Friday, May 30, 2008

Having Fun at the Cancer Clinic

Maybe you envision a kids' cancer clinic as dark and gloomy, with bald dark-eyed children moaning and holding iv poles.

The truth is delightfully different. It's a place for healing and thanks to wonderful volunteers, a place for fun. I talked to one of the volunteers, Tara (not pictured), yesterday. She's there every Thursday. She's an artist and wanted to share her passion with kids fighting cancer. She glowed, talking about it. She says she's gotten far more out of it than any of the kids. (The kids might argue her point.)


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gardening, Patience and Prom Dress!

Dear Little Warrior,

My friend Marianne passed on this opportunity to pay it forward in your honor, so I'm writing to let you know what I've done.

I spent two hours last week gardening for a friend who has just had surgery for liver cancer. I had already offered to do it, but when I started getting discouraged and my back hurt, thinking of you helped me to keep going!

Then I went to help my parents set up their new computer, and took my dad to the pool so he could do his exercises. He gets very cranky when he's exercising, and it would have been easy to be cranky right back at him, but as I was about to snap back, out of the blue I thought of you, and I didn't say what I almost said!

Tomorrow, I'm taking a teenage girl I know, who has thyroid cancer, to shop for prom dresses. We'll do that in your honor, too!

Thank you!
Kim S.

Complimentary Deed

Today, I received very nice customer service over the phone. When I was done, I asked the CSR to please connect me with his manager because I wanted his manager to know that he'd provided me with good service. He was shocked and so was his manager. We are always so fast to criticize and it was a lot of fun to give a compliment instead. I did this with you in mind, Little Warrior.

Amelia S.

The Cool Breeze of Good Deeds

So, I want to do something more than this, but as a start, I've started adding two dollars to every tip I give and will be doing this for a long time, at least a year, although it seems like such a small thing to do, yet feels good to me, I think I might keep it up forever. I'm sure I don't even notice those few dollars, but having been a waitress (however briefly and pathetically) I know that that bigger than expected tip (I already always tip 20% minimum) is just a nice little smile for someone's day, or extra food on the table or that extra little surprise to yourself or whatever. I'll do this with taxis, eating out, baggage helpers, etc. I travel kind of a lot so it adds up. It is small but it reminds me to live generously, and that I have been given SO MUCH by luck and my parents and those who love and care for me and I can afford to give more back to the world. Each time I do it, I think of LW and how someday she will know that while there is no reason that this happened to her, because it did, at least it helps some of us to remember to do more good in the world and be more generous.

Second small thing is that we have three working air conditioners that we don't want anymore (so much energy and they are so loud) and I thought I would sell them for $25 each so that I could but the $75 back toward a newer nicer quieter one. But I thought of LW and said, hey, it is one little thing I could do that I wouldn't have normally done. So, three air conditioners are sitting free on our sidewalk, with the request that people who need a free one take them.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Deeds and Letter

Dear Little Warrior -

When you were sick the first time, I held a blood drive in your name. Then I held another a year ago. You didn't need the blood at that time, but I was thinking of you and all of those who needed blood but never had a chance to donate. You have never once had the selfish thought that you would just walk right by that bloodmobile because you just don't like needles. I hope that when you are grown up enough to make that choice, you think of the cost to others. If you do, you'll be a lot more aware than most people.

In February, a friend in my MOMS Club watched her 3-year-old hemophiliac son fall 18 feet out of a window by pushing too hard on the screen. He was life-flighted from Tyler (grandma's house) to Dallas Children's and spent a couple of weeks there. He broke several bones in his face and needed reconstructive surgery. He needed a lot of expensive medication (one was $27,000 per day). He has only 8 teeth until his permanent ones grow in. I took up a collection from my MOMS Club for this friend. We took over $1200 and many gifts and necessities up to Dallas. I was doing this for Aaron and Amy, but it was you I was thinking of. All of your time at Children's Hospital helped me to understand the need for gas cards, parking passes, unscented lotions, entertainment for mom, gift cards for the restaurants, etc. We cleaned this mother's house and stocked her fridge with groceries and casseroles.

Again, in April, a friend from MOMS Club had her 5-month-old baby in Children's Hospital. She was diagnosed with a chronic lung disease. She's now home and healthy, but for two weeks, I helped take care of this mom and baby with visits, food, treats, house cleaning, and babysitting. I drove all the way to the airport to pick up the child's grandma and take her to Children's Hospital. I was thinking of you on that drive.

