Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ethan's charity quilt

This past weekend, I attended a silent auction/fundraiser for Ethan LaForme, the son of hubby's cousin. Ethan is a precious two-year-old who was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma just a few days before his second birthday. This happened on Valentine's Day and the tumor took up 85% of his chest cavity (and was pushing against his heart). He continues to receive Chemo and his length of treatment is 2 years.

As a parent, I CAN NOT imagine going through something like this. Ethan's parents are amazing and in a situation that can tear families apart, they draw on each other's strength and have become closer than ever. They have so many family and friends who love them, Ethan, and Ethan's older sister Emily and I know they truly appreciate the support and blessings given to them. It was an emotional weekend as I haven't seen the family (who live in another state) since prior to Ethan's diagnosis. Hearing their stories and experiencing the weekend with them was amazing. I spent much of the time on the verge of crying but they were all so strong.

The Charity Quilt was donated to the silent auction and I finally have a picture. Holding it is Ethan's Great Aunt Bobbie and Nee (his grandma).

Ethan's Aunt Sue (on the right) helped organize the benefit which was hosted by the Masons.

The Mason's presented Ethan with a leather vest. He loves motorcycles!

You can follow Ethan's journey through his care page (search Ethan LaForme) but I thought I'd include a post from yesterday:

Very good day but very long day! Ethan had excellant counts today and was able to get chemo. He will get a dose every 28 days and then have appointments in between. We are beginning 2 kinds of chemo that we give at home as well starting tonight. He is also on 5 days of steroids beginning tonight as well. We are prepped with sour cream and chip dip for late night feedings.
We attended the spaghetti dinner for Ethan yesterday and were moved beyond words by all the support, love, and time that people gave. It did very well and will carry us for a very long time. We thank god that we can focus on the cancer and the medical bills, etc are covered and not something we need to worry. We had some wonderful help back in the spring and that carried us until this point. God is so amazing to bless us with what we need and put special people in our life. We have said this before and we mean it. God has surrounded us with so much support and love that we have never felt alone. We have learned a great deal thru this journey and have seen the very best in people. We had almost a mini family reunion and it was such a happy occasion. We were so happy to see almost 500 people attend and the food was amazing!!!!

The worst day of our lives was on Valentines Day of this year when we learned of his cancer. It was crazy and full of chaos the moment we learned. We were wisked into ICU because he was suffocating from the tumor and we only knew at that point that he has some sort of mass in his chest. Ethan was screaming as their must have been 15 people working on him to sedate him and put him on the respirator. We were standing in the corner and the surgeon began to talk to us about the chest tube, port, and sample he was going to do as soon as they could stabalize him. We always remember that the surgeon said something about starting chemo and we both looked at eachother. Just then, we looked up and read the white jacket of the man we had yet to meet. He was standing next to the surgeon waiting his turn to talk to us. It said Pediatric Oncology on his jacket. We knew right then what was going on. We to this day feel a tighter bond with that doctor than the other ones. We love them all but he was the Oncologist with us at that moment and we hung onto his every word for all of our hope. The Oncology nurse Karen that happened to be there as well is someone we feel the same sort of bond. Laura remembers Karen grabbing her hand and asking her if she understood what the Oncology Doctor was saying when he started talking about what they were sure was Lymphoma. Laura says that she can still feel Karen looking hard at her to get her to focus and squeezing her hand. We see both of them all the time and feel a closeness with them because they were there at our darkest moment. Laura remembers her first thoughts being not sure how she was going to tell her parents. Tony could not speak.

We look at him yesterday at the benefit and if you did not know the benefit was for him, you would not know he had cancer. He was running around full of life and more interested in the drinking fountain in the hallway than in meeting people and thanking them. We often tell people that Ethan does fine with Cancer, it is us that you have to worry about. Thank God for that!

Thanks again for the support and prayer. We have used all of this to get by and we thank you.

Love, Tony & Laura

Please keep Ethan and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

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