Archive for May, 2007

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Peyton and Adelaine made the cover of the CCC flyer, which is most appropriate because it is Adelaine’s favorite place in the world!
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This picture was taken at the CCC picnic hosted by the Junior League of Tampa

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Disney on Ice, Mother’s Day Weekend

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Our girls at the Fore the Children Golf Tournament, don’t you just love this one?

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The girls infront of their luminaries at “Team Peyton” Relay for Life

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Tampa Bay Storm’s Arena Football

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Nathaniel’s Bowling Birthday Party!

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Enjoying the Tampa Bay Lightening’s Game, Go Brad Richards!

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“Since Peyton gets a real passie, can I have a candy one”?

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07-may-05-new-car-earl-1

Let me just say we looooove our new car! We got it last Monday night and I officially “moved in” on Wednesday! For Mother’s Day, Doug and the boys washed and waxed it. It is a Kia Spectra and only has 20,000 miles, so basically we got a brand new car!!! A Cinco de Mayo we’ll never forget!

None of this would have happened without Anissa Mayhew, Peyton’s mom. She says, all I did was write a letter and pray!” Isn’t it amazing what prayer and a little action can do? The Mayhew’s have helped us in so many ways and we are asking you to do something to help them…

Peyton Mayhew is three years old and was diagnosed with Leukemia just 12 days after Adelaine. We met at the hospital and since that time, our families have become life-long friends. Our two families spend lots of quality family time together and just enjoy celebrating life. Not only do we have our three year olds in common, but they have two other children, Rachael age 5, and Nathaniel age 9, as well. Together the children form what we refer to as the “six pack”. They all go together like peas in a pod!

Since we started going to CCC (Children’s Cancer Center) we’ve come to realize that many of these families have more than just a critically ill child in common. We all have financial struggles, knee-high grass (yard work becomes a non issue these days), and are concerned about the nutritional well being of our families! It seems that these issues just come with the territory.

The Mayhew’s are no acceptation. Anissa had just started a new job, which promised to bring in a substantial amount of money. When Peyton was diagnosed she had to give up that very promising job in order to take care of her. Rachael and Nathaniel have been attending their private Christian school since kindergarten. Because of their decrease in income, they are struggling with how they will pay for next year’s tuition. They are planning to do a local fundraiser this summer, but we are hopeful that we will be able to help raise some additional money as well. If you are able to make a donation, I know it would go a long way of helping this family with their struggles. Please let your friends and family know of this very loving family, who has done so very much to help us, and ask if they too would consider making a donation.

To make a donation to the Mayhew’s please go to the Children’s Cancer Center @ http://www.childrenscancercenter.org/ , then click on make a contribution. Put down Peyton Mayhew on the pay pal account and 100% of your tax deductible donation will go directly to the Mayhew’s. Also you can visit Peyton’s website @ www.hope4peyton.org., click on “Make a Donation.” Anissa wrote a simple letter and it got us a new car, if everyone donates even a small amount; just imagine what a difference that will make. Thank you so much for your love and support.

Angela

07-may-05-new-car-earl
Peyton and Adelaine

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On Easter Sunday we all dressed up in our spiffy new Easter clothes, pretended it was warm (the 80 degree weather we’d been having for so long had suddenly turned cold) and headed to church. I remember asking Doug if up north the women did the same thing, you know, put on a spring short-sleeve dress and white sandals and went about it as if it were beach weather. He assured me that they did! Needless to say I froze, we all did!

That Sunday I unknowingly lost my engagement ring, and our Ford Expedition kicked the bucket. Since we were already sharing a vehicle, our car situation went from bad to worse. Doug and I prayed that God would work a miracle, and He did.

Over the next couple weeks we continued to pray about our car situation, and a lovely couple, Grandparents of a friend from Bowen’s class, offered us their extra car while we worked out something more permanent. Although we had no vehicle of our own, we never missed a beat; we went to every appointment and engagement as scheduled. Isn’t God awesome!!! Speaking of engagement… at first I assumed my ring would just turn up. After all, our lives have been so crazy, it must be here somewhere, right?

One week after the car kicked the bucket, Adelaine went into the hospital. It took some time, but I eventually got the laundry done, and the house all cleaned up and back to normal, but no ring. Then I began really searching for it, we all did. After about another week I knew it was no where to be found and my heart grew sad over what was lost. I have to mention that I did get the CCC Kite necklace from Anissa. It is beautiful with a ruby and a Safire stone in it. My engagement ring had two Safire stones, but I haven’t worn the necklace because the two just go together, right! (I guess you could say I’ve been in mourning over the ring).

