The countdown is on to the Great Canadian Run. Team Phoebe Rose Rock's 100km relay trek from Ottawa to Montebello. We have raised over $26,000 so far, over $2200 of which is pennies. Amazing things can happen, it would seem, when we are all united in a common goal. Look what happened when we all put our pennies together.
The wonderful staff at Alterna Savings in Ottawa and Toronto put their pennies together and raised $1265. Children have emptied piggy banks, encouraged their parents to empty pockets, change jars, and together we have made a difference. Thank you to each of you who gave pennies and spare change. To the local businesses who participated in our penny drive - Pizaza on Beechwood, Eufloria, Margot at Fresh, the staff and teachers at Ottawa Carleton District School Board, Ashbury College, to those who have encouraged others to give pennies, and supported our team.
We recently celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada. Jon and I cooked our very first Turkey and hosted dinner. Thoughts of this time last year crossed my mind often as we prepared for our very "normal" holiday. This time last year we had just arrived at St. Jude. We were full of so much uncertainty and fear and holding on tightly to hope. Hope was really all that we had.
Fast forward to today and it is amazing how far we have come. Our hope for Phoebe's future has been made stronger by the doctors at St. Jude and every day that we live without cancer, each time tests come back with positive results, it becomes mightier and mightier.
Our lives are good and we have so much to be thankful for. The small things - a roof over our heads after nearly two years without work, sleeping in our own beds at night, watching Mae make new friends at school, enjoying time together as a family, spending very little of that time at the hospital, sitting down to a meal, watching Phoebe eat, grow, take baths, dance, run, and play with her big sister. Being able to hold our girls tight, cuddle, to rock Phoebe to sleep. A life without feeding tubes, central lines and countless medicines. Looking forward to trick or treating (Jon's first time with the girls), and our first Christmas at home.
We have a Thanksgiving tradition in my family. Each year (except this one) we go around the table and say what we are thankful for. This year, although our turkey was delicious, it was served rather late, so perhaps the insatiable hunger took over and this was overlooked. The next day however, Jon and I were talking about this and about all that we are thankful for and he told me what he had wanted to say. And because it echoes my own sentiments, I thought I would share.
We both agreed that we could not have survived this year without the help of our family and friends (old, new and some we have yet to meet), our village, and it is for them that we are so very thankful. At times it has seemed that we have had an army behind us. Holding us up, walking with us through the darkest days, offering a listening ear, a hug, a supportive message, a prayer. Sharing in our hope. You have all helped us immensely.
All of the funds raised for the Sears Great Canadian Run will go to CHEO and Sick Kids. Life saving and so very important, Pediatric cancer treatment and research. If you would like to make a donation, please click here .