In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Run, Andrew, Run!!

There was quite a build-up.

Daddy had Aaron and Sammy running laps at dusk,
practicing for the "big run" on Saturday morning 
(100 yard dash courtesy of Sammy's school). 
They raced from the neighbor's house to our mailbox,
from the mailbox to the garbage can,
and back to the neighbor's house. 
Several times. 
Their faces were determined; their feet were quick.

Andrew and I were the spectators and cheerleaders. 
Andrew couldn't run because he was
connected to his chemo tubes. 
He cycled around the driveway on his bike,
while I pushed the handle and wore his fluid-filled backpack.

We cheered "the brothers" on. 
And then I gave them the "winning isn't everything" speech.
I was trying to downplay John's excited hype over
how they were going to "WIN!" 
and reminded them that racing could still be fun, 
even if they lost. 
Even if they did not get a ribbon. 
(That's what moms say, right?)

Andrew was not interested in the race.  
He was just going to "play on the playground." 

Saturday, 8 am
After a long week of chemo, tubes,
constantly wet diapers, and threats of the "moorgency room"
(if the tubes were to come dislodged),  
I was able to remove Andrew's chemo tubes.  
An hour later we arrived at the park, ready for the big run.

I stayed in the car and put on my make-up 
while John took the boys and gave them one more pep talk. 
When I met up with them, all THREE were in blue. 
Ready to go. 
I immediately assumed that Andrew
would back out at the last second.
 I had already resolved that
"at least the money was going to the school,"
and at least "Andrew likes the shirt."

The races began.

Aaron ran first.  He got third!!

Sammy ran next (with considerably more competition). 
He wasn't as happy with his results.

Poor buddy.

I was still sure that Andrew would back out. 
There was a long wait between the races.
I was sure Andrew would grow bored and run away to the playground.

 But when the loud speaker called for "three-year-old boys,"
 there he was. 
Fresh off chemo,
wearing his dragon hat,
feet on the starting line,
 and ready to GO!

His brothers were on the sidelines:

Daddy coached him one last time.

The race started. 

"Go Andrew, Go!!!" I screamed.
 His eyes immediately searched for me on the side-lines. 
 I was sure he was going to run straight towards me,
duck under the boundary tape,
and quit.

But he didn't.

He saw me.
He smiled.
He ran towards me,
and kept right on running
towards the finish line.

He was several feet behind the slowest runner.
But he kept running.
He was the last one across.
But he didn't care.

I was wiping my eyes
as the race volunteer took him to the medal table.

He did it!
He was so proud.
And then he ran to the playground.
He kept that medal around his neck the whole time.

That'll teach me.
Once again.

Never underestimate Andrew.

Winning is definitely NOT everything.


  1. I'm all happy-teary! He's so awesome!

  2. hooray for Andrew! and great life lesson for everyone.

  3. what a life lesson from a three year old! congrats to him

  4. Baaahhhh.... crying at work, thanks a lot.
    You go Andrew!
    And Sammy? Oh poor sweet Sammy. That is a heartbreaking picture!!

  5. As I sit here crying I can't help but think about all of the finish lines Andrew has already crossed and what an amazingly strong and inspiring little man he is! Keep running, Andrew! XXOO

  6. OK, you got me too. I'm crying! LOVE this! :-)

  7. What an amazing spirit this boy has. Wow!

  8. Poor Sammy... Hopefully he's proud of a job well done in hindsight. I'm glad they all got medals and shirts.

    Andrew is growing up! How sweet that he was so proud of himself and that his brothers were cheering him on.

  9. Of course he won.
    He wins every day that he gets out of bed, keeps making others smile, and carries on.
    And for what its worth I think all your boys did an awesome job.
    What an inspiring family you are.

  10. You guys are all big-time winners in my book. I'm just glad the boys finally have the medals to prove it. :)

    (And that picture of Sammy just breaks my heart. What a cutie.)

  11. that was the best post I've read in a long time - so beautifully written! crying too - love Sammy's picture!

  12. Inspiring!!! Thanks for sharing this beautiful story! Blessings to you and your sweet "boys."

  13. Such a sweet story, probably one of the best things Ive read all week - Your boys are so sweet. :)

  14. he is a gift- a pure, unadulterated gift of a boy :) I agree with CJ- this is the best thing I've read (through teary eyes) all week!!!! Blessings to all of you and an extra special congratulations to Aaron!!!!!

  15. oh, this brings tears to my eyes! andrew definitely surprised you all and i am so glad! what an awesome little guy you have there!

  16. Run, Andrew, run! I'm a blubbery mess right now. That sweet, precious little kid is such an inspiration.


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