Saturday, September 09, 2006


Good morning. I've got a couple of long posts from Amy--all is well in Houston, and I'll be loading her Friday night update later this morning. But this message is special. It needs to stand alone. Why? Because with all the good things happening for Sahara, sometimes the thanks get lost.

The thanks are all very heartfelt, indeed. But how do you thank a whole group of experts who lead you to your only hope for a miracle?

The Angels at St. Francis

Today our family would like to acknowledge the outstanding people at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. Without their assistance and support, we might not have been able to get Sahara into the amazing place known as MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Center. About a year ago, St. Francis became a part of the MD Anderson Network, allowing cancer patients in our area to reap the benefits of being associated with this premier medical community. We never could have known how much that affiliation would affect the future of our family.

We wish to personally thank the administration and staff at St. Francis, including CEO and President Steve Bjelich, Dennis Van Asche at the St. Francis Cancer Institute, Marilyn Curtis and Bill Tegel, for their immediate action upon learning of Sahara’s diagnosis. Within twenty-four hours of receiving our information, we had an appointment with Dr. Johannes Wolff, an expert in Sahara’s type of tumor, and we were on our way to Houston. After seeing Dr. Wolff and undergoing extensive testing, the very next day Sahara began receiving treatment. In less than four days we were well underway to fighting this disease. Without the help of St. Francis, there is no way we could have accomplished this feat. St. Francis Medical Center truly cares.

To Tee and the wonderful folks in the laundry department, the purchasing and receiving departments, and everyone else in between, your kindness will never be forgotten.

St. Francis now has the resources and access to one of the top cancer research hospitals in the country. We cannot stress enough the importance of this link. Their partnership not only helped us get our daughter into the MD Anderson system, but will allow her to be treated on an outpatient basis once she is back home from Houston. They will work hand in hand in treating Sahara’s cancer at home, which is so very important. Our family is deeply grateful for the alliance between St. Francis Medical Center and MD Anderson.

Our community should be very proud and aware of this team. It will serve our region well in years to come.

Thank you!