Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Rite Of Passage

Our "adopted" daughter Regina and her princess cake with six candles

There's that saying about St. Jude that I've mentioned before-- you travel there with one sick kid and you come with thirty five. Well, Regina is one of our kids now too.

I have a friend, John Ott, who lives in Orange County and whom I knew before Steven was diagnosed. His daughter, Nikki, died in 2001 from an inoperable brainstem tumor. He formed a group after Nikki died to help support and educate the parents of newly diagnosed children with brain tumors in Orange County.

Regina had surgery and was diagnosed with the same kind of rare brain tumor that Steven has the week we returned from Memphis after Steven finished treatment. John was looking to put Regina's parents in touch with the parents of another child with the same kind of tumor and that's how we got to know them.

Steven wearing the wig that was included in his party favors

We told Regina's parents about St. Jude and they decided to enter Regina in the same trial that Steven had just completed.

Last September Regina turned five and would have started kindergarten. Instead she flew to Memphis and started chemo, the first of four bone marrow transplants. She celebrated her fifth birthday in the hospital hooked up to an I.V. getting chemotherapy and throwing up.

But Regina's a tough little kid, just like Steven. She finished up chemo in January and is back at home in Laguna Niguel. She started kindergarten in August.

Yes, this is my DH, the man I married and father of my children...

And she chose to have her birthday party this year at Chili's, on the day that Chili's donates 100% of their profits to St. Jude.

That just seems so appropriate, doesn't it?

Another rite of passage for our brave kids-- may there be many more sweet moments like this...

Happy Birthday, Regina!

- Kathleen

p.s. If you sent a pepper and want to see it, it's here.



Blogger Kyra said...

Another milestone passed. Happy Birthday to the beautiful Regina.

October 04, 2005 1:35 AM  

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