Friday, September 23, 2011



Here is the other brave soul we would like to help from Walking with Emma Kait.....this is Jacob.  We've known Jacob for many years from church, have witnessed him playing capture the flag with Joseph at youth group events, have heard him play the violin beautifully at a Christmas Eve service and have loved their family in our close knit community.  It was heartbreaking to hear of his diagnosis of severe Aplastic Anemia and we spent many months praying for his health and healing.  We ran into his mom Teresa at one of our first surgery appointments at Sutter, before we knew....before we switched over to the oncology side of the office.  The two sign-in windows are a mere 3 feet apart in the clinic yet worlds apart in reality for us. 

Our first night in the hospital, I was shell-shocked, stunned, unable to form rational thoughts or plans, nor even begin to think about needs other that Emma and her diagnosis and Teresa gave me a gift.  She gave me her sleeping pad to add to the very hard hospital bed/chair that parents are given to sleep in the corner of their child's room.  She had been there for many nights and knew what could help me at least attempt a better night's sleep.  It was a small token of love and care that will forever remind me that even the little gestures can mean the world to a person in pain or grief or worry.  Thank you Teresa. 

After many months of declining heath, Jacob received a bone marrow transplant on June 16, 2011.  He is such a brave kid who demonstrated fearless optimism to Emma each time he would say hi to her on the pediatric oncology floor, in the playroom at the hospital, or plopping down on her hospital bed to compare new apps for their iPads while petting the hospital therapy dog.

Jacob, Emma and Hazel the dog

Here is more of Jacob's story and the link to his blog HERE

Jacob, age 15, has aplastic anemia. 
On July 6, 2010, Jacob was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a potentially fatal condition in which his body’s bone marrow does not produce enough new blood cells. Doctors at UCSF have determined  that a bone marrow transplant was critical for Jacob to live a long and healthy life. He has undergone two different types of chemotherapy to wipe out his damaged bone marrow, followed by a transplant. Jacob and his mother are staying San Francisco, near the hospital for six to seven months.
Jacob lives in Lincoln, California with his mother and sister. Jacob loves fishing, swimming, and skateboarding. One of his true passions is riding dirt bikes and he holds an American Bicycle Association BMX card. When not enjoying these outdoor activities, he plays the violin, trumpet, and flute.

Jacob has many months of healing and recovery ahead, and his mom Teresa has had several medical challenges of her own lately.  We are so honored to be able to offer some relief, just as Teresa offered it to me that night of February 16, 2011.

Jacob was admitted back into the hospital for a fever yesterday.  We are praying for you Jacob. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Little Emma

Emma Jaine

Friends, we'd like you to meet Emma Jaine...or as we refer to her as "Little Emma".  We met her family on the evening when we were admitted after hearing that afternoon that Emma Kait had cancer.  I blogged about meeting Emma and her family in one of the first postings.  You can read about it HERE.

We have stayed in contact with this family and often run into them at our appointments at the clinic.  We've been hospitalized several times at the same time, but unfortunately we've never been able to share a room together.....maybe next time?

We were so touched by this strong family.  Our Emma loves to see Little Emma's name on the sign in sheet at the clinic and laughs at the memory of Little Emma singing at the top of her lungs to the music from Mama Mia from the next door exam room.

We knew right away that we wanted to help this family with some of the proceeds from Emma's Walk as they have many medical expenses and extra testing to pay for during Little Emma's 3 year journey.

Here is more about her story and here is a link to her Carepages site:  EmmaJaine 
(you can search for her page with her name EmmaJaine with no spaces)

Emma Jaine's Story
written by Emma Jaine's Mom...

