For those of you who are also friends with Kim Boone, rest assured - Abby is as fine as she can be right now. Now that I have that out of the way let me introduce the rest of you to my incredibly brave and wonderful friend Kim Boone. (I have more than one incredible friend named Kim and even a sister named Kym - but none of them are going through what Kim Boone is right now so this is for her.)
Several months ago, I don't even remember how many at this point, I saw a Facebook post that I just could not believe. My friend Kim, whom I have known since 1981 minus a few years after graduation, posted that she had just found out her daughter has ALL - a form of leukemia. Her beautiful, YOUNG, vibrant, smiling daughter who I only know through pictures and the passing Facebook status update was about to start a fight that no one under the age of 20 should even know exists. She was going to have to fight hard, get sick, fight harder, get sicker, be poisoned, be strong and try her best to continue to smile no matter what because, as many of us know, that smile can help you fight disease.
Fast forward to today. Abby is fighting hard and those of us who know Kim have travelled along with their family as she posts updates on Facebook and CaringBridge. Every time we see more than one post a day our hearts stop - usually it means there has been a trip to the ER which usually means an admittance into the hospital, aka Hotel Aflac. (Love that duck!) We've learned about the fund raisers they are doing, the telethons, Planet Smoothie, the dog, school and how exciting it is to make it through 2 hours let alone 5. We know when they are going in for blood draws and blood counts, when friends take Abby's brother to baseball games or other fun activities so he doesn't lose most of his summer to this disease as well. All I can say is that it is just like Kim to make some amazing friends who wouldn't think twice about helping in a time like this. I wish I could be there (about 1-2 hours by plane) to help as well, but as it would take a plane ticket and some massive maneuvering and I would probably bring some dreaded germs, I will have to settle for standing on a soap box raising awareness for childhood cancer.
I read it every day on Kim's blog.
It REALLY sucks.
I look at pictures of Abby and am amazed she is still smiling.
She is BRAVE.
Kim is BRAVE.
Abby's brother is BRAVE as is her father.
They are an amazing family who I am proud to know through Kim.
But this weekend will be hard for them. If you click on the title you will get to Kim's blog on CaringBridge - warning you may have to sign in first, but it does not involve giving away your most prized possessions if you do. Once you get there you will see that there are several children they know in need of prayers this weekend. But mostly, it is the parents who need your prayers. The ones those little ones are leaving behind. And definitely Kim and Abby will need those prayers because these children will most likely be "leaving" from Hotel Aflac where Kim and Abby will be for the weekend. If you haven't guessed yet - Hotel Aflac is the hospital and the children in question are young - one as young as 18 months. Not all of them are terminal, but the one's mentioned in Kim's blog are in dire straights. Send prayers, white light, good thoughts - anything you can for them.
But this blog is not all doom and gloom. Did I mention that Kim used to be on dance team at my high school? (It was dance team, right, Kim?) That she is an amazing cheerleader? That her smile is contagious? And that once she has something in her head, something to grab onto, she will grab with all her might and not let go until she achieves it? (Ha! You thought I forgot, didn't you?) So, what has Kim grabbed onto?
Finding a cure for childhood cancer of course!
Kim and her family have found a charity in CURE (http://www.curechildhoodcancer.org). They are selling shirts that say "Cancer Blows" (you too can buy one - send me a note and I will forward to her), participating in telethons and even having a tribute day for Abby on the CURE site (September 8th) and sharing their story with everyone they can. All this in an effort to find a cure so that one day no parent will have to hear the words "Your child has cancer."
G-d I hope that day is soon.