During those many long months of struggling to get even one step ahead of Matthew's brain tumor, we could only dream of a time when we, as a family, might have an opportunity to strike back against this dreaded disease. Well, we feel that time has come...
We are excited to announce that we are organizing Team Superman (for the significance of this name, check out our 2/2/06 posting) to participate in the Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation "Stride for Life 5K Walk/Run" on Sunday, September 30, in Reston, Virginia.
All proceeds raised by Team Superman will be used to fund a study on germ cell tumors of the central nervous system (Matthew's diagnosis). Research is seriously needed to fight this rare disease. One of the more horrific aspects of our ordeal was that, after Matthew failed his initial chemo protocol, there were no data to guide his treatment. Our goal is to raise sufficient funds to support one good study that will advance understanding of treatment options.
We will be sending out more info by email and mail in the next few weeks on how you can support Team Superman with your participation and/or donations. We would love to include everyone who reads our blog and might be interested in participating. If there's a chance I might not have your email and home address, please send this information to firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can keep you in the loop.
Thank you in advance for supporting us in this effort!!!
... and a Long-Overdue Update
We had an awesome spring break trip to Utah for five days of skiing, followed by five days of touring the national parks.
Race for Hope
On the sidelines, Jon & I were becoming more & more convinced that something "had to give." After getting loads of valuable input from friends and professionals (and friends who are professionals!), we sat down with school personnel and came up with a proposal to extend Matthew's high school term by one semester beyond 12th grade. The proposed plan permits Matthew to remain with his class while taking a reduced schedule over the next 2 1/2 years, have breathing room over the summer, and postpone SATs/college planning for another year. We are all pleased to have arrived at this option and hope that it will make our lives considerably less stressful!
Summer has gotten off to an excellent start. Matthew is concentrating on fulfilling his high school community service requirement. He attended two weeks of community service camp downtown and is now working two afternoons a week as a youth counselor at The Children's Inn, with children who are receiving treatment at the NIH. He is also practicing with the swim team, working out with a trainer, playing guitar, and catching up with friends. He turned 16 last month, but so far has not pushed too hard on the driving front!
Danny (who has sprung up like a weed and is now practically my height) has been attending a very active day camp for the past three weeks (one week left to go), where they swim twice a day, play all kinds of sports (soccer, football, ultimate frisbee, etc.), go kayaking and horseback riding, do drama and art, and come home pleasantly exhausted.
Hope you are having a good summer. We'll be in touch!