stay all night, so Susan stayed with her. Ashley got sick twice during the night, but was determined that she was not going to bail out and come home. She stuck it out, and had a wonderful time.
The next night, Tuesday, Ashley invited a friend of hers named Josh to go to the movies with her. Ashley and I went and picked up Josh, and the three of us saw the movie "Air Bud". I thought it was a really good movie, and I think Ashley and Josh liked it as well.
D.J. AND THE FAIR
Ashley's cousin Brandi raises hogs. She was scheduled to show one of her hogs, D.J., at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas on Wednesday, October 1. So Susan's mom (Mammaw) came up to Waxahachie on that Tuesday night and spent the night with us. On Wednesday, Susan and Mammaw took Ashley and Justin to the State Fair to see Brandi show her hog. They also took in the sights and sounds of the Fair and had a good time.
SUSAN GETS SICK
Susan came home from the State Fair Wednesday evening feeling sick. She finally went to the doctor on Friday, and discovered that she had a bad case of tonsilitis. The doctor gave her a shot and put her on some antibiotics.
BACK TO THE HOSPITAL
That same night (Friday), Ashley started running a fever. She also had a spot on her arm that was causing her problems. At first it looked like a spider bite. It wouldn't go away, and started getting bigger. It was also very tender, and caused Ashley pain whenever anything or anyone touched it. Early Saturday morning, we took Ashley to the hospital and she was admitted.
I was scheduled to perform a wedding on Saturday afternoon. I drove back to Waxahachie and performed the wedding, and then went back up to the hospital to check on Ashley and Susan.
The doctors started Ashley on some IV antibiotics to take care of whatever was causing the fever, and to try to get the spot on her arm to go down. It was during this time that Ashley basically quit eating. She ended up being in the hospital for the whole week because her fever would not go away, and the spot on her arm kept getting bigger and then going down, then getting bigger and going down again. Finally, Friday evening, they decided to go ahead and send us back home, with Ashley still on IV antibiotics and IV magnesium. The home health agency sent a nurse out to the house that night to teach us how to do the IV medicines. I tell you, Susan and I are becoming a regular Marcus Welby MD and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.
The following Monday (Columbus Day, October 13), our whole family went to see the Disney movie "Rocketman" with the Children's Montessori Center, which is owned and run by some very dear friends of ours. That was an absolutely hilarious movie, and we all enjoyed it immensely.
The next night, another very dear friend of ours named Melva, took Ashley out to the movies. Justin had a soccer game that night, and Susan went with him to watch him play. So I decided I would just go to the movies with Melva and Ashley. Ashley was not doing any walking at this point, because she was too weak from not eating anything for almost two weeks. So I was her means of transportation from the car into the theater and then back again.
Ashley and Melva and I went to see the movie "In and Out". It was a very disappointing movie. There were some parts that were funny, but there was too much foul language and inappropriate sexual humor for it to be enjoyable.
At one point during the movie, Ashley started feeling sick. I rushed out into the lobby and asked for a cup or something and explained what I needed it for. The girl at the concession stand gave me a plastic popcorn bag. I rushed back into the theater, and the popcorn bag quickly became a barf bag. Luckily, we were the only ones in the theater.
Ashley had blood counts done three different times that week, and on Friday she had to be infused with two bags of blood to correct some of her low counts. It was another all-day clinic visit.
Susan took Justin to the dentist on Thursday of that same week (Oct. 16). He had five cavities filled.
That Thursday was also Susan's and my fifteenth wedding anniversary. Because of all the hectic craziness going on in our lives right now, and because we weren't even sure whether we would be in the hospital or at home on our anniversary, we didn't make any big plans. We were sitting at home that evening and the phone rang. It was Amanda, one of the teenagers from church. "Hi, Paul. I have something to tell you, and you have to do what I say. I know that today is your anniversary, and I am going to come over and babysit the kids so that you and Susan can go out together. I won't take no for an answer." A little while later, Amanda showed up, and Susan and I left.
