Monday, November 15, 2010

Light the Night

The Light the Night Walk was wonderful. We were so proud to see CJ walk as a survivor. We are continually amazed at his strength physically and spiritually. I was so proud of him and so unbelievably grateful to be there celebrating his recovery.

There was a lot of excitement and it felt totally different than the first, or even the second year, we attended this walk. Coming as a survivor off chemotherapy is a huge difference. I can honestly say we were in a celebratory mood as it seemed many were that night.

However, when the "Remembrance Ceremony" began my mood changed immensely. The music was turned off and all the families who were there to honor and remember lost loved ones were lead behind the stage for a quiet ceremony. I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion as I realized I was on the other side of the stage where all the laughing and celebrating and excitement was taking place. We were not lighting candles and holding flowers in memory of CJ but celebrating his healing this side of heaven. I went over to Chris and asked him to pray with me. I know the families on the other side of the stage were shedding tears and I shed a few myself but they were tears of gratefulness.

Eventually, the official ceremony began and Mr. Yormark, COO of the Fl Panthers, who was the chair person for the Light the Night walk was called up to speak. We were amazed and deeply touched at the words he shared about how knowing CJ had affected him and his dedication to help support this research. I am going to find a way to post the video of his speech. It was such a blessing to our family.

For all of you who missed it and are dying to know what the surprise was.....Mr. Yormark presented CJ and the other Honored Hero with 4 season tickets to the Fl Panthers game for the next 5 years. Yes, you read that right. We were all a little shocked to.

When it was announced, Mr. Yormark said "4 tickets for CJ and his family" and I think CJ got so excited he missed the five year part. When he came off the stage I said, "Can you believe that? Season tickets for 5 years!" His eyes got real big and he said, "Five years? I did not realize it was that long."

Then , in classic CJ style he looked at me seriously and said, "But mom, he said 4 tickets. I could not leave my brother or sister out." If you know CJ or have read this blog for any length of time, you know this would be his first concern. He would sooner not accept them before he would leave his family out. He is an amazing kid. And I knew that would be his first thought. After he spoke with his "gir" at the Fl Panthers and as soon as he wasn't worried about leaving anyone out. off we went for the official walk through the park.

I have posted several pictures of the walk below for those who could not be there and this is a link to the Light the Night Official Photos. They have some great shots as well.


Once again, I want to thank everyone who has supported CJ these past two years. Those who have prayed first and foremost. Your prayers are more valuable to us than gold. For those who supported our family in friendship and encouragement. For those who have donated or supported CBC as we grow this foundation to support other families.

We really want to deeply and sincerely thank Mr. Michael Yormark, Heidi Leigh, Darren Perry, Rachael Brooke, Matt, and Stanley Panther of the Florida Panthers. Your kindness to CJ these past few months has been an incredible blessing and truly has helped him get through this hurdle of the end of treatment.

I also want to once again thank Peter Kahn who was so generous to CJ at the end of his treatment. Our day at Dave and Busters is still talked about and very appreciated.



Adam and Emily


Melinda and David

Way to go Team CJ!

CJ with the St Thomas Aquinas Marching Band

CJ and his girl Heidi

Walking as a SURVIVOR!

CJ and Mr and Mrs Michael Yormark

CJ and Sheriann

CJ cutting off Kristi's bracelet

Grandma and Poppa


Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

Whast a wonderufl post. I just cant imagine all the different emotions you must have felt! Looking at the pictures you can see the difference in everyone's face and eyes from the previous years! Wonderful!
Lots of love to you all

Nicole Alberto and Ana

Anonymous said...

Dawn, my wonderful and amazing friend with the amazing family. CJ looks amazing! You all do. I am so glad to hear NED for CJ that is AWESOME!!!!! NED forever and ever. God is working some mighty works in CJ's young life, look at all he has done, he will be helping so many people. When you talked of the people at the Light the Night walk who were light candles of rememberance, it just shook me to read that. How can that ever happen and how can you live through that. We never, ever want to find out. We pray for many blessed years here on earth. God will work all situations for good, somehow, someway and he has given your family a light called CJ and that light of CJ will bring Brett, Corey and Alibrandi and two amazing parents along for the world to see. Dawn, you have already helped so many people. I just have so much joy in my heart for CJ's scans and how he looks and feels now, we will never shake the horror of what he has endured, it will never leave you, but to have joy and laughter again and leave cancer in the dust is exactly what we need. NED forever, we pray and pray for this, God has a plan for CJ, he always has and always will. Tell everyone we said hello and let's definitely plan on the Lighthouse together and the Miami Seaquarium again, summer 2011!!!! for all of you to have a great Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to our dear friends the George's! We love you all!
Tell Brett the TomBoy says hi!

Kim, Wade, Truman and Greyson Hedrick