Emma is an absolutely amazing & perfect little girl who is battling against T-Cell Leukemia. Emma had a cold as many other children get regularly. We noticed that her breating was a little irregular and went to the pediatrician to be checked out. We were sent to the hospital for tests as the pediatrician thought Emma had pnemonia. We there discovered that her white blood cell count was nearly 78,000 with 15,000 being average... and further testing concluded the unfortunate diagnosis of Leukemia. We plan on staying positive and keeping all the faith that we are going to triumph over the disease and watch Emma go to her first day of kindergarten, her first date, graduating high school, getting married, having children and discovering the world in her own way! She is a fighter and will beat this! Emma is such a strong and feisty little girl and is fighting hard against this monster of a disease. She has had two doses of chemo and many, many doses of both steroids and antibiotics and has responded amazingly to them. We have a long & challenging 3 years ahead of us with the first year being the most critical and will destroy over 99% of the white blood cells. Unfortunatly the chemo doesn't simply destroy the nasty bad white blood cells but also kills off the good productive white blood cells as well. This completely wipes out her body's natural defense against infections and we will need to be more than extremely careful to keep germs away from her. We will be as preventitive as we possibly are able to. Emma and the family can use all the prayers we can get! We pray for Emma's body to fight off any possible infection and we pray that she is able to get rid of the immature destructive white cells and create healthy white blood cells. We pray that she responds amazingly to the treatments and help get her little body healthy once again. She is a happy, spunky little girl who DEFINITELY knows what she does and does not like. She is super independent and loves to do things on her own without help from mom and dad. She is also very vociferous and will let us know what wants and what she does not. She loves to color and loves stickers even more. She loves playing with her big sister Chloe and being adored by her big brother Jonah. She loves singing songs, reading books & playing outside. Emma's favorite movies at the moment are Monsters Inc. and Princess & the Frog. Emma's favorite foods are cheetos, pizza & m&m's.

We are so excited to be able to share with Emma and her family.  You can see why they are so very special to us.  We are in this fight together which started on the same day with our beautiful blond daughters with the common name.....EMMA.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Giving Back

You know when something doesn't sit quite right in your soul....there is a stirring....a call to action.....a nudging of the Holy Spirit asking you to do something, but you are not quite sure what that something is, but when you finally realize it, your soul is at peace again and the unanswerable questions are solved? 

That's kind of how it's been for me the past few weeks.  I've realized that my heart has been hearing it, but my brain has taken a few weeks to catch up. 

The Walking with Emma Kait benefit walk/run is approaching on Oct 1 and there was something about the planning that was not quite finished, I just didn't realize it.  Our dear friend Jen, has been working in the background, planning, organizing, asking for volunteers, ordering number badges and t-shirts.  She is working tirelessly on our behalf to help in the celebration of Emma's half way point of treatment.  Many of you have already signed up to walk or run or serve as a volunteer.  We thank you so much for your support. 

There is more that this day needs to stand for.....a giving back.....a paying it forward.....a greater good than our own benefit.  This day will be a day to raise money for others in this fight.  We have been touched personally and truly felt the weight of what a cancer diagnosis does to kids and their families.  We have smiled with, cried with, hugged and waved at many families in the Oncology department at Sutter Memorial hospital and beyond.  We would like to take this opportunity, with many generous friends and family, to raise funds to help those families who are on a longer journey than our own, with more hills to climb and harder packs to carry. 

We would like to donate the proceeds from the Walk with Emma Kait to some of the families that have been fellow travelers with us, as well as donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for research.  This will be an opportunity to share with others and hopefully lift some of their burden as well as help in the fight for more research on treatment and cures for this disease.  We have a few families in mind, but would like to get permission to share their stories on our blog.  Emma and I are also walking in memory of Max Herlehy at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk on October 22 to help raise money to fight blood cancers. After a 6 ½-year struggle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 9-year-old Max lost his battle with cancer in May.  Please visit our team's homepage for more information.  Mercy's Team Max 

We have been so generously blessed by support during Emma's journey.  We have been touched by your cards, letters, financial support, gift cards, meals, offers to transport kids.....the list goes on.  We would be honored to be able to help others in the same way with the proceeds from Emma's Walk.  We don't know how much will be raised, but we can't wait to donate it to others.  We thank you a million times over. 

