On June 1, 2010 our two year old, "Little Air Bear," was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Type M7. After enduring 146 days at Primary Children's Hospital, Erin is now in remission and living a full life at home with our family. Her strong will and constant happy smile is an inspiration to us all. Through our difficult circumstances we found great strength and peace in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for checking in on us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last minute Labs

All last week we were going crazy about Erin...I just kept getting worried that she had relapsed.  Her skin was pale, she had fevers for four days and I just couldn't sleep without finding out if her cancer was coming back.  This is a good glimpse into how we think, cancer is always in the back of our minds.  The minute anything, and I mean, anything happens to Erin, John and I immediately worry.  You would too if your child had gone through cancer. 

Monday morning I took Erin to the Lab here at our hospital and had a CBC (complete blood count) done and then they looked at her blood under the microscope.  This is what we would do at Primary Children's but we are going to start doing it here because it's so much simpler to do it closer to home. 

I was completely nervous all day with so much worry in my mind and heart.  But, I got the lab results and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  She is pretty healthy!

White blood count 8.6 (normal 6.0-17.0)
Red Blood count 4.77 (normal 3.90-5.30)
Hematocrit 41.7 (normal 34.0-40.0)
Platelets 274 (normal 150-400)

 I am grateful that I had her checked out and that she healthy.  Her next scheduled blood check is in one month.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cold Stone & Chilis!

Mark your calendars!
Grab your friends & Neighbors

Tuesday, September 27th

At all Cold Stone Creamery's in the USA, Puerto Rico & Guam
come to the

World's Largest Ice Cream Social
Cold Stone Creamery
get a FREE 3oz Sprinkle With Wishes creation in exchange for purchasing a $1 Make-a-Wish paper star that gets posted on the store wall.
100% of all donations made at Cold Stone during September will go directly to the Make-a-Wish Foundation


Monday, September 26th

All Chili's locations donates 100% of net profits to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

St. Jude's is a children's research hospital committed to finding cures.  We have a friend, Matt, who lives near us who goes there for treatments for brain cancer.

I think it is totally amazing that places like Chili's and Cold Stone Creamery are doing something to make a difference.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

You can help

It's ironic how I can easily spend $6-$7 on a McDonald's value meal, but I have to think twice about donating a little to a good cause.

Here is your chance to help and not think twice about it...

Please donate $5 to HopeKids
(that's less than a value meal!)

(it's fast, safe, and secure)

My goal is to reach $100 by Saturday the 24th. 
I only need $80 more and that would only be 16 more people donating $5 apiece. 

So, will you do it?  Will you give $5? 

Read on to learn about HopeKids...
HopeKids is holding their annual fundraising event
The Wasatch Adventure

HopeKids organizes fantastic activities for families with children who have a life threatening illness. They have given our family something to look forward to.  They have supported us and loved us.

If you're looking for something to do this Saturday then stop on by:
The Wasatch Adventure
Saturday, September 24th
Registration starts at 9:00am
1 mile walk and 5K walk/run starts at 10:30am
Fort Douglas Bandstand, SLC

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Bunch of Pictures!

Her cuteness, all ready for church.

Two sisters all dolled up....

...with a handsome brother who wants his picture taken too.

Then things start getting silly, but then, what's new.

And then they all fall down laughing.
"Brothers and sisters
are as close
as hands and feet"
--Vietnamese Proverb

Enjoying the last days of summer at the beach. 

Erin loves her 'Rapunzel hair' and she loves doing a salon with her sister.  The girls did my hair and John's hair (he wouldn't give his consent to post those).  Caleb got into it too and brushed my hair for 10 minutes, it felt so good. 

Riding her new scooter.

The last three days Erin was sporting a mild fever (99.9 to 100.5) and had pale skin with crabby mood swings and lots of crying in the night. Last night she slept through the night and woke up with a normal 98.7 temperature.  Phew! 

John and I were on pins and needles those few days wondering about the R word (relapse).  John had some bad dreams and I just kept reliving those horrible days of her diagnosis.  I picked up the phone many times to dial her Oncologist to order a blood test, but every time I told myself to just wait a few more days and not overreact.

In a normal kid I wouldn't think much of a mild fever, but in a cancer kid it can mean that the cancer is coming back.  Some symptoms of AML are fevers, bruises, anemia (due to low platelets), tiredness, aches and pains in the limbs (due to build-up of leukemia cells in the joints), and infections.  Thank goodness she hardly has a bruise on her body right now!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month - pass it on!

Imagine cancer as a sinking boat, with all of us on-board.  Who do we care for first?  We get the women and the children to safety, right?  And we know that any grieving person would give up their seat to a child.  But, that is not true in the world of cancer funding.  What we have is first class seating, funding for adults. 
Approximately 12,500 children are diagnosed with cancer every year.
That's 34 children diagnosed every day!
Every year approximately 2,500 children die of cancer.
That's 7 children killed each day!

