Friday, May 17, 2013

Katie's Story, Part II

Saturday night, May 4th, was pasta night at the Hawley house. 20+ people were gathered around noodles, lasagna, and garlic bread for some “carb loading”. At least that’s what we’ve been told it’s called by our runner friends. Why were we carb loading you ask? In preparation for our grueling 5K walk for “Reaching for the Cure”. I kid because the walk was fun.

The cause we walked for is serious.

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation raised $424,000 for cancer research last weekend. It was their 15th annual half marathon, 10K run, 5K run/walk at the Irvine Spectrum. Currently, the areas they fund are stem cell transplantation, stem cell biology, molecular oncology and molecular and cellular genetics. Lots of medical terms that basically mean finding a cure for and improving the quality of life for children with malignant diseases. The main purpose of the PCRF is to fund innovative research so that every child will be cancer free. But they can’t do it without donations.

The event was a day of coming together and having fun. Just like some of the other days in the life of Katie Hawley. Those days may look at little different than you think. The principal at her Middle School has agreed to change her schedule so that she can attend her core classes in the morning and drive to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for chemotherapy treatments in the afternoon. She makes it back for things like Bible study with her “MMAD” group (Middle-schoolers Making a Difference) and Crux, the youth group at Crossline Church on Wednesday nights. She meets friends for dinner at favorite spots like Soup Plantation and Outback Steak house. The fun accompanies the work, and its HARD work.

Katie recently spent two weeks in San Francisco receiving the first of two MIGB treatments.

Pure radiation folks.

Her doctors told her parents that she would probably be sick and weak after the treatment and need to be isolated until the radiation levels went down. Turns out they were shocked to learn that when she was discharged (on her dad’s birthday) she WALKED out of the hospital and was hanging out with her friends by the weekend. She is a warrior. Consistently surprising her doctor’s with her stamina and energy. But she can't do it alone.

The Hawley family has begun a revolution. They, unknowingly, have created blessings for other people, by taking the unimaginable and generating a buzz around Ladera that asks “How will you make the most of what you have been given?” I know they have done that for me.

If your heart has been moved and you are asking yourself, “what can I do?” THINK of what you can provide for children that need incredible moments brought to them. Have access to a popular sports team? Know someone with VIP Disney passes? Are you a photographer that could do a free session for a family battling this devastating disease? Have money to donate to contribute to a CURE? DO it!

From May 17th to May 26th, get your car washed at Las Flores Hand Car Wash and they will donate $2 to a Gas for Katie Fund, providing gas cards for the Hawley family to go to and from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. If you would like to make a direct donation go to www.gas4katie.org

Whatever you think you can do, do it! You don't have to wait for the next charity run to make a child's dream come true. Help now. It will be one of the most important things you'll ever do, I promise. {H}

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