We ate at a little place called the Banana Boat, in a neighboring town. It is a steak and seafood place. I had noticed it several times while driving past, and had heard that their food was good. Susan ordered filet mignon and said it was very good. My catfish was OK, but nothing to write home about. But the cheese sticks we ordered as an appetizer were out of this world. They were absolutely the best cheese sticks that I have ever had in all my life. We were almost tempted to cancel our food order and just get a couple more orders of cheese sticks. I mean, those things were awesome! So if you are ever in the vicinity of Waxahachie, Texas, and you want some really good cheese sticks, just head west toward Midlothian on Highway 287. Right on the edge of Midlothian, you will see a little restaurant off to the left, out in the middle of nowhere. It is called the Banana Boat, and I'm telling you, you won't find a better batch of cheese sticks anywhere in the world!
Ashley was scheduled to go back in the hospital the following Monday (Oct. 20) to begin the next round of chemo (Cisplatin and Vincristine this time). It had now been over two weeks since she had eaten much of anything, and the last few days she had been throwing up several times a day. We were beginning to get worried about her nutritional state, and were also worried that she might be getting dehydrated. That Sunday afternoon, we decided to call one of our favorite doctors on Ashley's team, Dr. Winick.
I've told you about Dr. Winick before. She is an absolute God-send. She is one of the most genuinely humble and compassionate people I have ever met. She always calls Ashley "princess". She deeply cares for her patients, and seems to have taken a special interest in Ashley (though I am sure the parents of Dr. Winick's other patients sense the same "special interest" taken in their child as well).
I explained Ashley's current situation to Dr. Winick (the lack of eating, the throwing up, and her general weakness), and asked if it would make any sense to bring Ashley into the hospital a day early so that they could go ahead and get her started on IV fluids and perhaps do some other things to build her strength back up before we started her on chemo. Dr. Winick's response was a re-assuring "absolutely". So we admitted Ashley on Sunday, October 19.
After evaluating Ashley, the doctors determined that she was seriously dehydrated. So their first order of priority was to pump some fluids into her quickly. They gave her a "bolus", where they hooked her up to IV fluids and pumped a certain amount into her bloodstream as quickly as they could. Then they cut the infusion rate back to maintenance level.
Now the next problem to consider was Ashley's nutritional state. After nearly three weeks of basically no nutritional intake (no eating and very little drinking), Ashley was seriously malnourished. She had dropped to 58 pounds, from her typical weight of about 75 pounds (which means she had lost more than 20% of her body weight). All attempts to get her to eat had failed. The NG feeding tube which we had tried before had met with little success. (That was the feeding tube that was inserted through her nose and then ran down into her stomach.) There were basically two options left: a G tube (surgically implanted into the stomach, with an access port outside the body) and IV feeds (referred to as TPN).
TPN is a good temporary solution, and a good way to correct malnutrition quickly. However, it is not a good long-term solution, because our bodies were not designed to get their nutritional intake directly into the bloodstream. The G tube is a much better long-term solution, because it places the food (in liquid form as formula) into the stomach and then utilizes the body's natural process, the digestive system, to get the nutrients into the blood and then distributed throughout the body.
After much deliberation, the doctors decided to go ahead and start Ashley on TPN (at a cost of about $1,000 per bag). She would receive one bag per day, infused over a 12-hour period. Two weeks was established as the initial term of treatment, with re-evaluation and a determination at that time to either continue or discontinue the TPN.
Ashley was given four days of TPN and IV fluids in the hospital before the next round of chemo was started on Thursday, October 23. She received five days of Cisplatin, and came home on Monday, October 27. She was sent home with her port-a-cath still accessed, so that we could continue the TPN treatments at home.
Several weeks back, I paid a visit to our dentist to have him look at my teeth. It had been several years since my last dental check-up, and I had a tooth that had been bothering me for quite some time. Dr. Powers (who is also a good friend of ours from church) did a thorough dental exam, including a set of x-rays. He found some serious problems. On my right lower jaw, my wisdom tooth had come in at an angle and was leaning up against the second molar next to it. This created a pocket between the two teeth, giving bacteria a safe haven in which to grow and do their destructive work. And that's exactly what they had done. The second molar had a HUGE cavity. The problem was, the cavity was inaccessible because of the position and angle of the wisdom tooth.
