|Allow us to introduce ourselves...we are the cast of characters you'll see
paraded past you as you visit this site. We are Avalon's family.
We have welcomed you into our lives in an attempt to personalize pediatric
cancer. We want you to see cancer as real - not some theoretical disaster than
will only befall someone else. It can happen to you, it has happened to us. What
matters is the good we can accomplish together.
We invite you to join us on our journey, and thank you for sharing the path with
|Avalon's Mom - also know as Alicia
I am the author of this madness. I'm a 37 year old, college-educated stay-at-home-by-choice
mom. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology, from the Ohio State University, and a
certified insane degree conferred on me by my children.
I'm overweight, under-appreciated, over-worked and under-paid. And truthfully, I'm pretty
darned happy about everything but the size of my keester. I love being a super mom, and I'm
truly a giant kid at heart. I love artistic pursuits, both performance and material. And recently,
I've rediscovered my love of writing. I've spent many hours wistfully contemplating what it
would be like to get to tell the world about my goofy life. I'm sorry I waited to do it until now. If
you would like to see a glimpse of our "before" life, and how I would really like to write: click on
the links below to read sample articles I've written. Believe it or not, I've always recognized the
absurdity in our lives.
I've always know I'd return to college for my PhD someday. Until recent events...I never knew
I'd also spend the rest of my life fighting cancer. I created this site and began our email family
as a way of reaching out to the world. If I have made you hug your children one extra time, or
make an appointment to give blood...then sharing our grief has been worth it.
We are in this fight forever. Cancer hasn't just touched us, its grabbed hold of our hearts and
changed our souls. These children are all mine now...and I'll fight for them with all of my
being. Together, we can change the world...
|Avalon's Dad - also know as Nick
Nick and I were childhood sweethearts. Believe it or not, we started "going together" in the 8th
grade! By the time we finally got around to walking down the aisle in the fancy duds...we'd
been together 18 years. I'm grateful that its my best friend I'm sharing this battle with.
Nick is a stone mason. He works primarily in cultured stone, but also occasionally dabbles in
real stone hardscaping. We started our own business the year our oldest daughter was born.
Ten years later, we were having the best year ever, when Avalon was diagnosed. We've since
closed the business and Nick has gone to work for another small company. The closure was
demoralizing and difficult, but Nick never questioned the need to do it. His girls come
first...end of story.
Nick is an amazing father. He's taken tap dance lessons with Aurora, and even competed with
her in a duet. He lets his girls paint his fingernails, put ribbons in his hair, and make him
"beautiful" with their make up. He plays Barbies, Bratz, and Fisher Price animals as easily as
he chats with a construction worker. He is literally up to his eyeballs in pink girliness...and he
wouldn't have it any other way.
From the first days of diagnosis, Nick made up his mind to shave his head in solidarity with
Avalon. He lucked out and got to keep his hair through the winter...but he became bald the
same week she did. He grins from the core of his person every time Avalon rubs his head or
smooches it. He's figured out how to bond with her in his own special way...and I find it
Nick has the arduous task of being the bad guy for Avalon's most difficult procedures. In his
own way, his strength offers Avalon a comfort during painful times, that I cannot find in myself
to give. He takes her pain to heart, and supports her when she needs it most.
Nick loves his girls with every ounce of his being. He works long, difficult hours, to give them
the best he can. He encourages my insanity, and supports anything I try to accomplish. If it
weren't for his faith in me, I'd never have the strength to share so much of myself with all of you.
|Avalon's Biggest Sister - also know as Aurora
Aurora is 10 years old, going on 30. She's bossy, ornery, sassy... and a pretty good big sister.
Columbus visitors to this site may remember Aurora from a local radio station. Aurora spent a
Summer as a concert reporter for our local rock station, QFM96. She was a whopping 5 years
old! Suffice it to say, she's never had a bashful bone in her body.
Aurora is an avid dancer, taking lessons from Ballet Met, performing in a local song and dance
troupe, and working privately with a nationally reknowned tap teacher. Through her dance,
we've met several amazing people, that we now count as our dearest friends. Thanks to
her...we have a social life! Glad to know kids are good for something other than giving you
Aurora loves all things purple, glitzy, and girlie. She's had to process more than her fair share
of worries this year. Avalon's struggles have touched her heart as much as ours. Its been a
difficult time trying to help her find her path to dealing with it all.
|Avalon's Middle Sister - also know as Ambrosia
As of June 1st, 2005, Ambrosia became a big 4 year old! My, how big she is...
Ambrosia is truly a bundle of smiles just waiting to land. She sings her heart out, whenever
she's happy...and dances with abandon when the mood strikes her. Ambrosia sees life as
something to be hugged, kissed and shouted about. Every minute holds a new fascination for
her, every beat of music a new joy.
Ambrosia has perhaps been affected by Avalon's illness the most of all of us. Ambrosia and
Avalon are only 21 months apart, and were virtually inseparable until Avalon was diagnosed.
Our diagnosis hospital stay was heartbreaking for Ambrosia. She quit singing, eating, and
took to hiding under tables in utter dismay. When we finally were able to reunite the
girls...Avalon's pain and medications made her a less-than-friendly playmate. I often heard
Ambrosia telling Avalon, "Its OK, you'll love me again when you feel better."
Ambrosia is committed to Avalon at a level we can only begin to understand. Her only wish for
Santa, was that he would make her sissy well. When she's asked to make a wish on a Build A
Bear heart, its always the same...health for her sissy. Even her birthday candles were vehicles
of her love. No matter how hard we try, she can't see a wish worth anything unless her sister is
healthy and happy and with her.
In one moment, Ambrosia can break my heart and simultaneously give it wings. She loves
Avalon so deeply and with so much of her being, that only God can fully see the scope of her
devotion. She's a rare gift that I cherish endlessly...