Childhood cancer is the #1 cause of death from disease for our children.
Every year it kills more than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies, and pediatric AIDS combined!

When we talk of children we talk about the nearly 30% of our population that is under age 20.

It's September...are you seeing the GOLD?  Me neither...there isn't much out there, something must be done.

Gold is the color for childhood cancer.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.  

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the Federal Government's principal agency for cancer research and training.  Do you want to see where some of your tax dollars are going?

Over the past 5 years the NCI has given
24% to breast cancer funding
5% to prostate cancer funding
5% to lung cancer funding
3%-4% to childhood cancer funding

I am sorry for anyone who has to fight cancer, my mother-in-law is just starting treatment for breast cancer and I've had other family members and friends who have fought cancer.  Cancer is an awful thing.  But, it is so wonderful that there are strong adult voices out there demanding a cure for adult men and women's cancers.  But, WE have to be the voice for the children.
It is amazing that breast cancer (if detected early) has a 99% cure rate.  Prostate cancer has a 5 year 99% survival rate.  Yet, we don't have those numbers for childhood cancer.  Erin's cancer has a 50% 5 year relapse rate.  Childhood cancer is typically more aggressive than adult cancer and children's bodies respond differently to "hand-me-down" adult chemotherapy treatments.  This why we need childhood cancer research, and lots of it.  

The more awareness and media attention = more funding.  

Please support the children!
Awareness is the key!
Please pass this on
Copy and paste my blog post to your blog, or direct a link to this blog post.

You can find more detailed information HERE on the People Against Childhood Cancer Site.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wasatch Adventure and Light the Night

Erin's cancer has brought us some smiles. 
Smiles you say?  Yes sirree, smiles!

Of course, there have been tears, many many tears, but there have been so many good people in this world who have entered our lives and given us smiles because of Erin's cancer.

You are one of them!
Thank you for checking in on Erin and her blog.  Just knowing that you care enough to read about our experiences helps to bring a smile to our faces.

Because of all that we have been through we feel a strong desire in our hearts to help in things cancer related.  We did a big fundraising push a few months ago for our CureSearch walk in helping to fund childhood cancer research and ended up fundraising a whopping $1921.00.  We don't expect everyone to donate to every cause that we support, but we don't want to miss an opportunity to tell you about all the good causes we are excited about.  And, if you feel like it is the right time for you, then go ahead and donate.
This last month we had an awesome time with our family at a HopeKids activity held at The Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point.  HopeKids holds many activities throughout the year for families who have a child with a life threatening illness.  They have given us many activities to look forward to; they have given us many smiles.
Erin and Aunt Diana.
John and I.
The kiddos playing on a dinosaur.

One with the shark (she was too scared to stand by the shark alone).
Cecily diggin' up some Dino bones.
Erin diggin' up some bones.
The back of her HopeKids shirt reads:
"Got Hope?"
On Saturday, September 24th Hopekids will be holding their 3rd annual Wasatch Adventure walk/run 5K.  We cannot attend, but want to let you know about it and invite you to donate to Erin's "virtual team" and help fund HopeKids activities.

Location: Fort Douglas Bandstand, 200 S. Fort Douglas, Salt Lake City, UT
Saturday, September 24 , 2011
Starts at 9:00 AM
5k Walk and 5k Run start at 10:30 AM
Fundraising goal: $50,000
All proceeds to benefit HopeKids Utah

You can donate to Team Little Air Bear HERE.


Last year we stumbled across the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk through a flyer in the cancer ward where Erin lived.  We felt so strongly that we should attend this walk even though Erin couldn't walk with us because she was in treatment.  It was a life changing event for our family. 

John and I at the walk. 

Our family (minus Erin) at the walk.
Red - supporter
White - cancer survivor
Gold - person lost to cancer

You can watch a video of our 2010 experience below.

So this video quality is pretty bad, but I don't have time to load the good on one here, but you can check it out in an older blog post HERE.
I cannot believe it has been a year since our first Light the Night Experience.  It seems so long ago and yet not too distant.  We wish we could participate this year, but we are not able.  However, we have created a "virtual team" and invite all to donate if they so desire.  We love that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society focuses their research completely on blood cancers.  The Light the Night it truly a magical experience, so hopefully it will fit into our schedule next year. 

Salt Lake City, Light the Night Walk
Location: Sugar House Park, 2100 S 1300 E SLC, Utah
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011
Festivities Begin: 5:00 pm

You can donate to Team Little Air Bear HERE.

Thank you so much for your involvement in putting a SMILE on our faces!
Erin is still doing well and has her next follow-up appointment in mid-October.