|I hope at some point during the time you've share with us, you've asked yourself,
"What can I do to help?" If you have, I applaud you. You've given meaning to
the struggles we face.
I have chosen to open our hearts and lives to the world, to make this battle
personal for you. I hope with all of my heart, that you can see yourselves in us.
We are not extraordinary people. We're just two parents, who love three kids
more than life. We want our children to grow up happy and strong, just like all
of you. We are not saints, martyrs, or pillars of strength. We cry, we suffer,
we get angry and we rail against the universe for choosing to torment our
beautiful baby. In the end, we hope that our gift to the children of cancer will
be a bridge of understanding for those of you blessed enough to never
If we have opened your hearts to these children, and you wish to reach out...then
you've found your own bridge to the beauty of humanity. Welcome home old
friend, we're glad you're here.
|Universal Gifts of Love
The gift of whole blood, platelets or plasma is a universal one. I have a link to the American
Red Cross in the section, and have written a letter of encouragement about
blood donation in the Avalon's Story section ( ). Giving blood costs you nothing
but time, yet its the surest way to save someone's life. Avalon has received several blood
products, as have our other cancer friends. When you see the color returning to her cheeks,
you cannot imagine why anyone ever waivers about a few minutes with a needle. Blood is
life, and its yours to share.
|Bone Marrow Registry
Registering to be a bone marrow donor actually does cost you a bit of money. I've been told
the average fee is around $40.00. If you register during a bone marrow drive, sometimes a
business or charity will cover the fees - in an attempt to help a family.
Bone marrow registration is international and crosses all ethnic, socioeconomic, political and
religious boundaries. If you are found to be a match, the actual donation won't cost you
anything but time and some discomfort. You always have the right to change your mind - the
decision is yours, no strings attached.
Bone marrow transplants are the treatment of choice for the most devastating cases. Even
surviving the rigors of the transplant process is daunting, much less the ravages of the
disease that has led to that point. But as difficult as they are, a bone marrow transplant can
be the hand of God at work. The sickest child can go on to lead a happy, productive, long
and prosperous life - given the chance for a cure.
If you are willing to give of yourself in this selfless manner - you may actually be responsible
for handing a child back to his family. You could step in where the universe has faltered, and
be the answer to a mother's heart wish. A small amount of time, can give an eternity to a
family...please consider the potential you hold...
|Targeted Gifts of Love
|Pediatric Cancer Charities
Find a charity that speaks to your heart, and support it. Nationally there is CureSearch,
locally in Columbus there is Circle of Friends.. There are also hundreds of smaller charities
in your local areas around the world...even Avalon is now responsible for one.
(See )Talk to the organizers, listen to their stories. Find the
match that speaks to you...and see what you can offer them.
Charities don't only need cash. Often you can affect a huge change by donating your time or
expertise. "In kind" donations are as valuable as any check you write. If you have a
particular talent that you are willing to share...a good charity will be thrilled to have your
Cancer has been financially devastating to our family. I have no money to offer to anyone for
any reason. I do have my voice and my heart...and I've offered to share our story as my gift
to the cause. We've had photographs taken of Avalon for the hospital to use for publications
and fundraising. We hope that our story will spur others on to action. It may be a small
contribution, but its what we have to give. If others hadn't been willing to give to the cause,
we wouldn't be holding our baby...and no amount of effort can ever match the joy that brings
us. We're committed forever, and we hope we've convinced you as well...
|Gifts for Avalon
|You want to help Avalon directly?
Our first request is that you share this website and our emails with people you know. The
more people we educate, the more we bring into the the fold, the more likely we are to
"Reach the Day" that no one has to lose a child to cancer. What if you are responsible for
forwarding this website to the person, who donates the dollar, that pays for the tube, that
finally solves the mystery. What if your carpenter friend reads about Avalon and offers his
services to Make a Wish as a builder of a dream playhouse? The funny thing is, kindness
and generosity have a way of multiplying exponentially if given half a chance. Start the
process, you may lay the foundation for a miracle.
Second, please take the time to get to "know" us. We have hidden nothing from you; our
pain, our joys, our struggles are here for you to share. We welcome you to contact us and
ask any questions you may have. We offer our family as an example of pediatric cancer,
certainly not as a sole representation of it.
If you wish to offer monetary support, we wish to thank you profusely for your kindness and
generosity. However, we are surviving, and rather than accept your gift personally, we would
like to direct you to the non-profit group that was created in Avalon's name,
. The Army was created in honor of the people who
have helped us in this struggle, and who want to continue to help future pediatric cancer
families. Please see that section of the website for complete details about our dreams. It is
possible to go directly to any Bank One and make a donation to Avalon's Army of Angels.
(remember to tell Bank One about the apostrophe - their computer won't find our account
without it.) While we appreciate your generosity, we would be much happier to see your
dollars help lots of families, not just ours.
Finally, we do have one utterly selfish, self-centered, concern. If anyone out there knows
someone who may be interested in reading my articles
( ) and possibly seeing an opportunity for me to contribute to our family
finances with my words...please share for me. I would love to help my family help ourselves.
|Be an "Angel"
|Find your inner Angel!
We all have one within us, we really do. Charity and kindness absolutely DO NOT depend on
the size of your wallet. Charity and kindness lie within your heart, your window to humanity.
The moment you open that window - you will find that the colors of your world will be brighter
than you ever thought possible.
The path to finding your inner Angel begins by recognizing your importance in the human
race. Once you see yourself as a piece of a greater whole, you realize that your needs are
their needs, and theirs are yours. When you see yourself in others, you will find yourself in
them, as well.
Angels come in many forms, and serve many purposes. Today an Angel may buy a few extra
canned goods for a food drive, tomorrow they may offer to take an elderly neighbor to the
store. Yesterday an Angel may have helped a friend carry in a new couch, next week they
may donate old clothes to the Salvation Army. Angels don't need huge incomes...they just
need the ability to care about their fellow human. Sometimes the smallest action to one
person - may mean the world to the next.
Finding your inner Angel is finding the ways you can help someone else. Look through the
Our Angels section of this website. Our angels have helped us clean our house, babysit our
dog, bring us meals, given gifts to our children, called when we're in the hospital, replied to
update emails, prayed for us, helped us move furniture, helped us paint, sent birthday cards,
held fundraisers...and the list goes on. The fact is - angels have touched our lives from a
myriad of directions, in a myriad of ways - each not knowing how much their gifts of kindness
meant to us.
You, too, can touch someone's life. Could you cut a friend's hair? Could you send a card to
someone in the hospital? Could you call someone you know is missing their son? Could you
offer to donate something to help the family of an ill child? I promise you, your kindness will
be repaid in ways you cannot imagine. Love is a miraculous entity - it can grow endlessly
and blossom beautifully - if given the chance. Offering kindness to your fellow man, is an act
of pure love, and its guaranteed to feed your soul.
So, be an Angel, thank an Angel, help steward your family and friends toward their own
Angelic paths. Find your inner Angel - and find your hope.