Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A ton of THANKS

I've been thinking a lot about what to write after Sunday.  We've just spent a couple of days recovering after the amazing event and I want to make sure I write everything I had been thinking the last few days and try to express my gratitude.
I am overjoyed about the outcome of Sunday's event but that is an understatement.  I had hoped to meet many more of you but time got away from me.  There were people I saw and kept meaning to go back to say hi too but wasn't able.  The friends I did get to talk with made my day as always.  The people I just met who came out because you read about Gabriella in the paper or someone let you know of the event, my heart is forever touched by you.

To the women whose brother had rhabdo 55 years ago and that came up and gave me a hug, I hope we will do your brother some justice against pediatric cancer and know that he is not forgotten.  To the many families from "Circle of Friends" who we know and the ones we just met, G's babysitters, Gene and Janice from Make a Wish, my sweet high school buddies; I was delighted to see you all.  To my girls from Kaiser who brought their kids with them, to the families from the Santa Clara Fire department and an expecting mama with a 5 day countdown to their first baby who waited patiently outside the blood drive in the warm sun while her husband gave blood, I thank you.  Thanks to my family, along side my CrossFit family who enthusiastically sold out the Team G t-shirts and maned the tables as well as my extended Kuechle family who all drove from the bay area to show support and my mom for taking the girls home to rest.  All of the people waiting in line...some up to 30 minutes just to run through the obstacle course and the Santa Cruz Fire Department who came with about 2 trucks and 2 engines (maybe more but I lost count) just to show support and comradery.   TO EVERYONE involved in making this special day happen, especially Sam and Cliff, Danielle and Pat, Ronnie and Mel and to our friends who helped us celebrate at the end of the you guys more than you will ever know.  And ALL of the individuals who gave blood!  Stanford was overwhelmed with the turnout and were so amazed by all of you.  We were there till past 4 pm and they were still taking blood!!  Tim, a coordinator for the blood drive told us that  he has attended events where they struggled to get 18 units of blood out of 5,000 people.  With all of us, they got almost 50 units!  There are just no words.

We had our weekly appointment today for G's chemo.  The labs from yesterday showed that she is neutropenic (with an ANC count of about 300) and a hemoglobin of 7.7.  I was worried that we would be staying for a transfusion.  But since she is doing so well and pretty energetic even with such a low hemoglobin, they were ok with letting her go home.  Whew.  I promised them cupcakes so we stopped quickly at Kara's Cupcakes for a treat.  G proudly wore her mask (because of her low counts) and started talking non-stop to a very sweet lady who was holding her little white dog.  Gabriella told her the story of her "friends throwing her a party a couple days ago" because she "has cancer" and there was a little white dog there she got to pet.   I think the lady was so blown away by this little girl and her little sister just chatting away about her cancer and her party.  I was blown away because its not normally like G to be so outgoing.  The lady told her how brave she was and let them pet her little dog.  I don't think she'll ever forget that moment.  I know I certainly won't!

There was a young girl who reached out to us after reading about Gabriella in the paper.  She is currently fighting rhabdo and was going to attend the event but ended up in the hospital.  I have been thinking a lot about you.  I was thinking how unfair it was for a young girl to have to spend her days worrying about her next chemo treatment, her next tests, her cancer...  Girls this age should be thinking about what outfit to wear, their newest crush or figuring out where to watch the fireworks.  I just don't understand how this happens to children and it breaks my heart.  We are so thankful to have meet your Aunt and Uncle who came to the event.  Hopefully we will be able to meet you soon.  Our heart goes out to you and we will help you however we can in this almost impossible journey.

As I was sorting through the laundry tonight and glancing at my little girls clothes, I couldn't help but become overwhelmed with emotion.  Their clothes are so bright and cheery just like the life of a child should be.  Children shouldn't have to worry about illnesses like these.  I won't ever understand why these things happen to children.

You have all made a huge impact in my life and in my families life, especially Gabriella.  A call for action was made.  You all answered it.  Not only did you answer, but you answered with vigor and passion.  Team G is strong.  Team G is a force to be reckoned with.

To all those little kids fighting cancer...this is only the beginning.  We will fight for you.


An entry from Sam via the Crossfit West Blog July 1st:

"I was absolutely blown away by the turn out for the Gabriella Cosner Team G Benefit, Obstacle Course, and Blood Drive on Sunday. Over one hundred people went through the O-course (fastest times were PJ Rubel and Kirsten Mehl), many more raffle tickets were sold, the Team G t-shirts sold out, and the Stanford Blood Van (they collected nearly 50 units of  blood!–usually they get about 18 units for every 5000 people at an event) stayed several hours later than it had intended to accommodate all the donors.
You know, it is sadly easy to get frustrated and worn out by some of the horrific headlines (woman kills her child for interrupting video game, screamed the San Jose Mercury headlines at the coffee shop this morning) and news items that seem to inundate us on a far too regular basis. But then something like the Team G Benefit comes around and it not only restores my faith in humanity but jumped it up several notches.
A huge thank you to everyone who came and supported. A special thank you to the volunteers and coordinators, from the Team G crew to the ScottsValley and SLV High Schools football teams and coaches. You guys are all rock stars. Thank you all very much.

An entry from Leah via the Crossfit West Blog July 2nd:

"Still fresh in my mind is the Team G Fundraising event yesterday.  I know that the Cosners were blessed and blown away by the tremendous show of support.  The Stanford blood donation team just couldn’t stop talking about the overwhelming turn out and the marked patience of all waiting to donate.  Even with after the wrap-up yesterday, we could list so many more wonderful things from the afternoon.
There were people who came and where able to meet Gabriella for the first time. There were people who came to who had never before met the Cosners.  There were people who came from outside of Santa Cruz, knowing that the drive was well worth the opportunity to be there in person."
I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
-Tennessee Williams
"Over and over again you heard people introducing themselves to each other, looking outside of themselves in order to connect with others, strangers, who were all there to demonstrate kindness and support for Gabriella and the many other children who will face a similar battle."
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
"So many gave of themselves in both big and small ways, and it was incredible to see everyone come together.  The acts of kindness shown yesterday are important, but so are the acts of kindness everyday-the kind words in the gym, the smile for someone who needs it, and all of the many, many other kindnesses are so important to each of us.  We need all of these, for Team G and for all of the others around us who might be walking through tough times, even when we don’t know it, small tough times or big tough times."
Kindness begets kindness evermore.

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