Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Update on Kyle from Aunt Paula

Kyle (Such a mighty young Warrior)

Hello to all you faithful prayer warriors. Kyle has finished # 8 of 12 chemo treatments. He is such a brave fella, and so positive, he knows God has a plan for him as we all do, but you know he is only 11 years old. God has been so good, wonderful, fantastic, giving, guiding, ETC., What a friend WE all have in Jesus. After the 12 treatments Kyle will do radiation for 6 weeks everyday, 5 days a week. Well, Toby's car kind of quit on him, in his carport, what a blessing, not that the car quit but that he had not left with Kyle to go to Eggleston. Joey and I have a gas guzzler we let him borrow for the last trip to Eggleston, and until he got his car fixed they would have a vehicle to travel around town in. Kyle even got to take his CRCt tests, yet another blesssing, at school and he did not even want to take a break during the long tests. He is a fighter. Yesterday I was at work, got a phone call, some certain one or more of you, made something happen for my little brother, that left him speechless. He was so emotional, you know that breaks my heart. He did not know what to say. He picked up his 4 door truck today that Kyle and Toby are so proud and thankful for, and me too. I as Toby was speechless but knew in my heart what a relief for Toby and his children. I have known for a long time now, there are angels amongst us. I don't think you have to reside in Heaven to be an angel. We have them here in little ole LaGrange Ga. I guess you could say this note is an update and a praise. God, family, and friends, MY family has trully been blessed. Storms come and go in all our lives, but HE is always there to help us. AMAZING GOD we have. Thanks to everyone. I am a lot like Toby, what else can I say, OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD HE reigns from Heaven to Earth. I love radio station 93.3,FM, they say some great things and play great musci, only if you hadn't already been listening. Love to All Paula

I took this picture of Kyle, Toby, and Aunt Paula today before they ate at Charlie Joseph's. Kyle looks wonderful and so strong!

Easter Egg Hunt with Sam and Colin

Clearview Chapel church did such an amazing job with their Easter Egg Hunt, games, and crafts! All of the kids had such an great time. The Battle family attends Clearview Chapel and since Colin now goes to school with Sam, they invited the Jackson's to come to the Easter Egg hunt. Leslie and Jeff wanted to meet Sarah and Dale and wanted to boys to hunt eggs together. I was very blessed to be able to be there as well and of course I took some pictures and want to share!

Colin and Sam are two of the most handsome and most precious boys I know. I hope they continue to become great friends!

Abigail's 3rd Birthday Party!

Abigail is now 3 years old!

Abigail's parents did an amazing job with Abigail and Olivia's 3rd and 5th birthday party. It was a circus theme party and Olivia asked me to be the clown. Of course, I couldn't say no...I would do anything for these kids. I wanted to share some pictures with you all. It was such a great day!

We are looking forward to many, many, many, many more birthdays but I think that I am retiring the clown suit!

Cutie Pie Gavin


When our son Gavin was 3 years old he was diagnosed with Autism, a developmental disorder that ,appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. This was one of the most difficult days of our lives, as any parent who has been given a diagnosis regarding their child knows. It took a while but we eventually realized that we could give Gavin the same opportunities as any child without Autism – if only he is given proper treatment and therapy. Gavin will soon be turing 5 in July and he is still non verbal.

After we realized that opportunities don’t exist in Dodge County for Gavin to receive the treatment and therapy he needs we made the decision to move to Griffin, GA where Stepping Stones Learning Center is located. Stepping Stones is a private school dedicated to providing help to the Autistic, it has been successful in assisting many children with severe Autism go from non-verbal to being able to work in a regular classroom in only two years. We know that this is the best thing for Gavin’s development and believe that he requires it in order to live the best life possible.

There are some drawbacks to having to move, not only do we miss our hometown of Eastman but we also are faced with the full financial strain of a private school because no grants exist in Georgia to help alleviate this strain. The tuion is very costly. We are also in the process of raising money for an Autism service dog and awaiting thearpy for Gavin to be able to commnicate independenlty with his AAC device.

Thank you,

Brooke, Steve, and Gavin Wright

Kortney's Amazing Story

Kortney’s Story

She is a living miracle!

As a mother of 3, I have had to face many challenges and shed many tears through the years. In December of 2007, I was faced with one of the hardest challenges a mother could ever face when my 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. It was not discovered with signs and symptoms like in most cases, but from a simple complaint of a back ache while walking in the grocery store. I told Kortney to wait in the car and I would be out shortly. Before we could get to the gouse, not even 10 minutes later, Kortney screamed in horror as she complained of having no feeling in either of her legs. She was rushed to the ER where she was sent home with what they thought was a pulled muscle. After still not being able to feel her legs the next day, I felt it was in Kortney’s best interest to get a second opinion. She was taken to Memorial Health in Savannah where she was admitted and after extensive test, we received the news on Christmas Eve, Kortney had a malignant stage 4 primitive neuroectodermal tumor in her spinal cord. That was a hard Christmas for Kortney, myself, and our family, but we spent it together in the hospital and made the best of it. The tumor was removed and treatment was started immediately. I had to quit my job to stay with Kortney in the hospital to fight this battle with her, not only physically but emotionally also. Even though Kortney was sick and in need for her mother’s support, I still had 2 other children at home, Brandon 12 and Austin 10. Which without the help of Richard, my finace at the time but now my husband, would not have been possible. He played the primary role in raising the boys while we were in the hospital since their father lives 300 miles away, though he visited as often as he could. After 3 weeks in Savannah, Kortney was transferred to Scottish Rite in Atlanta. There she received a combination of chemo, radiation, and extensive physical therapy. Kortney had to be transported by ambulance to Emory, Monday- Friday for chemo and radiation. She also spent 8 hours a day 7 days a week doing physical therapy. One of the hardest parts of facing to watch her go through treatment, was watching her lose what a girl loves most, her hair. We spent countless nights in the bed crying together as her hair fell out in clumps. We spent 4 months in Atlanta then were transferred back to Savannah where we finished up treatment after 6 months. In October 2009, we got the news Kortney was CANCER FREE!!!!!!!!! Even though the cancer was gone, it still left her unable to walk or voluntarily use her bladder or bowel. Kortney has to travel to Savannah every 3 months for a MRI. Though these trips and expenses are not covered by insurance, and come at hard times, at the same time a price can not be put on maintaining the health of a child! We are praying every day for a cure for childhood cancer!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Awesome Blog

