Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Do the right thing

I went on a date with Gramma Dooley Saturday night, and for those of you just imagining all the players in this world that revolves around Sahara, she is one of the most warm and adorable people you will ever meet. Even if she did try to touch Rick's butt when he brought her up on stage. (Who wouldn't?)

She brought along two of the quiet heroes in Sahara's army, her daughter Jennifer Hecht, and Tracy Haggerty. Jennifer and Tracy were Sahara's teachers, and both were the dynamos behind the hometown benefits in Cape Girardeau. They are wise and funny, with kids of their own, and they shared great tales of Sahara from her healthy days.

We were also joined by Nancy from Boston, who left her three kids and husband to make the trip to Missouri. Nancy posts here now and then, and she was as lovely in person as she is in the blogworld.

It was an absolute treat to spend the evening with them. Naturally, our conversation turned to "what's next" and more ways to help. Let's just say the ideas are already bubbling.

There are still bracelets and cookbooks available (details on the Help for Hoops page at right). And there is still an enormous need for help. But while we work on the next big events, I'm going to make a suggestion. Way back in the beginning, when Sahara first learned she had a brain tumor on her 12th birthday, she sent Shannon (her dad) to Staples with $20 of her birthday money to buy crayons for kids in the hospital. One of the things that really strikes people about Sahara is her generous spirit.

For the next couple of weeks, take her lead. Find a small need in your own community, and fill it on Sahara's behalf. Whether it's a holiday gift for a struggling family, or an hour visiting a lonely resident at a nursing home, or an outing with friends to pick up trash at the park, do something to show Sahara how much you care, too.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who attended the Rick show Friday night! It was so wonderful to meet so many of you. We had folks from literally coast to coast! It was such an honor to have you all there with us. Thanks for the gifts to Sahara and LuLu (who is already one spoiled puppy!). It was truly a love fest for our special girl. She had so much fun and held up far longer than I thought she would. She hates to miss anything, but she knows her limits.

I was very grateful that the stage didn't get rushed - and I know how hard it was to stay in one place! We appreciated that everyone gave Sahara her space and didn't crowd her. Rick's fans are the BEST!!!

We drove to Texarkana on Saturday, then finished the trip yesterday afternoon. Got to the RMH, only to be turned away. They wouldn't give us a room because we aren't going to MDA or Texas Children's. No dice if you are a Burzynski patient. I was pretty upset, and I plan on writing a letter to the top dogs, wherever they may be. A sick kid is a sick kid - they shouldn't dictate where you go for treatment. Anyway, we are staying at a Studio Plus. Not fancy, by any means, but it serves the purpose. It's a little closer to the clinic, which helps, because traffic is horrible. I'd rather drive in LA any day.

It has been a long day, but a productive one. We are very pleased so far with Dr. B and his staff. The clinic is awesome and the atmosphere is very upbeat and positive. Did a battery of tests today, but couldn't start treatment yet. Have to get another MRI first. Hopefully we can start treatment tomorrow, or Wednesday morning at the latest.

We love you guys and can't wait to get home!!!