|Jayden during treatment|
Jayden is my four year old cousin. At just two years old, Jayden was diagnosed with Stage IV Burkitt's Lymphoma. I like to think that Jayden is fairly lucky, even though his luck was considered highly unusual. Jayden's mother noticed that he was snoring, which led him to the doctor for a tonsillectomy. After Jayden's tonsils were taken out, a biopsy was completed. Two days after having his tonsils out, Jayden was sent to a children's hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.
For eight months, Jayden underwent a vigorous chemotherapy regiment that required him and his family to stay in the hospital for days at a time. Because of the side of effects, Jayden experienced difficulties with pneumonia, staph infections and even had to have his appendix removed. During this experience, Jayden had a port and tube placed in his body for nutrition and continued treatment. After fighting for his life, Jayden was determined to be cancer free. He is still undergoing routine CT Scans to monitor his health.
Our family was lucky. Jayden's unusual snoring helped his Mother realize there was a problem early. For some families, this is not the case.
Over the last few months, I have been working to train for the Country Music Half Marathon. During this time, I've been raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. While St. Jude has been near and dear to my heart for many years, I NEVER thought cancer would strike a young member of my family. Jayden's diagnosis was a realization that NO family is invincible!
While Jayden wasn't treated at St. Jude, he was treated at a children's hospital that employs the same research and techniques developed at St. Jude. SJ is more than a children's hospital. They share all research and treatment developments openly and freely with the medical community. What is even more amazing is that they treat patients even when they don't have the ability to pay. No patient is EVER turned away.
My goal for the Country Music Half Marathon is to raise $1,400.00 for St. Jude. This doesn't even BEGIN to cover one day of expenses at the hospital. One day's operating expenses comes in a $1.72 million. The hospital is completely funded by donations.
HOW AMAZING is this?!
I am asking for you to take a second and think about your family. Think of your little brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews and even your best friend's children. At some point in your life, one of them will be diagnosed with a ferocious disease. St. Jude Children's Hospital is working to make sure we all can live with hope that these children can live free of fear that their disease will be stronger than they are.
It makes me happy to know that each and every person who has donated to my campaign has helped give children like Jayden and hundreds of others a chance live healthy and normal lives.
As I enter in to my final two days of fundraising, I ask that you fore go your Starbucks tomorrow or your splurge on a delicious lunch out. PLEASE help me in raising my final $500. Together WE CAN do this. Small or large your donation will help. $5.00 or $50.00, this is a call to the blogger community. PLEASE SHOW ST. JUDE that we can rally together. I ask that you please include a link on your blog tomorrow.
DONATE EASILY AND SAFELY ONLINE: St. Jude Donations
For your continued support and daily encouragement, I thank you. It amazes me everyday what AMAZING women you all are.
Until next time, may your day be full of magnolias, bourbon and the opportunity to help give someone a chance.