Top 20 Reasons Why Moms of Kids With Special Needs ROCK

1) Because we never thought that "doing it all" would mean doing this much. But we do do it all -- and then some.

2) Because we've discovered patience we never knew we had.

3) Because we are willing to do something 10 times, 100 times or 1,000 times if that's what it takes for our kids to learn something new.

4) Because we have heard doctors tell us the worst, and we've refused to believe them. Take THAT naysaying doctors of the world!

5) Because we have bad days and breakdowns and bawl-fests, and then we pick ourselves up and keep right on going.

6) Because we gracefully handle the stares, the comments, the rude remarks. (Well, mostly gracefully.)

7) Because we manage to get ourselves together and get out the door looking pretty damn good. Heck, we even make sweatpants look good!

8) Because we are strong. Man, are we strong. Who knew we could be this strong?

9) Because we aren't just moms, wives, cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs and women who work. We are moms, wives, cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs, women who work, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, researchers, nurses, coaches and cheerleaders. Whew!

10) Because we work overtime every single day.

11) Because we also worry overtime, but we work it through. Or we eat chocolate or Pirate's Booty or gourmet cheese (which aren't reimbursable by insurance as mental-health necessities, but should be).

12) Because we are more selfless than other moms. Our kids need us more.

13) Because we give our kids with special needs endless love, and then we still have so much love left for our other kids, our husbands, our families. And our hairstylists, of course.

14) Because we inspire one another in this crazy blogosphere every single day.

15) Because we understand our kids better than anyone else -- even if they can't talk; even if they can't gesture; even if they can't look us in the eye. We know. We just know.

16) Because we never stop pushing for our kids.

17) Because we never stop hoping for them, either.

18) Because just when it seems like things are going OK, they're suddenly not OK, but we deal. Somehow, we always deal -- even when it seems like our heads or hearts might explode.

19) Because when we look at our kids, we just see great kids -- not kids with cerebral palsy/autism/Down syndrome/developmental delays/whatever.

20) Because ... well, you tell me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

True Heroes

In the past few weeks there have been two questions that have come up that I constantly had to answer in high school and college.  I have to write essays, papers, and speeches on both of these questions.  The first question was...If you could pick three things to take with you if you were on an island by yourself, what would it be and why?  The second question was...Who is your hero and why?  These questions were always so hard to me, mainly because I have tons of people I look up too (heroes) and tons of things I would talk to an island.  Everytime I was asked this question, I changed my answers but today I could answer them easily today and never change my answers again.  I am just glad I don't have to write an essay for a grade anymore!

3 things I would take to an island:

I use to answer this question as to take things with me so that I could figure out how to get off the island and back home but now that I am 25...I would take...

1. A rocking chair so that I could sit still and watch the water crash onto the rocks, so that I could meditate on God's beauty, and so that I could slow down time.  Time goes by way to fast because I am always so busy so to sit and be still would be great!

2. A four-wheeler so that I could go exploring the island and check out everything around me and because my family always takes them to the beach and we have so much fun riding in and out of the shallow part of the water.  There is something about the water splashing on your feet on a hot day at the beach that refresheses my soul.

3. I would bring my little cousin Hanna along because that child makes me so proud and I love experiences life through her eyes and by her side. She is awesome and makes me strive to be a better person since the day she was born and I held her in my arms. She is always entertaining, she makes me laugh harder than anyone in this world, and you never know what she is going to say. That would make for an interesting island trip!

As for the second question...easy, easy, easy heroes are the children of this foundation. The joy they bring is unexplainable and I cherish every single second I spend with them. They have strength beyond our wildest imagination, they are true fighters, and they have more motivation than 100 people put together. The foundation has been helping out the children a lot and I will update you on that soon but here are some pictures of my heroes and my time with some of them that I have put in my treasure box memory chest! Also, I will show you a few pictures of Noah and Jake...the two incredible newest faces of the foundation...they are just precious! I can't wait to share their stories with you.

Sweet Abigail during occupational glad her mommy sent me this picture!

I got to visit the Battles for awhile and played basketball (or bakiiitball as Charlie says) with Sam and Charlie.

I get to see Colin twice a week and he is just the sweetest little boy you will ever meet.

Meet handsome Jake!

Meet adorable Noah!

Please keep praying for Kyle with his cancer battle...we believe prayer changes things. Please pray for his dad Toby and his brother's and sister's as well and they help him fight and are by his side every step of the way.

I will sign off from the quote in a song by Brooke Fraser and one by Rascal Flatts that I promise to the children of this foundation:

Brooke Fraser: "Now that I have seen, I am responsible, faith without deeds is dead, now that I have held you in my own arms, I can not let go until you are supported, understood, treated equally, and loved by others as you should be"

Rascal Flatts: "Your not alone...I will stand by you, I will help you through, when you have done all you can do and you can't call, I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight, I will hold you tight, and I won't let go"