December 4, 2016

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Maintenance Day 604: Hip Hip Hooray!

Our hospital doesn’t have a bell like a lot of other hospitals do. We loved watching Isaac last year ring his bell. So we decided to do it ourselves. Scarlett has been practicing for weeks. She always needed help finishing the saying but today she rocked it!

Our celebration today brought together people that have been so supportive to us throughout this journey. Scarlett’s celebration was a celebration for them too. As I got ready this morning, I took time to thank God for my blessings. I broke down because I have so much to be grateful for.

* For Scarlett’s doctors especially Dr. McHenry, Dr. Callahan, Dr. Brandt, Dr. Hill, Dr. Long, Terri and Kris. Without them, Scarlett wouldn’t be alive.
* For Scarlett’s nurses who cared so deeply for her, physically and emotionally.
* For Child Life who made her happy.
* For Brian and Laura Gruender who introduced us to such wonderful and amazing families and made us feel at home.
* For Julie and Nathan Stoffel and their entire family (especially Cole) who carried us for this past year. Giving us something to cheer for and look forward to helped us get through.
* For Kim and Emma Paulsen who taught what it is to truly give.
* For Jennie and Chris Schneider who were our first “cancer friends”. You have always been there to talk to, lean on, cry with, celebrate with.
* for Anna Schultz who knew we would need financial help from day one.
* For Suzanne Shandonay and Monica and Chuck Helmuth, family who held fundraisers for us.
* For Ashley Shandonay who was always on call when I needed a running buddy or someone for a Snowdrop event.
* For Michaele Oberbroeckling who sent packages and was always available for me to ask medical opinions.
* For Brian and Jeanne Eickmeyer who offered us their home.
* For David and Roberta Eickmeyer who were always there when we needed something or someone.
* For Rachel Eickmeyer who brought childhood cancer to our former high school.
* For Christi McElroy, Keri Ann Kelsey, Olivia Heiman, Megan Andrews who knew that we would need a bigger financial infusion and put together an amazing fundraiser.
* For Megan and Debby Andrews who stayed with our kids and loved them as their own.
* For Rose Heiman who was my sounding board and shoulder to cry on.
* For Megan Haas who was always there for me.
* For Peggy Tafelski, Rod and Lynda Tafelski who were always supportive.
* For Scott and Mary Eickmeyer who were always a phone call away and have given everything for us.
* For Matt Andrews and Julie Andrews who gave up part of their wedding day to raise money for Scarlett.
* For Matt Andrews and Bill Bickel who made sure that Scarlett was financially set up for the future the day they found out.
* For Mrs. Mazemke and Mrs. Thiel who gave Tate a second home at school during our most difficult year and who are now giving our girls that home.
* For Tate and Evangeline who are the bravest, most understanding and caring kids I could have asked for.
* For my husband who has been my rock, my strength, my other half. We could not have survived without each other.
* And mostly, for Scarlett who is so brave! So smart! So understanding! So strong! For all of our challenges with her, we can’t imagine one day without her.

We also remember all of our cancer friends. There are so many who have touched our hearts – Eli, Lilly, Harrison, Elysia, Daxton, Keegan, Bo, Jake – more than we can name. Some of them we have celebrated with, some we hope to celebrate with soon, and some who never got to ring that bell. Remembering them is what makes this day truly blessed. We get to celebrate. We get to see tomorrow and we are more than grateful for that! Thank the Lord for this day!

“When your last chemo has come and gone,
Ring that bell to tell everyone!
It’s time to celebrate- hip hip hooray!
What a great feeling, what a great day!”

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