In March, April, and May, I have, along with my MOMS Club, cooked dinners for the attendees at Bo's Place (www.bosplace.org). I hope none of you never need their services, but I'm glad to say they are there if you do. My MOMS Club also raised over $750 to help with Bo's Place's operating expenses. Now we're gathering handmade blankets for Project Linus.

When you were sick you were surrounded by the family and friends that your wonderful parents were clever and resourceful enough to gather. I was not of much use to your parents before and even now I am one among hundreds who are waiting for just a word to give anything you need. Not everyone has that support. Everything I did for other sick kids and their families I hope I can say I would have done anyway. But know that I was thinking of you and of my own, healthy daughter when I did all of this. It's a great world, filled with wonderful people. Most of them aren't doing the things I do. Some of us pull weeds from a neighbor's yard or take chicken soup to a sick friend. Some of us just stop in the middle of the road, get out of our cars, and help a turtle safely from the road to the ditch on the other side. But whatever it is, this world is full of love if you only look for it.

Your world is full of love. You are made of love and light, a child of the stars, a 'gift from the sea.' Whatever your journal ends up saying, you will never know the number of people who are thinking of you with love at any minute.

Love,

Rachel Y

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More Deeds!

Just read comments from our original post. Sorry, chemo brain is evidently transferable!

I generally try to do good deeds without a reason. And i have been trying recently to give the standard 10% to a charity or life-improvement organizations (even if it's not a charity). Today I am making an additional donation over my 10% in thinking of Little Warrior. -- Steven R.

--

On Saturday I was out running errands and took a detour through Chic Fil A for a quick breakfast. I saw that the car behind me was a police officer. I asked the lady at the window if I could pay for his as well and if she would just tell him Thank You. She teared up and said sure. I am hopeful that even though it was small gesture it helped the police officer get off to a good start. I love this idea and am planning on posting many more good deeds inspired by Little Warrior!! -- Carla


Thank you!

Flowers "for" Little Warrior

Oooh, another good deed and they even included pictures! We love pictures!

Noah and I adopted a planter downtown in our little Colorado town for Little Warrior. We planted purple petunias, white allysum and yellow daisies. We are going to work hard all summer to grow our flowers up big and strong and healthy, just like Marenna is going to do! We will send pictures of her flowers when they grow up.

Noah has been off-therapy for his bilateral Wilm's Tumors for nine months. He is 3 1/2 years old.

The Meyer Family!
Mathew, Ellen & Noah





Thank you, Noah and Family!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Good Deed from NY! (Mmmm, Donuts ...)

My name is Susan and I stumbled across your blog a long time ago through Nancy Q's blog (I think). My son has Williams syndrome so I read Nancy's as well as some others' blogs. I had not read your blog in a long time and then one day I decided to check in and see what was going on and was very saddened to see that LW's scan had come back as abnormal. I've been checking daily since and praying for you all as well. I've done a good deed in LW's name and here it is:

I know a family (we see them socially but are not close friends) whose 6 year old daughter, the eldest of four, was diagnosed with leukemia last July. She went through chemo and radiation and had a bone marrow transplant in November. Last update I heard is that she is doing well and as of Feb was out of home isolation. I have sent them a Dunkin Donuts gift card to treat the kids to donuts. I included a note telling them about LW and about her book of good deeds. I know the kids will love the donuts!

Last Day of Radiation ... we hope and pray



(22 weeks of chemo to go ...)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

2 More Deeds -- Batteries and Lunch!

From a dear friend, currently away at college, who began babysitting my crew when she was only 12 years old:

The other day one of my friends needed batteries for his homework (I think his calculator ran out). I gave him some of mine, and he wanted to pay me but I told him no. Instead, he is going to do a good deed in Little Warrior's name and give me the story so I can send it to you. Tomorrow, I will buy lunch for another friend, in your name. I will keep looking for good deeds and sending you my stories. See you soon!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another Good Deed -- and spreading the love ...

from Marianne:

I've been looking for an opportunity and found one this afternoon. I stopped at Starbucks. Behind me in line were two teenaged girls, one wearing a tee shirt from a recent musical performed at a local high school. I told the girls that some friends had seen the musical and said it was outstanding. The girls were pleased. I paid for my drink and told the cashier that I would be paying for whatever the girls ordered. Of course the girls said, "Oh, no. You don't have to do that!". I told them that I did have to do it and that I'd explain after they ordered.

While we waited for our drinks I explained about Little Warrior and why I was doing a a good deed. One girl said to the other, "You should do that, too." I told her I agreed, took out my business card, and wrote the facebook group name and Little Warrior's name on it.

