Friday, October 5, 2012

A Celebratory Exit

Half of the Children's Hospital atrium/lobby area was festive with snowmen and Christmas music. In any other circumstance I would annoyed by Christmas decorations anytime before Thanksgiving, but today was different. Each year the Association of Volunteers organizes a holiday card contest where kids being treated in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders create festive artwork to be used as Christmas cards. The cards are then sold as a fundraiser for the Center.

This year Esther will be the Holiday Card Project's cover girl. When we walked into the lobby, we were greeted by several volunteers so eager to meet Esther. They quickly ushered us over to a cake with her cute face on it. The rest of the cakes had the winning pieces of artwork. All of the volunteers were so kind and thrilled to participate in such a project. It was very sweet to feel so loved by strangers.

Esther got to go onstage and was interviewed by Murphy Huston, a morning DJ on KOSI 101 here in Denver. She was quiet at first but perked up when he asked her about her sister and princesses. She was very cute. Esther will help secure Christmas card purchases with her cute face on the brochures that are sent all over the country. I mean, really, who could turn down artwork from kids who have, or are currently fighting for their lives all spearheaded by this cute face?!

The money raised goes toward purchasing equipment, supplies, and toys and activities for the kids that are not otherwise funded. A big portion of this money goes to the Child Life department. Child Life is an amazingly helpful resource that helps kids understand, in age appropriate ways, what is happening. They often use books, games, activities, and toys to help kids understand what is happening on a broad scale and also what will happen in various procedures, tests, surgeries and more. We've had great experiences with the Child Life Specialists. In the beginning few days of Esther's diagnosis, she was given a doctor kit and a little doll with a mediport (just like hers). These helped Esther role play and become comfortable with stetiscopes and blood pressure cuffs. A couple weeks later she was able to play with paper dolls with removable hair. This helped Esther see that her hair would go away, but when we put the hair back on the paper dolls' heads, her hair will grow back. Child Life is a great department and resource. I'm glad to have Esther participate in a campaign that supports kids in ways that make the experience a bit easier and a lot more fun.

Following Esther's interview, each winner was presented with a plaque from a business sponsoring each card. It was neat to hear why the kids drew the pictures, and what lead each sponsoring business to choose that child's artwork. One of the children drew a picture of Santa riding a snow plow. The business that sponsored this card is an asphault company...they couldn't have commissioned a better card! Following the ceremony, the cakes were enjoyed by the crowds. We got to take the entire picture portion of Esther's cake at the end of the ceremony. They were smart to create cakes that had a nice wide border to cut! I'll update you with information on how you can buy the cards if you're interested. Our local CBS station, Channel 4, wrote an article on thier website about the program and winners. You can read it here (Thanks, Jen, for finding the article).

Did you notice the title...EXIT! Esther was discharged just before the awards ceremony. Each time we leave the hospital, it feels good to come home, but this time we had the decorations and cake to go with it. One of the volunteers even helped me out with Esther's giant suitcase...hopefully his back is okay!

We aren't totally home yet, but are stayig at my parents house for another day or so until our home is put back together. The floors look amazing! Tomorrow is the big job of moving the furniture back into the house and cleaning up all the dust. The crew is starting at 8am at our house. We'd love to see you there! You can email us: if you'd like to help.

We have a few days and then this Thursday Esther will start her 5th round of chemo. This is the last of her regular chemo treatments, but it is hard and an inpatient infusion for four to five days depending on how sick she gets. We are so thankful for God's kindess to allow Esther's surgery to go so quickly and are excited to be home together again.


  1. The article on CBS is terrible! There were at least two typos plus a ton of missing information :(
    So glad she (and you!) gets to spend a few days at home, we'll be praying for no fevers or other yuckies so you can just stay there until Thursday. Love you, friend!

  2. Awesome post, thank you for the updates! By the way I really don't like reading more than three sentences {I like pictures lol! don't laugh at me :) } , but the way that you write is really smooth. Maybe you could consider being a writer professionally (I know as if you're not too busy now, but you are good & I don't really give out compliments like that often :) I'm so happy to hear about God's grace in the midst of the craziness, I can't wait to her Esther's complete testimony that will help so many others suffering from this type of situation. I thank God for you and your family. I will continue to keep yall in my prayers. Love your sister in Christ.

  3. aaaaw! cute picture! Yay, I'm glad she's home and that is so cool she is on the Christmas cards! :)