Archive for May 2012

May 24th, 2012. Day +440.   7 comments

“After” haircut picture.

CJ’s “before” haircut.

Looky looky-another two weeks have gone by and life has been just grand.  On Mother’s Day, we all headed to the Madison Zoo.  Both of the girls had an awesome time and we will be sure to hang out there again soon.  We spent the last couple of weekends hitting garage and rummage sales which Charlotte loves to do!  She usually tries to get us to buy her something from every sale we hit, even the not-so-kid friendly sales like antiques and tools.

This week has been a very busy week!  On Monday the four of us drove to Meriter to see Aunt Jenny and Uncle Lyle with their new baby Sydney.  Charlotte couldn’t wait to hold her!  On Tuesday, Charlotte had her very first haircut!!!  It was a very happy time for Amy and me and she did such a great job.  She was very excited to be there and had no problems at all with getting her hair trimmed.  She looks so cute with bangs now!  Then on Wednesday, Amy and I woke up at 4:30 so we could get ready to take CJ into Madison again to Meriter for her “dental reconstruction” surgery.  They were right on time getting her into the room and again, she did great!  The very nice Dr Tony ended up giving Charlotte 4 crowns and 12 fillings!!!  He hammered and drilled and squeezed on all but 4 of her little teeth!  But in true Charlotte fashion, she surprised us by waking up from her sedation quite happy and was eating and drinking in no time.  She will have to go back now in 6 months for another checkup, but hopefully we now have this problem behind us!

CJ all by herself for the Make-A-Wish photo shoot.

CJ holding baby Sydney Grace

Today Amy took Charlotte to her Make-A-Wish photo shoot.  She is one of the 2 children from the Madison area that Make-A-Wish is featuring for their next Walk/Run in Madison in September.  She had a great time posing for the pictures and they even took audio and video of her so she may wind up on a commercial.  You would never know to look at her how much she has been through!

We are busy preparing the house and yard for our family to come over this weekend to celebrate Charlotte’s 4th birthday!  This is going to be another really awesome day for Amy and me and we are just so excited for her to have her cousins around and hopefully play in the yard and just have a good time like normal 4 year olds do!

As always, thanks for checking in on us.  And please remember to keep all of those kids in the hospital in your prayers.

Posted May 25, 2012 by L. Elske in Uncategorized

May 10th, 2012. Day +426   4 comments

Today was the 96.3fm Star Country Radiothon to raise money for the American Family Children’s Hospital.  We learned today that families are nominated by hospital staff  so we feel extra honored to participate

Molly checking out all of the signatures from the participants.

today.  We are SOOOOO proud of Charlotte.  Not only was she not shy today, but she was the one to start and end the interview.  She made my heart melt with pride.  Even Molly seemed to understand the importance of the day as she sat quiet and still for the entire 15 minute interview….not an easy task for our energetic toddler.  Many staff came down to listen to our interview in person.  We saw not only the dj tear up, but also some of these staff who already knew Charlotte’s journey.  Hopefully we touched some other individuals out in the community too….and maybe enough to make a donation.

We were very touched today after the interview to meet another AFCH employee.  He told us that he just had to come down and meet us after he began to hear our story on the radio.  His own son was diagnosed with AML at the age of 13 months when his wife was 5 months pregnant with their second son.  He wanted to let us know that he understands firsthand what we experienced in trying to care for one child with another on the way.  His son endured 4 rounds of chemo and is a happy, thriving middle schooler today.  It was just one more success story we love to hear about.

If you would like to hear our interview, montage, or see some pictures from the day, just go to Star Country’s website:

The Radiothon continues through the end of tomorrow.  Please consider listening to 96.3 or online and donating if you feel moved.

Relay for Life Update——-

We recently learned more of the schedule for the Relay for Life event and we wanted to share in case you were considering joining our team.

The actual walk will begin about 6pm, but recommend arrival closer to 5:30pm to partake in the opening ceremony for those interested.  Charlotte and all other survivors will walk the first lap to start the event.  Next up (we believe) is a caregiver lap.  At 10pm is the luminaria ceremony – a time to honor and remember all those touched personally by cancer.  The event ends at 6am Saturday morning.  Amy and I are prepared to walk the entire time if we have to as our goal is to have a team member on the track at all times, and Charlotte didn’t get much of a break during her treatment.  We will have a tent set-up for anybody wanting to hang out and walk with us during the night.  There is no fundraising requirement, but we are strongly trying for a team goal of $1000.


Posted May 10, 2012 by L. Elske in Uncategorized

May 5th, 2012. Day +421   5 comments

Holy schmoly.  It’s been a month since I last posted.  There is just no excuse for that!

Life has been terrific the last four weeks.  In the middle of April, Amy was able to go on a Mexican cruise for a few days and she had a good time.  It was the longest she has ever been away from the girls so she had a hard time leaving them (probably).  The girls were so great while Amy was gone, I almost told her to stay longer!

Charlotte and Molly have been awesome.  They have been active and playful and super cute to each other. Once in a while one will want the toy or book the other is playing with-so then we get both sides of the story with whining and crying.  But they soon end up happy and apologizing to each other in their own ways.  They love to go shopping, and play outside as the weather gets better.  They do still like to wake up about two minutes after the sun comes up, but are usually happy to start their days.

Charlotte went in yesterday for her pre-op (for her teeth repairs on May 23rd) physical and more immunization shots.  Dr G. said she looks great.  Amy couldn’t have been more proud of how she acted towards the nurse and doctor.

Thursday between 9-10am Amy and I and the girls will be interviewed for the 96.3 fm Champion for Kids Radiothon for AFCH fundraising.  We were invited to participate last year but we both thought it was too soon for us to talk about our experiences so publicly.  We are excited  but nervous to be involved in such a wonderful event.

Charlotte has also been invited to be a FrontRunner for the 2012 Make-A-Wish Walk & Run for Wishes fundraising event on September 23rd.  We will have a team and more information to follow.

We are still recruiting walkers and donors for Charlotte’s Angels Relay for Life team on June 8th in Columbus.  If you are interested in joining our team please sign up at the following link, or let Amy or me know.  For the first 20 people who register to walk, we will have t-shirts printed with Charlotte’s picture for you to wear during the walk, and everywhere else you go.

Charlotte’s Angels Relay for Life team website

CJ with a Band-Aid on her cheek. She claims she was injured playing with blocks.
She is just fine:)

But the really big super awesome news is that we heard from Charlotte’s marrow donor.  We received her contact information late last week and needed a day to construct our message to her.  We sent Erin an email last Friday night thanking her for the gift that she has given to us in the form of a real chance for Charlotte to grow up cancer free.
Amy and I waited, wondering if we wrote too much or emailed too soon.  Mainly we just hoped she received it and was receptive to our words.
Our wait was short.  On Monday Erin returned our correspondence with an equally honest and open email about herself and the reasons behind how she came to be on the Marrow Registry.  Amy and I both cried through her email while we were at work!  What a wonderful way to start the work week!!  We are truly thankful for everything she has done for Charlotte and for us.  We are also thankful that she is interested in communicating with us and learning more about our family and our journey.  Thank you Erin!

On a sadder note, Neal Rylatt lost his battle with leukemia last night.  He and his family had a wonderful Make-a-Wish trip to Lourdes, France and he was able to see lots of his friends from school and college before he passed.  Cancer has claimed another young man too soon, and He has created another angel.  I hope Mitch and Neal enjoy many a ping pong game in Heaven.

Posted May 5, 2012 by L. Elske in Uncategorized