Dr. Powers referred me to an oral surgeon about 30 miles away. He sent instructions with me, to give to the oral surgeon, for the removal of the problem wisdom tooth and "crown lengthening" on the second molar. Well, the appointed time came on Tuesday of last week. I arrived at the oral surgeon's office, and was led back to a special torture chamber which had been prepared especially for such an occasion as this! I positioned myself in the chair.
The first step was to make sure I didn't feel any pain. Dr. Finn numbed me up pretty good. Actually, he numbed me up REAL good. After the novocaine had been allowed sufficient time to do its thing, Dr. Finn began with the operation. He propped my mouth open real wide, and then started drilling, hammering, chiseling, yanking, and prying on my wisdom tooth. I'm telling you, that novocaine is some pretty powerful stuff, because I never felt even the slightest twinge of pain. The tooth finally gave up and conceded defeat.
Then came the "crown lengthening" on the second molar. "Crown lengthening", I found out, is just a fancy term for grinding down the jaw bone around the tooth in question, in order to give the dentist more room to work with that tooth.
Upon successful completion the operation, Dr. Finn stitched up my gum and sent me on my way (after I paid the bill for $210), with a prescription for some pain medicine. I have been living for the past week-and-a-half on pain pills and Motrin.
The next step is to go back to Dr. Powers and have him do a root canal on the second molar (the one that has a cavity in it big enough to drive a Greyhound bus through). I called a couple of days ago to make an appointment, and the first time available is on December 11! I guess I can look on the bright side, though. By December 11, I may not even need a root canal. By that time there may not be any tooth left!
Ashley's fifth grade class had a Hobo Picnic at the city park for their Halloween party. Ashley was feeling good that day, and she wanted to join her class. She certainly wasn't going to allow a little thing like brain cancer to keep her from enjoying Halloween! She dressed up as a Hobo Witch, wearing her neon blue wig, topped off with her blue and white Dr. Seuss hat (Cat-in-the-Hat style). Her "blouse" was an old dirty white sweat shirt which had been cut ragged at the bottom for last year's ghost costume. She wore dingy multi-colored tights with old, raggedy tennis shoes to round out the costume. Her fingernails were painted black to match the black lipstick, and she smeared make-up on her face to make it look dirty. She was quite impressive.
After joining Justin's class for their class party, Susan took Ashley and a friend, and they went trick-or-treating around the town square. (Justin had joined up with some of his friends after school, and went trick-or-treating with them.) Each year, merchants on the square provide candy for the children of Waxahachie, and on Halloween afternoon the square comes alive with ghosts, goblins, and Hobo Witches of all shapes and sizes, hurrying from one business to the next trying to fill their bags with all sorts of treats and sweets.
After trick-or-treating on the square, our crew came back to the house to rest for a bit. Ashley decided to change from being a Hobo Witch to an old woman in a wheel chair. She replaced the blue wig and Dr. Seuss hat with a home-made night cap which she had received at the hospital some time back. She wrapped a blanket around herself, wore her big Taz house slippers, and sat hunched over in her wheel chair like an old woman. They headed back out and began making the rounds to houses of people we know, in search of more sugar-coated treasure. From the sight of the piles of candy on our living room floor at the end of the evening, I would say they accomplished their mission admirably!
Halloween was an enjoyable day for both Ashley and Justin, and for that we are very thankful.
GOOD DAYS, BAD DAYS
Actually, the last couple of weeks have brought quite a few good days. Shortly after Ashley was started on the IV feeds (TPN) in the hospital, she began feeling much better. On Monday of her previous hospital admission (October 20), she had visitors (mostly friends from church and school) literally all day long. She was in a great mood, and smiled and laughed and joked around a lot! Man, that did my spirit good to see her enjoying life! We had not seen her smile or laugh much at all over the past several weeks, so we were overjoyed to see her spirits lifted. That week in the hospital, and the following week at home, were filled with lots of days of feeling good and acting happy. Praise the Lord for bringing the joy back into Ashley's life!
