Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Heart Prints

A few years back well nine to be exact one of my co-workers at ESSDACK, Lori suggested we do a cookbook to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. A lot of the women in the office put their recipes in a computer database that Lori set up. Then she compiled them together into categories of main dishes, salads etc. We copied and sold enough of them to give the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation $1000 after our expenses. It was a great idea and everyone I know that has the cookbook says they use it a lot. I saved one for Nick so he can have one some day when he is on his own. He likes to cook and change up a recipe from time to time. Anyone who offers to help raise money for CF or is kind enough to donate to Nick's medical fund leaves heart prints on my life. It is a very hard thing to ask for money even when it is for someone you love very much. I guess you have to be in my shoes to realize the importance of not only the support financially but the support emotionally. Because we have been on the other side, the side of receiving it is so hard to say no to others asking for help and I would rather not. I guess we don't look at it as a donation but rather a gift of help. We have to say no sometimes, we've found you can't give to everything. We have a good friend with MS and we used to teach a Sunday School class for the the mentally challenged so the Special Olympics along with Multiple Sclerosis have a special place in our hearts.

Everybody has their own special place that they like to give, I just want you to know you have left heart prints on those who will benefit from your gift.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Now There are Six!

Nick is our first grandchild but as of Monday the 22nd we have six! Claire Janelle was born on Monday of this week making a grand total of 4 girls and 2 boys. They range in age from 4 days to 18 years. Nick 18, Allie 12, Katelyn 9, Jake 6, Hannah 5 and now Claire 4 days. It has been a journey and you know journeys they take lots of twists and turns but that is what makes them interesting, fun and challenging! Each grandchild brings their own personality into the mix. I can't wait to see how Claire will fit into the puzzle. Right now she seems to be very content only needing her mother, father, sister, brother and other family members to love and nurture her. It really is an amazing time in my life! Children, grandchildren, husband of 44 years life wouldn't be the same without them.

I work at ESSDACK an educational service center in Kansas. Our office has 32 people, about half of them are grandparents and 10 of us have or will have new grandchildren in a years time, we all know that education is important for them. In the last year our specialists and technology team have come up with a lot of new ways to reach and teach education to our children and grandchildren. I work with some very talented people and hope that you get to experience their talent. I know that my grandchildren will benefit from their knowledge and hope that yours do too! Among some of their projects are My Kids Turn, Bullying, Art Snacks, Math Snacks, Tammy Worcester's computer books for teachers, to mention a few. To find out more go to www.essdack.org.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Our First Grandchild

Being the grandparent of a child with Cystic Fibrosis or another chronic illness is not a place I ever thought about being before Nick came into our lives. But into our lives he came (our first grandchild) with these big brown eyes and tiny little body. Nick came early weighing in under 5lbs. The doctor noticed the first day that Nick had a problem with his bowels. Second day found us at Wesley in Wichita with Nick in surgery, we thought to repair his bowel. When the doctor came out of surgery he was very blunt and with a cold bed side manner told us he might live to 21. When the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was founded in 1955, few children with CF lived to attend elementary school. Nick is now 18 and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has made "Great Strides" in their research and the media age for an individual with CF is now 37, for us that is awesome! We have been hearing of meds that may make that number even bigger!

"Great Strides" is the name of the walk that Cystic Fibrosis has every year to raise money for research to find new meds and treatment for the disease. The one for the Wichita area is coming up May 1, at Sedgwick County Park, 9:00 am.

We still raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation every year but we have not attended the walk in the last couple of years because Nick would rather not go. You see there are usually teams there raising money for a loved one who has passed on and their t-shirts say in memory of. I understand why they would want to do that but to a young person living with that thought is hard enough without seeing it on shirts. I am hoping with time he will feel like returning to the walk but I'm not walking in his shoes, only mine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ronald McDonald House

In the past we have used the Ronald McDonald House in Wichita and Kansas City because of our grandson Nick. He has Cystic Fibrosis which is a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) causes the body to produce an abnormally thick, sticky mucus, which clogs the airways and leads to life-threatening lung infections. The thick CF mucus also obstructs the pancreas, preventing enzymes from reaching the intestines to break down and digest food.

The Ronald McDonald House is a wonderful place for people with a lot on their plate already with diagnosis and treatment to rest in a homelike atmosphere but close to the hospital where their love ones are.

I ask my ESSDACK co-workers this last fall if they would help me collect pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. They very graciously said "yes." Grandpa and I dropped off 7 lbs. (which is more then it sounds like) around Christmas and they were very appreciative. We keep a glass jar in the kitchen at work and one at home. It is a very simple thing you can do that will help a lot of weary people. This grandma thinks that helping people through the good and bad times in life is after all what life is all about!