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

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dine At Chili's And Help Save A Child's Life

I'd like to encourage all of you to eat at Chili's on Monday.

On Monday September 25, all Chili's restaurants nationwide will donate 100% of their profits to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Last year Chili's raised $3 million dollars for St. Jude.

St. Jude saved Steven's life, but it's more than just that.

When we first found out about Steven's tumor, it quickly became clear to us that in order to give him the best chance to beat his cancer, we would need to consider whole brain radiation.

Thank God for Dr. Kerlin, the oncologist at Children's Hospital San Diego who first told us about the treatment at St. Jude, which used a lower dose of radiation with more favorable results than any of the trials available to us anywhere in California.

We looked hard for a way not to have to leave our friends and family so far behind at such a stressful time, but there was nothing comparable available to us closer to home at that time.

During one of our appointments for a second opinion at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the radiation oncologist recommended the higher dose of radiation, due to the location of Steven's tumor.

He quoted us a 5-year survival rate of 55%. In response to my obvious distress over the possibility of whole-brain radiation for my 9-year old son, he said that, after whole brain radiation, "he will probably be able to care for himself".

As of today we are over three years past Steven's diagnosis and almost three years post radiation.

I.Q. losses of up to 25% over 5 years are quoted for kids who receive the higher dose of radiation.

On Friday, Steven brought home a slip for me to sign granting him permission to participate in the GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) program at school.

The neurotic and faithless side of me never thought we'd see this day after all the treatments he went through. Looking at him today, I feel I am witnessing a miracle.

The treatment that Steven had wasn't available in San Diego in 2003, but today, in 2006 it is possible to get the same treatment here in San Diego and in many other locations around the world.

Click here to find out more about Chili's support of St. Jude.

Click here to find a Chili's location near you.

At Chili's tomorrow, you can support St. Jude in trying to cure Steven and other kids like him and enjoy some molten chocolate cake, all at the same time.

And what could be better than that?

- Kathleen

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