When I started writing the blog Gabby was in the hospital. It was optimistic and hopeful. As time went on it became darker, much darker. I have never read any of them and I don’t write them on paper. I just sit at the computer and type. What comes out is what goes in them. At times I feel like I’m saying the same thing over and over. Could I tell you about all the break downs I have had over the past few weeks? The pain in my chest, the doctor visits? Of course I could. But this blog isn’t about any of that. Tonight’s blog is about looking forward, the future of the foundation, the future of our family. The goals we have set and are determined to attain for Gabby, for us, and for all of your children. At times the work seems overwhelming, impossible. Carolynn has a sticker pinned to a board in the kitchen that says: Cancer Sucks. I hate that sign! I hate that word. My girls aren’t allowed to use the word hate. When they do, I look at them and immediately they say, I strongly dislike. But this time it’s okay. The word just makes me sick. But I keep it up there. At times I was to disappear and wish I didn’t even know the word cancer existed. So the sticker stays there to remind our family of how strong we all are. We choose to confront something that took our Gabby’s life. We choose to face it everyday, every phone call and text from another parent looking for help. We choose to go on, because when I die I’ll be able to say I did something that matters and Carolynn and the girls did as well. I say to Gabby I hope you’re proud of us Gabster. Your fight inspired us to change how we live, how we think and how we face things that seem impossible. So you won’t hear the bad as you read this tonight. You’ll hear of the future and the fight to make a difference.
Get Well Gabby Text Day
I have the pleasure of working with the most fantastic group of people on the executive board of the foundation. Each person brings something new to the table. The one thing we all have in common is wanting to change things for children. I know why I’m doing this, I’m amazed at all the people on the board as well as all the volunteers that take time out of their lives to help make a difference in others lives. Recently we donated over 200 baseball tickets to CHOP and AI Dupont to a Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball game. We just wanted to get these kids out of the hospital even for a few hours to be kids again.
We have a lofty goal set for the foundation. I wish I could say we are near it. We have a long way to go. One day I hope it’s worldwide. But today I can say in the few short months we have focused on it and we have done some amazing things. And this next event is going to be amazing!
August 3rd, text the word HERO to 80088
Tommorrow, August 3rd, text the word HERO to 80088. Doing this will donate $5.00 to The Get Well Gabby Foundation. People are asking us all the time how can they help. Well everybody this is it. Skip your Starbucks or your McDonalds breakfast. On August 3rd, Text the word HERO to 80088 and donate 5.00 to helping make a difference. We aren’t asking for much, we aren’t asking for us, we are asking for the foundation! 100% of everything raised goes directly to Get Well Gabby Foundation. Quick easy and a random act of kindness. (okay its more like a planned act of kindness)
Share with everyone you know! It’s only one day August 3rd. Imagine if we could get 5000 people to Text the word HERO to 80088. That’s $25,000 raised towards helping these families and helping get a little closer to a cure. I know we can do it. But we can’t without all of your help. So tomorrow , August 3rd pick up your phone Text the word HERO to 80088 and donate $5.00. Tell the person next to you to do the same, show them the website getwellgabby.org and the six candles no cake video. Show them why your doing it, tell them the story of a five year old innocent little girl whose name will live on through a foundation they are helping grow. Be Better, Be stronger, Be like Gabby, do something for these amazing warriors. Do it because you hate the word cancer, do it because you believe in a future where there will be no such thing as a 100% terminal diagnosis. Even if we change it to 5% chance of survival we helped change the world.
So please: August 3rd, Text the word HERO to 80088. Show the world, show us that I’m not leaving that cancer sucks sticker up there for nothing, Show us that what we are doing matters. Show us you all believe!
Roo, Roo 2 and Gabby Goo
When Madison was born we didn’t find out before she was born, what sex she was going to be. We called the baby Roo. I would lay next to Carolynn’s belly and read to Roo, Sing to Roo and just talk to Roo. The day came when Madison was born. We naturally were so excited to know who this baby was going to be that was growing inside for so many months. Madison came out and didn’t take her first breath. The chance to cut the cord was quickly taken back as they whisked her over to work on her right away. The doctor, I guess was so used to people knowing the sex of the baby, she didn’t even announce it when Madison came out. John and I sat there stunned for several reasons but here we just gave birth to this baby and didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl. The doctor was quick to respond when we finally had to ask what we had. It became a funny joke for us after that. Madison was perfectly healthy from that day forward. When we found out we were having our second baby, we also decided not to find out the sex. So before Katie was born she was known as Roo 2. The same doctor delivered Katie that had delivered Madison and I suppose remembered our little episode so when Katie was born, it was announced, you just had a baby girl. Gabby was our last baby. We decided to find out with her because Madison at age 4 was planning to move out if she had a brother. We also wanted to do it up for our last baby. We repainted the room pink and had pink everywhere. We were going to have a house full of girls. We had chosen her name and started calling her Gabby before she was even born. With Maddie and Kate or Roo and Roo 2, I did all those things and didn’t know their names. With Gabby every time I read or talked or sang to Carolynn’s belly I called her Gabby, Gabster or Gabba Goo.
We watched as they grew, watched their first step, the excitement when they finally were potty trained. We stood and watched as they got on the school bus for the first time, sang in a school concert for the first time. Some of these wonderful first times didn’t get to happen with Gabby. She got sick the summer before she was supposed to enter kindergarten. She was so looking forward to riding the bus. She so badly wanted to ride the bus with her sisters and her friends in the neighborhood. I always pictured Gabby getting on the school bus and looking over at Carolynn and saying. “Great job, we got them all this far now lets tackle the next round of firsts”. Gabby wouldn’t get to do all the firsts, we wouldn’t get to watch her do them and be sad and proud at the same time. Cancer stole her firsts and robbed us of our lasts before we got to experience them. She deserved them and we deserved to get to say goodbye to them. So Roo, Roo2 and Gabby are my daughers. They are my heroes. They make me better and keep me striving to do more. But we still weren’t finished with saying goodbye to those specifics firsts. So on January 15th 2013 we will be welcoming “ Goo” into our family. Gabby will get to be the big sister she always wanted to be. This time, it does not matter again if it’s a boy or a girl, just so long as the baby is healthy.
So the girls and I are now reading to Goo when we read to Carolynn’s belly, when we sing and talk to her Belly.
I’m glancing at that sticker now and all I can say is I don’t hate Cancer because it just took my Daughter. I hate it because it took firsts, lasts and what could be. What it didn’t take was our desire to say, not today cancer. The Get Well Gabby Foundation will fight you. Carolynn and I will fight you! For all of your children, for Roo, for Roo2 , for Gabby and now for Goo as well!