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Inspiration Friday – We Have Video!

November 12, 2010

TGIF Everyone! Today’s Inspiration Friday story is Clinton:

Clinton
5 years old

Diagnosis:  Clinton was found to suffer from medulloblastoma in November 2009.

Clinton’s Story:

In June 2009, Clinton began having headaches and nausea, but it wasn’t until November that doctors discovered the shocking cause of his illness. Little Clinton suffered from medulloblastoma, the most common type of brain tumor in children. Clinton’s parents were told the tumor, located in his brain’s fourth ventricle, was the size of an acorn. They were devastated, and even Clinton realized something was terribly wrong.

“When he would throw up, he would look at me with these little sad eyes and say, ‘This is not good. This is not good,'” said Clinton’s mom.

Clinton underwent surgery to remove the tumor, and his parents began searching for the best place for his continuing care. They looked into St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and were impressed by the hospital’s promising research. The family soon obtained a referral.

At St. Jude:

Clinton received 31 radiation treatments and four rounds of high-dose chemotherapy. His treatment was sometimes tough, but Clinton’s doctors and nurses helped him through the difficult moments.

Clinton and his family love St. Jude and the personalized care they received during his treatment. Clinton’s mom said the St. Jude staff kept her informed. They also listened to what she had to say. “I’m part of the team,” she said. “When I have questions or things to tell them, I’m not a troublesome mother, a problem mom, and that’s very, very important.”

Clinton finished treatment in summer 2010 and was able to return home. He is a bright boy who loves fishing and making up jokes. Unfortunately, recent follow-up tests revealed that Clinton’s cancer has returned. But Clinton and his family have vowed to continue to fight on despite this setback.

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Even though it’s a little repetitive of Clinton’s story above, I’m excited that this month, St. Jude has also captured some video! While stories and pictures are always good, there is nothing like a video to show you a person’s movements, or let you hear their voice. The video is only two minute long and can be found by clicking here. (It’s REALLY cute – Clinton’s Mom even talks about his “girlfriends”! … if you’re prone to tears, WARNING: have a tissue on hand).

In addition, even though it’s a little outdated since Clinton’s cancer has now returned, I found another video – his “no mo chemo” party … that’s right. Did you know that when a patient leaves, the staff of St. Jude’s has a party? And sings a song!? Again, have some tissues:

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I’ll be honest, readers, I cried when writing this post. And I cried in a way that I haven’t cried since September or earlier. (It’s because I only shared happy stories during October, remember!?!). But the fact of the matter is that life isn’t dandelions and candy canes all the time (though, I wish it were).  And as such, not every story is perfect at St. Jude’s.  Most importantly, St. Jude’s is the place where a child’s chances of having a happy ending are greater … and that’s why I am running for St. Jude’s, and St. Jude patients, and their families. Because to me, St. Jude’s takes SUCKY CANCER and turns it into – as much as possible – dandelions and candy canes for the kids.

When I first went in search of today’s Inspiration Friday patient, I really had no idea who I’d find. I wondered, “Who could I possibly dedicate 20 Miles too?!?!” Little did I know that I’d find the PERFECT patient to inspire me – a 5 year old who’s been given a terrible challenge, but who I know will continue to fight. Clinton – all of tomorrow’s 20 Miles are dedicated TO YOU. I’m going to run that 20 in two parts: the first 10 which I know I can do (like you did with Round 1 of your treatment) and the second 10 like it’s coming back for more.  My struggle is no where near as great as yours – I mean, I’ll be done with it in approximately 3.5 hours – and you’ll go one for I don’t know how much more – but keep up the good fight for me, okay? I’m praying for you.

And now, dear readers, as for the rest of you, I ask two things: 1. If you’re a runner, please dedicate a run of your own this week: Think about someone who inspires you; someone who pushes you to be better; someone who makes you or who has made you, try something / do something / accomplish something that you otherwise would not have accomplished on your own. And 2. If you have not made a donation, please consider making one today. No amount is too small – $5? $10? [it all helps] – and you’d be just in time for the Marathon or Bust Raffle.  As a reminder, the winners will be announced in our Funday Monday post on November 22 … which is in only 11 days. 11 Days? 11 Days!  Can you believe we have come this far?  I can’t believe I’ll be running a marathon in approximately 3 weeks – It’s crazy. It’s insane. It’s glorious! I’ve been dreaming of my taper during this past week’s runs and quite frankly, I write to you at 3 AM because I’m so hungry all the time that I had to get up for a snack! Yes – 11 days. In only 11 days we’ll have several winners. In 2 days, you’ll have a woman who never ran 20 Miles before. In 1 year (or less!), I hope we can all have a cancer-free Clinton. [sigh]. This one’s for you …

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