First, the news we have all been hoping for: Izzy's scans of her tumors came back cancer-free! Thank you for all of the prayers and well-wishes. Please keep her in your prayers as the doctors continue to scan and check her spinal fluid, as well. She fights through her disease with so much beautiful optimism, it makes me want to stop grumpy strangers on the street and tell them about her... Life is a miraculous gift, and even though her life is so much harder than so many others, Izzy knows and sparkles through it all.
Life has been uplifting and eye-opening at the same time these days. I am lifted up by the tremendous dominance of good souls on this planet seeing needs, and filling those needs without a string attached – just open hearts. The volunteers, the kids who played kickball, the people who donated time and money...I was overwhelmed by that love. It is crazy to me to comprehend any negativity someone would point out when it comes to an event benefitting childhood cancer. I had ONE person complain about the event. ONE. One person who must have so much internal anger and frustration in that moment, that the big picture was completely askew and the goodness of it all could not come into focus for him.
At the time that I opened the email, little Izzy was having her tumors in her brain scanned for cancer. It was the exact moment because I remember closing my eyes and praying for Izzy and sending those pink bubbles of prayer to the table where she laid under the influence of a strong sedative. So, that's where my mind was. That's where my heart was. Then, I read negative words from someone who never experienced any pain from childhood cancer. From scans. From any of the nastiness this disease entails. And he felt it was in his place to do this – to be negative at all about our event. I saw red, people, and I was NOT proud of the thoughts I had running through my mind about this individual. It took over me, the absolute disgust I was feeling. It trumped the thousands of dollars we earned, and the gorgeousness that was the celebration of these kids who stood with their warrior medals hanging around their necks. I forgot, in that instant, the deeply emotional moment when 36 sky lanterns were lifting into the sky filled with prayers for the 36 kids who were diagnosed with cancer that day. One pink lantern lifted in memory of Hailey Grace Brown's, too. The gravity of why we did what we did and how that accomplishment felt all evaporated by one person's negativity.
Whose fault was that?
They say it is only in experience that true wisdom is garnered. I will take this rant-like email as an experience. Obviously, not everyone is as passionate about funding childhood cancer research as a mom who has a child with cancer, but it is clear that the desperate NEED for this funding is widely unknown. I will take this email as a message to learn by: many people are in the dark about the facts. This event is not just a school-wide assembly where there are supplies we need, volunteers to set-up, etc. It is so much more than that. This event, Mattawan Kicks Out Kids' Cancer, is about kids playing in honor of children in our OWN school battling this disease. It's about showing these kids that we support them and desire a cure, too. It's showing that we understand that it is only in advocating and in raising funds for research that progress towards a cure is certain. It's about LIFE and quality of LIFE for children.
I am now thankful for that email. It only strengthened my resolve to power through and fight harder on behalf of the children with cancer who cannot verbally stand against those who do not support the cause. This did not deter me, but instead, I went through my list of donors, volunteers, and DREAM TEAM members who worked tireless hours to make this event a reality. I fell asleep counting, and I was well into the hundreds. This is the truth, and it felt much puffier and comforting than counting sheep. I went to sleep counting the human blessings who understood that without CureSearch, when Gideon was diagnosed, we would have been told that his end was near. Instead, he has a positive prognosis. CureSearch saved Gideon's life. No negativity can tarnish the beauty that is progress against this disease.
To all of those COUNTLESS people who dedicated even one minute or one dollar to the event, THANK YOU for being one of the puffy sheep who shed light on one dark experience, and blessed so many lives that rainy and cold Saturday. “...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Thankful for wisdom that always was, is, and will be in the future.