Now that things are calmed down, I can finally write about the Christmas party we went to before Christmas. There is a charity associated with the BYU basketball team that has put on a party for many years now for families dealing with cancer. It's a two night thing, the first night the parents come alone and they serve a dinner and give you a number. When your number is called, you go to the back into a room full of toys and pick out Santa toys for all of your kids. I have so much to say about this party, I will try really hard to express it without having to write a book. I'll start with the people we met. We walked in and I immediately realized that EVERY person in that room had a child that had gone through some ordeal with cancer. I have never felt so understood without even opening my mouth to speak. The man in line next to us for food introduced himself, and told us about his daughter, who was diagnosed at about Brinley's age with ALL, then had a relapse, and just finished her second treatment of chemo. She is doing well, and he has been coming for years. Then we sat down at a table with a couple extra seats. We happened to sit next to a family who have been through some awful times. They were amazing to talk to, they lost a son to AML (he relapsed after treatment, and passed away soon after). Four short months after his death, a second son was diagnosed with ALL. If you remember, ALL has a much higher cure rate than AML, so they got a very good prognosis, and began treatment. However, his body could not tolerate the chemo (I hope I am getting all of this right), and he also passed away soon after. Talk about being humbled. First of all, how do you even go on after losing two of your children! This was their first christmas without both of them, and you could see the pain in their eyes. And there they were, listening to our story of our daughter who is fighting cancer, and still alive. They were at a party full of success stories, and people undergoing treatment, and they have lost both of their sons.
They other couple at our table took their 5 year old in for a bloody nose in March that wouldn't stop, and soon after had a diagnosis of leukemia (AML). As they were preparing to start the chemo, he went into a coma, his body shut down, and the very next day he died. I gained so much respect for both of these families that we shared a table with. They were amazing people who had suffered so much, beyond my comprehension. Needless to say, our ride home was pretty quiet.
When they brought us back to pick out the toys, it took everything I had to not totally break down bawling. Seeing all of the people volunteering, from the board members, to the guy driving people in the cold all night to and from their cars in golf carts. All of them were there to help make our lives a little easier. It was so touching and made our Christmas so much better than it would have been.
The second night was the party for the family. Santa was there, and gave all the kids so much attention, he was a great Santa. They had dinner and gave the kids each a toy. Everyone had so much fun, the kids loved it. Taylor even said she almost started crying at school thinking about how nice it is for them to give out toys and have this party for us. My kids felt special, and after all they have gone through, they needed a little "feeling special." It's amazing to see the people out there willing to make sacrifices for the good of other people. There are so many good people out to make a difference.


John Hanks said...

That's so awesome, you guys. I'm so glad you had that experience. It's touching to see you share lives and stories with other families going through your pain and then some. It humbles us all to hear it. Thank you for sharing it.

Lidia said...

I'm greatful reading your post Kristin. It is really awesome. Always I'm thinking and pray for you and your family. Thank You for for sharing this wonderful experience talking with people and understanding that adversity is for every one of us. In diferent way, every son and doughter of God have to have some experience, some time to much difficult for our understanding. Our Heavenly Father will never let us alone. He is there with angels helping us to see the life from different perspective. We love every one of you, and we know that everithing will be okay only we need faith, hope and charity to help ourselve and helping others that we meet in our own way. Already you had a great oportunity in your Christmas party to meet few Angels of God helping people to find happiness in Christmas time. Love you.
Grandpa and Grandma Torres

Marion said...

It's more than I can imagine. "Carry on, carry on, carry on!"

Ali said...

How lovely. People do care and events like these are ways for the rest of the world to show families like yours how much we admire and respect your courage and strength.

We also visited a very good Santa this year at the Springs Preserve, possibly a familiar one??????

Dave said...

What a great experience for your family. Merry Christmas.

todd and angie purvis said...

Hey Kris,
I hope all is well, sorry I havent had time to call in the last few days, Hows Taylors knee,
Here is the website for my cousin, she started treatment today if you have time try to see her story, well I have to get bcak to work, tell the girls Hi, and Taylor how much we miss her , Happy New Year,
CaringBridge/Donna Demopulos


LaAna said...

What a wonderful event to be apart of when you truly need a little support! Isn't it wonderful to see that there are still SO many good people out there? We hope that your New Year will be just as blessed.