While we were praying over our car situation, Anissa Mayhew, (Peyton’s mom), began writing and emailing everyone she could think of. She apparently sent letters to car dealerships, charity organizations, even the mayor, all on our behalf! She is like our special angel, sent right down from God. She inspires me to examine my heart; I want to love as wholeheartedly as she does!

So last night we went to a golf tournament dinner by Fore the Children, which was to raise bone-marrow donor awareness and to raise money to help families and their children afflicted by life threatening illnesses. Anissa called and said we just had to be there, so we went!

While we were there we learned about this little boy named Pat, who was in need of a bone-marrow transplant. He died while waiting for a match. Now his family is driving cross country to create awareness and to get people to sign up as donors. We also got to meet some of the families Dana and Mark Clements were able to help through Fore the Children. One of our friends from the CCC (Children’s Cancer Center), Nikki, got a puppy she had always wanted. The smile on her face was priceless. That puppy received enough love in that one night to last it’s entire lifetime! Another family wanted to attend a conference out of state to meet with doctors and surgeons about their critically ill daughter, Fore the Children paid for the entire trip. They also auctioned off all sorts of cool items to raise money. At the end of the night Anissa and Peter were given a trip to stay in condo for seven days at Madeira Beach, which someone had won but wanted them to have! Another gentleman won a 50/50 raffle and passed the winnings over to our two families!! People were amazing with their kind hearts and generosity. Doug and I would have been glad just to spend time out with the Mayhew’s again and of course to have some fine Mexican on Cinco de Mayo! But THINGS WENT WILD…

Picture this…

I’m taking Adelaine to the restroom (oh, yes she’s now completely potty-trained, so we now have a new way to spend our time)! Anyway as we are walking out of the restroom, they are reading the very end of Anissa’s letter she had written. Basically all I hear is, “Sincerely, Anissa Mayhew, f.r.o.G… Fully Relying on God.” Then they ask for the Mayhew’s and the Powell’s to come upfront. Here’s where it gets reallly amazing, they look at us and say, “Look out that bay window over there, you see the car pulling up? THATS YOUR NEW CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!” Then they hand me the microphone and ask me to say a few words!!!!! At that moment I was in shock. Doug and I were both just dumb-founded! We each got on the microphone and babbled incoherently. It still feels like a dream, but supposedly tomorrow we are going to sign all the paperwork and drive our new car home!!! We are so excited, we can hardly wait! Thank you Anissa, this never could have happened without you. You rock!

Now for the cherries on top! Not only were we getting a new car, as if that weren’t enough, but God had even more in store for us this weekend…

As we were driving to church, I felt extremely happy over the new car. To think that we were going to have our own solid, reliable transportation again, we haven’t had that in a while! As for the ring, I still have my husband, I still have my family, and it’s only a ring, right! I’m just still getting used to the idea of not having one, thats all. At the same time I’m feeling pretty estatic over NOT still having to get used to NOT having a car!!

We pulled into the church parking lot, which happens to be about an acre of grass that people just randomly park all over. We even discussed where we should park. Finally we parked and I opened my door. As I went to step out I looked down, about a foot from the car there in the grass was MY RING!!!!!!!!!!!!! We parked in roughly that same area exactly 4 weeks ago which was on Easter Sunday. Today the grass was short and had recently been mowed, I’m sure it must have rained during that time, but there it was in plain sight my ring, in the middle of the field. I wasn’t at all looking for my ring and I still have no idea how it got there. God new it was there. His revealing it to me was nothing short of a miracle. If God can show me a ring in the middle of a giant grassy field that went missing a month ago, that speaks volumes.

God has been so faithful to us. We now have a car, and as a bonus, my ring! I hope faith grows in each one of us more and more every day. I hope when we feel fear and doubt that we remember God’s word’s and promises and that they will solidify in our hearts.

