Our Summer update,
This summer marks the 5 year mark since James was diagnosed with Leukemia. That is important because he is now considered "cured" or not any more likely to get Leukemia than anyone else. Right now, James is healthy, happy and just like most 10 year old boys. Which means, he does not pick up his room, his ears conveniently are unable to hear his parents asking him to do some chores and he still thinks mom and dad are kinda cool. (unlike his teenage brothers)
James had a great summer. It started this year with a big birthday party with friends. He and is buddy Andersen celebrated their 10th birthday's together by inviting several pals with them to Six Flags Amusement Park. The boys all got their fill of soda with the free refill 24oz cups. Oh my. By the time all of the kids were taken home and our boys were in bed it was about 1am. However, it was worth it and you will see why in a moment.
James then was able to travel to Minnesota for 3 weeks in July to spend time with his best friend Nick Landin. The Landin's were awesome again this year (as always) and were kind enough to once again open their front door to our family and allow us to stay at their home. The memories of these trips will remain with James and his brothers for the rest of their lives.
At this writing, James is back to playing hockey several days a week and waiting for school to start this Tuesday.
Today, I asked James to come up with a "I am glad I lived because I...." list. There are two parts to the list. The things that he has been able to do and then things he still wants to do.
Here is his HAVE DONE list in the order he put it down.
1) Disney World/Make-A-Wish trip. I think eating ice cream any time of day or night, including breakfast, is still top of mind for him.
2) Trip with the Dallas Stars Hockey Team. This was the outstanding weekend we had hanging with the team as they traveled to Minnesota to play the Minnesota Wild.
3) Six Flags. This is his birthday party. They all had a great time.
4) Finished Treatment. Hmm, #4? I guess a kid has got to have priorities.
5) Travel Hockey. James played last year for the top team in Texas and he made the team again this year. This year he is traveling to Detroit (again), St. Louis, Chicago and one more destination to play against some of the top teams in North America.
6) School. Funny he never tells mom and dad that school is one of the top things he is glad he got to do. I guess reminding a 4th grader (last year) to do his homework every single night is normal...right? What will 5th grade bring?
Now for what he called his HAVE NOT DONE list.
1) Move back to Minnesota. Sorry kid, I don't think that is going to happen with mom and dad. :(
2) Pro Hockey Player. You never know! Wouldn't that be a great story?
3) Get Married. Hopefully, it is to someone as smart, patient and kind as his own mother.
4) Go to College. I asked him where and he said "I don't know yet." Wisconsin anyone??
5) Get a Full Scholarship. We assume he is thinking it will be for hockey but we don't really care for what it is for, we love this one!
6) A Nice Car. Guess he is tired of driving around in the family truckster.
7) Jesuit. This is the H.S. he wants to attend, as do his older brothers.
8) Have Kids but NO GIRLS! Really?
With this being a big year for James, we decided to take on something with Team in Training that is a little big bigger too.
We will both be training for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2014 on Jan. 11-12. Chris will be doing the 'Goofy' - 1/2 Marathon on Saturday, and the Full Marathon on Sunday. Yes, that is 39.3 miles in two days! And Cheryl will be doing the Full Marathon on Sunday.
James is alive today in large part because of all of the research dollars raised in the past 25 years by Team in Training. At last count, it is about $1.4 billion. We are on our way to reaching our lofty goal of nearly $8000! Our outcome with James is part prayer and part the generosity of others to fund research to solve the puzzle of this brutal disease. Please help make sure there are more outcomes like James and fewer kids who will never get a chance to complete their "HAVE NOT DONE" list. Here is the link to our team page please donate today!