Thursday, April 15, 2010


We would like to extend a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out and supported CJ as he used his 11th birthday to bless other kids battling cancer. We had a great turn out and even met many new people. It was neat to meet so many of you who have followed CJ's story through the blog and yet we have never really met before.

I instantly feel connected to you all when I know you have been reading the blog. I guess knowing you read the deepest, most personal parts of our lives instantly bonds you to us in some weird cyber-world sort of way.

We were pleasantly surprised with the turnout considering we kept that place packed for four hours straight from 4:30 to 8:30. Your kindness towards CJ was such a blessing for him as well. At one point, after having many cards and gifts handed to him, he came up to me and said he was so surprised that people brought him gifts since he thought them attending and eating a meal there was supposed to be his gift. It was so sweet to see him receive that joy as well for all his efforts. Thank you form a mommas heart!

We found out a couple days later that together you and CJ raised $600.00 through the meals purchased that night for Children Battling Cancer. On top of that, we also brought in 1300.00 in miscellaneous donations handed to us by individuals as well as bracelet sales. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity. Please know it is our privilege and honor to be able to steward your donations faithfully as we bless these families and we take it very seriously. Every penny we raised that night will go directly to supporting these families in their time of need!

I also want to extend a HUGE thank you to Elsa Hanley of Sparkles and Swirls Face Painting Company, who donated her time and amazing talent for the event. What a hit that was with the kids! I have never seen so many kids so beautifully painted. It really was a great addition to the evening. Not only did she donate her time, but she also donated a portion of the tips she received to CBC.

I want to share one story about that night with you that was very special to me. A woman walked into the restaurant and asked for me. As I was brought over to her, she introduced herself and explained she had heard about the event on the news broadcast. She lived just down the road from the restaurant. She said she was so surprised when she saw the news piece because the exact day we were hosting the event (April 5th-CJ's birthday) would have been her daughter's 18th birthday. However, she died of cancer at just 15 months old. I could see the pain and sadness still present in her eyes.

She explained that she felt she needed to come by to say hello, make a donation, and share that with me. After hugging and sharing some motherly tears together, I immediately asked her where her daughter was treated and she said Joe DiMaggio. I asked her if she would happen to know Lotsy Dotsy (the Lord's Clown) and she said, "Oh yes, of course I know Lotsy." So I walked her over to where Lotsy was and they took one look at each other and hugged and cried. So amazing to witness. It really was powerful and reminded me why we are doing what we are doing. To comfort and help hurting families.

CJ had his counts done on Friday and everything seems to be hovering in safe ranges. He goes back in for chemo on Friday the 23rd and then plans to walk in the survivors lap at the Relay for Life in Pembroke Pines. Go CJ! You amaze me! He wants to walk for all the kids who will no longer have that chance and for his poppa Enzo who is deep in the battle against cancer.

I want to go into more detail about that and so many of you have been so kind to pray for him but it is so delicate and painful. All I can say right now is that words can not express how difficult it has been to watch what cancer has done to this man so quickly. Words can not express the overwhelming sadness involved in watching him and my mother go through this. Words can not express the underlying fear of losing another father in so short a time. But I can also say that words can not adequately express God's steadfast faithfulness to bond us together at this time as we take it day by day and that is where we have to remain.....insecure in this world and our circumstances, yet completely (in) security in Christ and in God's loving hands during this difficult time.

Once again, thank you for all your prayers for our family. Please continue to pray for CJ as he continues to fight this disease. Pray specifically for the cancer to remain gone.
The other night he came into our room with a fever and said weekly, "I feel very weak." Needless to say, it is moments like these that my mind can wander rather quickly and I was instantly back in the days he would stand next to our bed with a fever weak and in pain. Thankfully, this time it was only the result of a cold that he is trying to get over and dad was able to take care of it and get him back to sleep. We took him and the rest of the kids to the doctor the next day and begged them to tell us how to get these kids to stop coughing and finally over these incessant colds that just seem to linger and linger. Please pray for health to take over our home as we try to get them all completely well.

We also want to extend our sympathies to Keaton's family upon their loss of this amazing kid who battled hard! There are no words. well as our continued support of the family or Nicholas Reamer who passed away recently. We are so deeply sorry for your loss.

To all the kids, including sweet Andrew, who we have lost these past few months to this awful disease....CJ and our family are honored to walk in your memory.


Martha Rivero said...

Dear Dawn,

My heart is truly aching for those family, my heart is aching for Poppa Enzo, at the same time I see CJ doing so well, and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to witness by reading this blog the amazing things God is doing in your family's life. Sometimes I wonder how do you manage to do so much for others going through this with your own son and your Poppa Enzo, I am sorry to hear that he is going through so much. I am praying for him, I pray for complete healing for him and CJ, for comfort to this families on their journies and losses, we just need to be strong and keep our eyes and heart on HIM "Our Savior Jesus Christ"

With Love,


Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,
It's good to know that you and your family were able to bless so many. I'm sorry that your "Poppa Enzo" is struggling. It must be very difficult to witness. Thank you for sharing your life through this blog, I know that it is a blessing to many people. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

Look at those eyes. What a heartbreaker he is going to be with the girls. We are so happy to hear of the outcome of his birthday dinner. Hard to belive he is 11 already. Wishing you all God's best blessings.

Love and Prayers continually,
Mary B and Family

Billy Long said...

Chris and Dawn, I was blessed to be a part of the evening at Denneys. You have an amazing and wonderful family, and I am proud to be counted among your friends. And CJ really is such a fine young man.
Billy Long

Ily Figueroa (Heartsyearbook) said...

Dawn I am so happy that all went well for Cj's b day. Hope you got my text, We did not make it Ashley was sick (did not want to share that). We will continue to pray for you guys.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

So glad to hear that CJ had an amazing birthday and to hear how much you were able to raise! I am always amazed at your strength and your resolve to give back and help so many! Lots of love to all

Nicole, Alberto Ana

Amy Derrickson said...

Just wanted to let you know that though we haven't seen you guys in so long, we think of you and pray for you daily. I hope you are having a good one today!