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A Bowen update (there’s more to Bowen than a pretty face)…
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It no longer sounds like Granddaddy is sawing logs in the boy’s room at night when they’re sleeping! Since Bowen’s surgery, he has been doing great! His UTI issues disappeared immediately after surgery. He now has perfect hearing, and he is completely caught up on his sleep! It is like we have a new Bowen in the house. He is so happy and full of energy. He bounces around the house like Tigger. Once a week he gets to sleep in the top bunk with Mason, tonight’s their night! The boys are such great friends; it’s going to be great having all the children together for the summer! Bowen and Adelaine are good friends too. Adelaine says, “Oh Bowen, I love you now”! (Were not sure exactly what that means, but we’ll take it)! Bowen is very smart, and is already reading, we plan to spend a lot of time at the Library this summer. He is very affectionate too he gives his mommy lots on “monkey” hugs, and kisses! He is really absorbing his Bible devotions, and refers to them and applies them. We are so proud of him. His “signatures” are when he writes his name, he writes the “W” upside down so it reads, Bomen! Also when he says,”good-bye to us, he signs “I love you” with his hands! He is such a blessing to our family, and oh, so much fun!

Bowen had his end of the year play on Tuesday. It was called,” Down by the Bay (Tampa Bay), the Very Busy Spider”. He was an alligator, and sooooo cute! His summer has officially started as of Friday! Mason gets out next week and we can’t wait!
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Bowen enjoying Cinco de Mayo at the Fore the Children Golf Tournament
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This is a pic I found today that was taken at the ACS Relay for Life @ USF in Tampa. Bowen hanging out with the Tri Delta’s. Oh yeah Peyton and Adelaine are there too I guess.

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Don’t Look Back

07-may-2-powell-family-cancer-break-black-and-white-cousin-drews-birthday-party

This photograph was taken by Mary McIntee a wonderful photographer and friend, located in Orlando, Florida.

So, where have we been? Did we really think that somehow all these different drugs were just killing cancer without causing any damage to her in the mean time? No, but I guess we’ve been on autopilot, just doing what’s necessary to keep her alive. We’ve seen first hand already the negative effects these medications can have on her. We’ve already been in the hospital more than once where if just one tiny thing snowballed, she could very likely not make it out. Blood infections, threat of pneumonia, these are the things that are likely to kill, not cancer.

When we were in the hospital at Thanksgiving, Bay New 9 did a story and interviewed us, the Mayhew’s and Mark Demaris and his Father (see television stars). We just recently found out that the precious little boy, Mark, who had been in the hospital 29 days after getting a bone marrow transplant passed away with pneumonia on February 29th. Apparently, he had originally been diagnosed and treated with another type of cancer, which was cured, but the treatments caused “chemically induced” leukemia. As part of his treatment for the Leukemia, he had to undergo a bone marrow transplant. When going through a bone marrow transplant, the immune system is taken down so low, that the body becomes highly susceptible to illnesses like pneumonia which can be proven fatal, as in the case of Mark. Our heart goes out to his family. They had to watch their little boy fight so hard for so long.

Now that we learning more about the possible long term damage that all these drugs are likely causing Adelaine, we also know all the prayers that are lifted up daily on her behalf. We also know first hand how prayer changes things, and we will continue praying for her healing and protection, and we beg of you to do the same.

Yesterday in the car on the way to pick up Mason from school, Bowen says out of the blue, “I really like Mason he is so nice”. It made me stop and thank how blessed we are that God chose each one of us and put us together to make our family. I really love and enjoy my family and we really love and enjoy each other. Every single day, Doug and I put one foot in front of the other, often just trying to make it through. In the mean time our children are being shaped and molded, just as we are. Mason’s teacher always seems to have such wonderful things about him, but what comes up time and time again is his empathy for others. I read a study not long ago that talked about what we as parents need to be teaching our children, the number one thing is empathy. Dealing with Adelaine’s illness and watching her suffer and be poked with giant needles, Mason and Bowen are learning empathy in high doses! Sometimes they ask, “Why does Adelaine always get so many presents?” (The nurses at the clinic give her all sorts of stuff). Our reply, “Because she had to get stabbed with a giant needle”. Then the boys are silent, I guess they figure who can argue with that.

When given the statistics, the first thing we did was look back over these past ten months. Talk about discouraging, there is no way that we’d want to watch Adelaine, or anyone else go through this again. Things are so much better now, she has a life and enjoys herself again. Although her counts are low and she is still in and out of the hospital, overall she feels good, what a blessing! When I look back on her physical pain and suffering, it leaves me paralyzed. Please pray that we don’t look back, but keep our eyes facing forward and focused on Jesus.

Angela

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