I don't know how to say this, so it comes out right. So please just try to understand where I am coming from!
We have been so blessed by kind deeds along the way. Please know that NO act of kindness and/or awareness has gone unnoticed. However, it is when someone goes above and beyond your expectations that it seen as truly amazing. I hope no one takes offense to that, and you can understand what I mean.
My sister, Rachelle, is a teacher at Broken Bow Public Schools in Broken Bow, NE. I know that when all of this happened to Charli she had a very rough time with it. She and her husband, Shaun, have two adorable little girls, Ryen (4) and Macey (2). Macey was only 18 months old when Charli was diagnosed...so I think it hit a little close to home. PLUS, I am the baby of the family...so everyone always feels more sorry for the baby :-)! ANYWAY... I feel that Rachelle had a great support system in her friends and family out in "Bow", and what I am going to show you will help all of you to see it to. I remember that shortly after Charli was diagnosed Rachelle and Shaun came to visit us in the hospital with a cute little bear in tote. If I remember the story correctly, one of her students brought her this bear because of Charli. Actually, I think Rachelle was in class with that girl when she got "the news" (I may be wrong, seems like a lifetime ago!). What I am trying to say is that they have been great to her, and I am still amazed in what they have done.
So many people have since forgotten about what has gone on. They see/know that Charli does not seem to be battling the cancer daily anymore and just assume that things are good, and go along their life. But, it seems the people of Broken Bow (and many-many others) have not forgotten! In fact, they are becoming witness to the disease and making sure others hear about it too. AMAZING.
I have gotten several emails from "Amy", to be honest...I have no idea who she is, but she has been great and a huge part of our life the past few weeks. Amy is a co-worker of Rachelle's. Amy wanted their school to do something to help raise funds and awareness to NB. Please keep in mind that I have no idea who Amy is, and I have never met her. She is doing this as a friend of my sisters, and a great human being (and I am sure there are others who are helping, but I don't know their names!). She has contacted Lunch for Life, and was able to get them to print informational packets regarding NB with Charli's picture and a short story that I wrote about her and our journey. She is going to work on a project for their school and community, and I believe students are involved in this as well.
Does anyone else see the greatness in this? Much like a few weeks ago when my cousin contacted the newspaper and they printed the article in their paper (in Minnesota). You people are doing GREAT things for this disease, and you don't even realize it! And, when I thank you from the deepest part of my heart you act like you have done nothing. You are nothing short of heros in my book.
So, below is the write up that will appear in the Broken Bow newsletter. It gives me the chills each time I think about what this "stranger" is doing for our family, and the difference she is making...and I couldn't point her out of a lineup if my life depended on it.
Thank you to ALL OF YOU who are going above and beyond our wildest expectations. Charli will never fully understand everything that is going on, and the lives you effect and save may never be able to thank you...and my thank you doesn't seem to be enough. Sadly, another child will be diagnosed with neuroblastoma - BUT, it is because of the funds and awareness that YOU ALL are raising, that they will be able to live and tell their story to their kids some day. I hope you truly understand just how awesomely amazing that is...and how wonderful you are.
Class Service Project
by SESC Preschool and CHOICE Program Students
Who is this little pumpkin?
(photo taken by KB photography in Columbus, NE)
This is Charli Ann Preister, niece of our own BBPS teacher, Rachelle Haines. Charli was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in March of 2007.
What is Neuroblastoma? NEUROBLASTMA IS CANCER. It is a particularly deadly cancer that targets infants and toddlers. Childhood cancer claims thousands of young lives annually and is the number one disease killer of children; more than genetic anomalies, cystic fibrosis, and AIDS combined. Each year more brave parents are forced to fight a losing battle for their children, not just against cancer, but also against the lack of public awareness needed for research and funding to find a cure. They cannot win this fight on their own. They need champions who will carry their message, who will raise awareness and funds for research, and who will remind them that people do care.
The SESC Preschool and CHOICE Program students are teaming up to help fight this horrible disease that affects a member of our very own staff. In November, these two groups of students will be promoting a “Lunch for Life” Lunch Bag Drive. They will be distributing lunch bags to all staff members and any students who are interested in participating. They ask that everyone donate one day’s lunch money to help fight this disease.
Lunch for Life was founded by parents of Neuroblastoma patients as an effort to raise both awareness of the disease and the money to fund promising research studies on it. Their idea is a simple one: ask friends, acquaintances, and coworkers to donate a day’s lunch money to help fund research for a cure of this deadly disease. A small donation of $5 to $10 per person, something that people could readily afford, would make a big difference if enough people were involved. To learn more about “Lunch for Life” visit the website http://www.lunchforlife.org/.
If you want to get to know Charli better, please visit her website http://www.brenda-chad.blogspot.com/.