Now I want to print labels telling people how to report their good deeds in Little Warrior's name. I will attach the labels to the back of my business cards and start handing them out! So, please tell me the best way for people to get their stories to you.

Much love,

Marianne

Note from Little Warrior's Mom: probably the easiest ways to get them to us are either through this website -- in comments -- or to email to littlewarriorsmom@gmail.com . As always, Thank You -- we are so touched.


A Day in the Life of Little Warrior



Some things you'll hear:

"It's not The Clinic ... it's The Donut Store!"

During puppet show, when the socks start fighting ...

"Okay, take a deep breath ... Okay, now blow it out ..."

Good advice for us all!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spring into a good deed ...

Oh, I just love this one from Unmitigated Bliss. Every spring, we all watch The Secret Garden and do some planting. Little Warrior likes picking the flowers. :)

On Monday, I thought of Little Warrior. I dug up some plants from my garden for friend in a new house. At the last minute I grabbed my trowel so that I could just plant them for her instead of just dropping them off. It was a small gesture, but LW was on my mind.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Balloons are Magic!

Quick Deeds!

Quick Deeds by fellow seminarian, Earthbound Spirit. (We love quick deeds, because they show how easy it can be to have an impact on others ... do it on the fly ...)

(1) As we walked into Starbucks the other day I handed my dear friend Cat my card and told her to order what she wanted, my treat. Partly as a thank you - she's been such a great sounding board at seminary - but I also told her about LW & your request & asked her to do something good for someone. I think the barista heard me - because when we picked them up she said "I accidentally made them grande, not tall, hope you don't mind!" and gave us a wink.

(2) We almost always give to food pantry collections at church. This weekend was the letter carriers collection - leave a bag of food by your mailbox for them to pick up. I never do that - but this time I did.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Good Deed from Australia!

Dear Little Warrior,

At your mother's suggestion and in your honor my wife, Kristi, and I have decided to be more generous with someone this week than we would otherwise have been.

His name is Aaron, he is the son of a friend of ours, and and he is graduating from high school this month. I wrote him a letter and I was sending him a check for $50 as a graduation gift (he's not rich and I expect he'll need money for college expenses). Then I thought about your bright smile, your courage, and the wonderful gift of love and life you have brought to your family already.

So I tore up my first check and wrote another one for $100.

If Aaron knew, he'd probably write you a thank you note. This is, anyway, a thank you note from me and from Kristi. You have had a positive effect on one of our actions. I trust the results will ripple forward for a long, long time.

Best wishes,

Bob and Kristi
Australia

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

P's Good Deed

I'm SO excited! The first entry in Little Warrior's book!

From My Brand of Crazy:

Had a big garage sale this weekend ... I had a very young couple come the first day, with their 10 month old baby and the Mom proudly announced how happy she was with the assortment of stuff I had out, because they had just gotten their very first house to rent and all they had was a bed, a crib and a can of paint.

Hence, my Good Deed For Little Warrior!

They took home whatever they wanted, at no cost.
And they were good people. They could have hogged and taken much more than they needed...hell they could have taken lots of stuff and then had their own sale...but they didn't.
They took my dinette, some dishes, pots and pans, some paintings and toys for the baby.
Right before they left, she asked me why I had done it and I told her the story of Little Warrior and asked that pay it forward. She said she would...and I believed her.
I couldn't help but be excited for them. I remember that young-and-just-starting-out-feeling!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What You Can Do

Thank you for all of the prayers and the requests to help. We are humbled by your offers and have been giving it serious thought.

You know what we need? A way to explain to LW when she's older that even though we empathically do NOT believe this happened for a reason ... short of finding the cure for all cancer, there could not be a reason that would justify this happening to her ... even though this didn't happen for a reason, good still sprang from it. As good can spring from heartbreaking situations.

At the risk of sounding like a lifetime movie or a book by Mitch Albom ... I want to give her a book of good deeds done in her name.

So, my friends ... you asked, here's my answer. Do a good deed, one you wouldn't ordinarily do. Give a banana to the homeless guy, take a Starbucks gift card to a nurse and ask her to give it to a Mom or Dad who really needs it. Mow someone's lawn.

And then tell me about it. You can post it here in comments, or post it on your blog and send me the link. Then I'll post it on this blog, so that everyone can read, and follow along with the project.

I'll compile all those into a book. And when she's old enough to ask, "Why?" I'll explain that there is no why. But that good things can still result. And that there were a whole bunch of people sending her love, and the way they showed that love was through action.