This past Friday night, after all the excitement from Halloween and trick-or-treating had worn off, we finally got the kids settled down, got Ashley's TPN hooked up and running, and all went to bed. The home health agency had sent out a technician on Friday afternoon to change Ashley's TPN formula. They added more potassium and more lipids. For some reason, this change in formula caused Ashley to have to get up and go to the bathroom just about every hour during the night Friday night, while the TPN was running. On one of the many late-night/early-morning bathroom runs, Ashley lost her balance in the bathroom and fell backwards. She sat down pretty hard on the toilet seat, and complained about her back hurting. We got her back in bed and back to sleep, but the next several times that she had to get up to go to the bathroom, she was having a hard time walking because her back was hurting.
Early the next morning (Saturday, November 1), Ashley woke up in tears because her back was hurting so bad. We decided that we needed to take her back to the hospital to have them check her out and see if she had caused any damage to her back. They ran some X-rays, drew blood and got a urine sample to look for any signs of something broken or infected that might be causing the pain. None of the tests provided any answers. They sent us back home with antibiotics for Ashley, in case it was a kidney or bladder infection that was causing the pain.
Monday morning we had another clinic visit for blood work. Some of her counts came back low, so she got two bags of blood and one bag of platelets. They also gave her IV antibiotics and used a special drug to "clean out" her port, in case an infection had developed in the port-a-cath itself. (We thought that might be a possibility, because Susan had noticed that Ashley's temperature went up every time we ran something through her port over the last couple of days.) Needless to say, Monday ended up being another all-day clinic visit.
JUSTIN'S DOCTOR VISITS
Last week, Susan took Justin to a pediatrician, Dr. Robinson, who had been recommended to us by some teachers at school. Justin has had a persistent cough for some time now. Last week it got worse, and we decided it was time to do something. We have suspected for some time that he might have asthma. One of the doctors at Children's even looked at Justin and prescribed an asthma inhaler for him, just to see if it would do any good. Dr. Robinson did a special test on Justin to determine whether or not he had asthma. The test results were negative. However, he said that Justin's tonsils and adenoids were abnormally large, and that if Justin ever got a serious throat infection like tonsilitis or strep throat, the swelling would probably close off his airway. Dr. Robinson referred us to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist, Dr. Webb.
Susan took Justin to Dr. Webb on Wednesday of this week. Dr. Webb diagnosed Justin with sleep apnea. He said that Justin has trouble breathing after he goes to sleep because of the enlarged size of his tonsils and adenoids. At times during the night, he will actually stop breathing momentarily. This causes him to wake up briefly and then go back to sleep. With most sleep apnea patients, this constant waking up and going immediately back to sleep happens all through the night, so that the patient never gets a good night's sleep. The enlarged tonsils and adenoids also explain why Justin is such a heavy snorer. His tonsils and adenoids will need to be removed. We are hoping that this will help Justin with his snoring and his chronic cough, and will correct the sleep disorder so that he will sleep better and his body will get the rest it needs.
Dr. Webb said that Justin's sinuses are also constantly "oozing" into his throat, which aggravates his cough and throat problems. X-rays will need to be taken of Justin's sinuses in order to determine whether or not anything needs to be done to fix this problem.
LATEST CLINIC VISIT
We took Ashley back up to Children's today (Friday, November 7) for another clinic visit. More blood tests were done, another urine test was done, and x-rays were taken of her lower back. Her blood counts came back looking pretty good. Her ANC (a measure of her body's infection-fighting capabilities) is still low, but is on its way back up. That was good news. Her platelets were almost at a normal level. Her hemoglobin count looked good as well. The urine culture came back showing no infection. And her back x-rays showed no abnormalities. So her back pain apparently has been caused simply by weak muscles. Her muscles are weak due to malnutrition and lack of use for about three weeks (during the time she wasn't walking).
