Gratefulness

We were recently on The Meredith Vieira Show with the two other girls from the picture that went viral. I'm so grateful they had us on the show! Here are more of my thoughts of gratefulness...

1. Ainsley is alive. Ainsley is walking, talking, going to the bathroom, taking her medications, playing, running, jumping, dancing, and sometimes torturing her little brother.

One year ago...She was home, she weighed 23 lbs, she wasn't talking, she wasn't walking, she was wearing diapers, she had a feeding tube for food/liquids/medications, she wouldn't play, she wouldn't respond to many people, and she moaned a lot.

2. Donations have lifted financial burdens off us. We have received so many donations and they have helped us live. They have paid bills, rebuilt the duct work, bought a special vacuum, bought bribes for medications, bought car repairs, paid for groceries, they have helped us literally get through this time. With the donation from the show we will be putting it towards all of her medical expenses, school expenses, donations for other foundations/people in need, and bills. We cannot describe the happiness and the weight this takes off our burdened shoulders.

3. Community. I am so grateful to be part of Stillwater's community. Everyone here has blessed us, prayed for us, sent money, made food, helped in so many ways. We are eternally thankful for all the support and we will continue to give back whenever we can.

4. God. I am not a very religious person but I thank God that he put us in the situation we are in. I know that sounds weird, but I truly feel that my path is right where it's supposed to be. I am supposed to do this and get Ainsley and George through it.

Every time I get stressed about money or bills another donation comes through or someone in the community offers to do a benefit for Ainsley. EVERY TIME.

God not only takes care of us financially but emotionally too. When Ainsley speaks of death we always pray for more strength to carry us through and God delivers. Even though we aren't church goers we are believers and we know that God put us here for a reason. We know that Christ died for our sins and that is love. We know that we are here to support Ainsley, to bring awareness about Childhood Cancers, to help others, and to be beacons of hope for those that have lost their hope. I pray to continue to be strong and with God's help I know that we all can be.

5. Awareness. Ainsley is becoming a poster child for childhood cancer and survival. I hope to write a book one day with her help. I thank Lora Scantling and Christy Goodger for taking the viral photo that has made my baby a superstar, I thank the other moms and daughters for being in the photo too. Together we can all help raise awareness for Childhood Cancers.

Just know that I am grateful. I am honored. I am humbled. And I am not perfect. I stay strong because that is my job, but I have days where I hide away or where I am sad but they come and go. For now I celebrate that we have one year plus left of treatment. I celebrate that my role is to empower my daughter. I celebrate all of you for reading this and helping me because without you, I would not be as strong as I am.

Bless each and everyone,

Andrea

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