Tuesday, June 7, 2011

team jaylie!

A few weeks ago, when I learned that one of my best friend's 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer, it was a blow to the stomach.  Here are some posts I did about it.  Even still, when I stop to think about the reality of it all, it just makes me start crying.  And, in the weeks since, I've realized that I'm seeing life differently.  I'm treating my kids differently.  I'm hugging them tighter.  I'm more patient.  I'm taking more time outs to photograph them...  I know it sounds cliche', but really, you don't think something like that would happen so close to home---with people I love and know so dearly.  It happens to "other people"---whatever that means.

When I learned the news, I wanted to share more with you, but I also wanted to make sure I wasn't infringing on privacy, so I made sure not to share names and that info. But, now, it's out in the open and there are some awesome websites set up that will help connect people  to them.  
taken from jaylie's new blog

Meet darling little Jaylie, Kip and Kajsa's little 5 year old girl.  We love that little family and are so proud of Jaylie and her awesome attitude as she has just started radiation and chemo this past week.

It is just so crazy that they took Jaylie in on Tuesday b/c she was complaining about her vision, and then that Thursday, she was having a major brain surgery to remove a plumb sized tumor.  How could life change so quickly?  
I just love this one of the girls.  Kajsa has been such a great friend for so many years and I think she looks beautiful here. This was taken from jaylie's blog too.
It's all nuts, and doesn't feel real.  But, it is.  And, her darling mom, Kajsa, put together a little blog to keep people updated with her treatments and all the random events in between.  I cling to every update they do.  If you're interested in their "new everyday" it's http://jaylienielson.blogspot.com/

Another great site some friends of theirs have put together is this one:

It's great, because you can post messages to Jaylie, words of encouragement, pictures or things she might enjoy (she's a big fan of Rapunzel, all things princess, and Tweety Bird).  :)  Anyway, I love it.  And, I'm so glad that they have put together a few different sites to help connect people to this sweet family.  So, if you want to drop by and leave a note, or help with a donation, please do!

Their little family came back to San Antonio a few weeks ago for one last big hoorah before Jaylie started feeling sick with all the treatments.  We were able to go hang out for a little bit with them and I remembered why we missed them so much!  You'd never have any idea that the hyper little five year old we were chatting to had just recently had a major brain surgery and was about to start chemo & radiation.  It was so unreal. 
Here are some of the fun pictures we got with all our cute kiddos...
love this one that Kajsa took of them smiling at each other.  Tillie adores Jaylie and talks to her and Kajsa all the time on her fake phone.
Breks is too cute in this one (far left).  Look at that cheeser grin!
all smiling.  got it.  too cute.
::: Lately, since we live over an hour away, we've been feeling pretty helpless.  My friend, Summer, had a great idea to put together a little garage sale where all the proceeds go directly to Jaylie's Cancer Recovery Fund (you wouldn't believe how expensive all the medical bills are). 

I loved the idea and helped spread the word to friends and neighbors here in town.  We walked around a ton of flyers in our neighborhood and so many people remembered the Neilsons by our nightly walks and some started crying as I told them the story.  It was such a bittersweet experience.

Fast forward a few days, my car was overflowing with donations from neighbors and friends.  A bunch of women were able to compile/sort it all (along with a TON of other things people had donated) at another friend's house (who didn't even know the Nielsons, but offered up her home and it's great location for the sale to take place).  I didn't stay very long b/c Aaron was out of town with the scouts, and somehow a 1 yr. old and 3 yr. old make it kind of difficult to get down to business.  Thankfully, so many women showed up and it took a few HOURS to sort it all!  I'm sad I didn't get pictures of everyone.
The next morning of the sale SO many people came to help with the sale and tons more came to purchase things.  It was amazing seeing so many people come together.  My favorite is when someone's total came out to $2, and they'd give us a $20 bill instead, saying, "I can't imagine what that would be like.  Hope it helps."  Amazing.
People are genuinely good.  It was such a lovely day.

Here are some photos of the day's event:  
this shirt was Summer and Ashley Z.'s idea.  Summer had the design figured out and I helped finish it.  Tillie was a fan that we could be twinners.  Although, she definitely looks MUCH cuter in it than I do!
calvin and tillie really enjoyed playing with all the donated toys.  hA!
yes, Tillie found some toys she didn't want to put back down. She now has a Cinderella alarm clock and princess crown. Oh, and she wears it around her head like that to look like Astrid on How to Train A Dragon
this was at the very end of the sale!  look how much we were able to sell!  woot! woot!
Anyway, it was lovely.  Two of the girls were able to head up to the Nielson's house the next day and give them the big check.  We know that the amount pales in comparison to all the medical bills, but it was some kind of wonderful getting a group together all b/c of a darling little 5 year old.

So, that's the story.  We're rooting for this little one and her sweet family!  Keep them in your prayers.


Rebecca Snyder said...

Wow what a great post. That is so awesome that you were able to sell so much. Go San Antonio Texas! What a good state. The shirts look great and thanks for including those links to donate.

Marc, Michelle, Jackson, and Bennett said...

My heart goes out to your friends and their family! I canNOT imagine what they are going through. I have definitely been thinking of them. Way to go, with the yard sale and t-shirts! You guys are such a great friends, I am sure they appreciated everything you guys did!

Brian and Elizabeth Shelley said...

Wow! All I can think after reading your post is how thankful I am for the Church. Wherever we go we have a family that will wrap their arms around us in a time of need. My thoughts and prayers go out to this beautiful family. Lots of love to you!

Jared and Kelly said...

I love that you did this! I wish I could be there to help.

Stef Herdman said...

I am certainly thinking of Jaylie often these days! As a fellow neighbor, I feel ashamed I wasn't aware of what her family was going through. Please let them know to call on us if they ever need anything. We are right around the corner! Can we bring Jaylie anything? Having brain surgery myself in Dec. 2010, it's not easy and Jaylie is a trouper!!


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