Maybe, just maybe, this can become an annual event.....marking a very hard time in our life......celebrating the good that can come from this kind of a journey......and a rallying of support for others that will be forced to walk in our same shoes in the future, but can be helped along the way. 

Thank you supporters. 


Friday, September 9, 2011


It's in the details of life that make a difference...that make us notice.....that change us forever.  We are learning at church that a situation or story looks so very different if you zoom in on the pixels...the very minute particles of a painting.....that make up a whole masterpiece.  Those details are penned by our Creator and to change them, changes the whole.  A complete story cannot be told without the details that happen along the way.  I've been noticing those details lately, because it's easier than taking in the entire journey at once.  It's how God is showing us his love and care and it's how others are showing their love and support.  These are some of the details lately regarding Emma's journey......

Emma's 3rd and 4th grade class last year with Mr. Monkey

*She started 5th grade this week at school.  She sits among 23 other students who all accept her and love her and celebrate with her the fact that she has a bit of hair growing back.  They smile and laugh and look forward to the days that Emma can't be in class due to Dr. appointments or hospital stays, when Mr. Monkey, a stuffed animal, gets to attend class in her place.  They are a group of 10 and 11 year old kids whose hearts are open and are learning every day how to live alongside a person who has cancer and support them.
It's a beautiful thing.
Studying with two of her classmates

*Emma has a new teacher this year.  It's his first year at our school.  He attends a church who has been supporting and praying for Emma Kait since the beginning of her journey.  She listens to an ipod that they sent her along with an amazing gift basket of things to help her find joy in her circumstances.  He said to me, ".....I think one of the reasons I'm at this school teaching this year, is because of Emma Kait.  I didn't even know her when I took this job, but I'm learning so much because of her.  She is a light in the class when I scan the room. "

It's an awesome thing.  

Before going in to the concert

*We got a call last Friday from a friend who had tickets to a concert that she'd love to give to Emma Kait.  We attended the Taylor Swift concert on Saturday and Emma got to experience an incredible show and sing along with 13,000 other little girls to songs like "Fearless" and I couldn't help but smile when watching her. The seats were incredible and the people who were seated right in front of us were all teachers and immediately celebrated with Emma and gave her a poster and flashlight to help in the concert experience. She enjoyed it so much.

It was an exciting thing.

Some of her circle of support celebrating Emma's 11th birthday
*I run into people EVERY DAY who ask about Emma and share with me how they pray for her and their kids pray for her every day....without being asked.  I truly believe her journey has gone so smoothly because of the enormous amount of prayer support.  People we don't know and people we know are praying for her.

It's a powerful thing.

*The Fed Ex driver who delivered the package of Face of Faith bracelets today, when I mentioned they were bracelets to support my 11 year old daughter who was fighting cancer, opened up his door again and asked if I wouldn't mind sharing one of the bracelets with him.....he said he'd love to support her in her fight.  He drove off with a new pink rubber bracelet around his wrist.

It's a heartwarming thing.
Emma Kait-11 years old and more beautiful than ever

*The upcoming Walk with Emma Kait benefit walk/run in the beautiful and majestic Auburn Overlook.  Last year, before her diagnosis, I would walk and hike those very trails by myself and God would speak to my heart.  I think He was preparing me for the next step of my life which would require strength and bravery in amounts I've never before had to utilize.   I love the fact that we are able to attend an event in that very same location, along with our circle of supporters, to celebrate Emma's half way mark of her treatment.  God brings us back to places of significance in our life sometimes to help remind us that He's always with us, both in times of peace and in times of struggle.  

It's a remarkable thing.

At then end of this journey, I know we will look back and see it as a huge hurdle, a momentous detour in Emma's life.  It will become a story that will fade into her history of childhood.  I'm praying we don't forget these details, as they are the things that helped us move forward, get out of bed, smile in the face of fear, and walk each day with a renewed spirit.  Thank you for being a part of it.  
Emma and her dad


Our Emma Kait

Our Emma Kait

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