Dr. Bash, another of the awesome oncologists at Children's, visited with us at length today. (He's a really cool guy, and Ashley really seems to like him.) Based on the results of Ashley's blood work, Dr. Bash has completely changed the formula for her TPN. Ashley will now be getting more calories each night, and we will be injecting insulin into each bag prior to hooking her up, to allow her body to better handle the sugar content and keep her from going to the bathroom so much during the night while the TPN is being infused.
MAKE-A-WISH AND DISNEY WORLD
Carmen, another of our favorite nurses at Children's (we have LOTS of favorite nurses!) is also a Make-A-Wish volunteer. During Ashley's last hospital stay, Carmen helped us fill out all the necessary paperwork to get Ashley's wish moving through the Make-A-Wish process. Tonight we got a call from on of the Make-A-Wish people, and our Disney World trip is set!!! We will be going to Disney World in March and staying for five days!!! And the whole family gets to go!! The kids are really excited about this (and so are we). This promises to be an awesome experience for our whole family.
THE THREE AMIGOS
Jonathan is doing great. A couple of weeks ago, Jonathan had some tests done to see what kind of progress he is making. Gregg and Stacey were on pins and needles waiting to hear the results of those tests, because it would determine whether Jonathan still had a shot at beating his cancer, or whether Gregg and Stacey should just take him home and enjoy what time they had left with him. They got a good report from the tests! Jonathan will continue to undergo chemo, because he still has a fighting chance. Praise God!! Please continue to keep the Parkers in your prayers as this beautiful little baby continues to fight for his life. Gregg has given me lots of information to use in setting up a web page for Jonathan on the Cancer Kids web site. I plan to do this within the next week or so. Keep watching!
Baby Rachel is scheduled
to undergo her bone marrow transplant next Monday, November 10. This
is the moment Bobby and Cecilia have been waiting for!! The transplant
will take place at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth. Please keep
baby Rachel in your prayers during this critical time!! Bobby and Cecilia's
e-mail address is
Michelle has been on a rough roller coaster ride. She has been in and out of ICU constantly over the last couple of months (mostly in). They have almost lost her several times. To add insult to injury, the Champagnes' insurance just ran out on Michelle. She has used up her lifetime benefit limit. Her bills are piling up to the tune of about $12,000 a day for every day she is in the hospital. Not only have John and Kim been through the ringer emotionally as they have watched their precious teenage daughter suffer constantly and almost die several times, now they are also under the added pressure of not knowing how they are going to survive financially. Michelle still has a long way to go, and it's going to be an expensive road.
A PLEA FOR MICHELLE
I am going to ask you to give serious, prayerful thought to the request I am about to make. John and Kim are good people, and have spent much of their time and energy helping others who have fought the cancer monster. They helped to start the North Texas chapter of Candlelighters, a support group for pediatric cancer patients and their families. They have given of themselves unselfishly, and now it is time for them to be the recipients. If you can help the Champagnes financially, they could sure use whatever help is given.
I am asking you to look deep in your heart and pray about what you might be able to do. If you can spare $5, $10, $50, $100 or more, it would benefit Michelle greatly. Maybe you know someone, or some company, who has the financial means and the benevolent spirit to donate a much larger sum, even in the thousands of dollars.
Please understand that the Champagnes have not asked me to do this, and are not yet even aware that I am making this plea. Give this your careful and prayerful consideration. I will post more information in the near future, with more specifics as to where your contributions can be sent.
If you can't help financially, please continue to pray fervently for this good family and for sweet Michelle. If you CAN help financially, please watch for further information within the next week or so. Thank you for allowing me to make this request.
As always, Susan and I thank you for your constant and continued prayers, cards, letters, thoughts, contributions . . . and the many other ways that you have shown your love for us and for our precious Ashley. You continue to be a blessing in our lives. May God richly shower His blessings on you and those you love.