Monday February 25, 2013

Yesterday we had a chance to go to the Timberwolves game as a guest of St. Jude and sit in a suite at Target Center.  Erin got to meet Kevin Love and hang out on the floor before the game.  Very cool.

We are becoming entrenched in the St. Jude events for this year, which will lead us up to a big book/St. Jude event this September at the Fall Festival of Hope.  So, we are becoming familiar with the Minneapolis St. Jude office and the people who work there.  They are also very cool. 

Sure, the meet and greet before the game was nice, but what happened up in the suite was just as special.  Sitting in a suite with four families all of whom have been treated at St. Jude.  Two of us had lost our battle, and two others were still fighting.  It's quite a club to which we belong.  

It's also a little tenuous - the last thing those families that are still fighting probably want to hear about is a beautiful little girl who didn't survive.  Dan and I tried to be respectful and not share too much with them, but instead tried to engage and hear about their ongoing battles.

Now, with the family who met the same fate as us, all bets were off.  We shared details of radiation and chemo and recurrence and the rapid decline that comes when a brain tumor takes over.  There is an instant connection to someone who has lost a child in such similar fashion.  We are comrades.

Erin was the oldest "kid" in the suite, just as comfortable engaging the young patients and their siblings as she was engaging the young women who work for St. Jude.  No shocker here, another O'Hara who knows how to work a room!

Erin left yesterday feeling good - good about making connections, good about being a face of a family that's carrying on, good about playing with the little girl, Avery, who has already been through so much in her short life.  Erin has intimate knowledge of what these kids are going through, and she empathizes with them and their families.  

So, here's the next chance to help out St. Jude and the Shannon O'Hara Foundation - we will be speaking at the Zumbro Valley Bassmasters event again this year.  Dan will share an update on the research and I will read from Determined to Matter.  There will be a raffle to win a signed copy of the book and we will have SOF merchandise on sale, too. 

So, if you are free April 13th, come help the kids of St. Jude.