Andrew – my HERO!
It’s taken me 10 days to write this and I apologize for that. Ten days ago marked the 11th ‘anniversary’ of my son’s passing. Kids just should NOT die! Under any circumstances. It’s just not right. And, one might think (and I probably would have years ago) that the pain from the loss of a child would subside a bit over time. My parents have both passed away and I miss them a lot. I love both of them deeply…but, they were ‘supposed’ to die before me. Their deaths do not haunt me every day like the impact of losing my child from this world. The knot that I get in my stomach when the calendar turns to July and the pain in my heart on July 14th is not significantly less than it was on the first ‘anniversary’. I put ‘anniversary’ in quotes because it just doesn’t seem like the right word, but it’s the best I can come up with. I think of an anniversary as a happy occasion and July 14th is the farthest from that.
This year, we went to our ‘happy place’, Ocean City, NJ, for the week leading up to July 14th. We had Andrew’s framed picture on the table, we talked about him, and we made multiple visits to his bench on the boardwalk. And, we cried a lot. I don’t know what else to do. We ended the day back in Wilmington and I stopped in at Logan House where a group of Andrew’s grade school friends gather every year on July 14th to toast their buddy, Andrew. It means SO much to me, Chris, and Ali that they honor him every year. But, while I’m so happy to hear the progress that they’re making in their lives, I can’t help but wonder what Andrew would be doing if cancer hadn’t stolen him from us.
B+ on the Road
The mission continues – it has to – and I had the privilege of representing The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation at one of our top hospitals for family assistance – the University of California San Francisco (UCSF Benioff). I had a great meeting with our Social Worker partners and then met with one of the pediatric oncology researchers that we’re supporting. Dr. Bjoern Schwer and his team are doing some very exciting work into medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer. I am so proud to say that we are helping to fund some of the most exciting childhood cancer research…and I can’t wait to provide updates to you on ‘our’ progress.
I’d like to spotlight 3 B+ Heroes who are all amazing young men who need your prayers. Pictured above is 7 year old Frankie. Frankie is in treatment right now for a brain tumor. I was so excited to present him with his B+ Hero medal and B+ Hero cape…and I think he was pretty excited too! Christian turned 14 years old yesterday and he recently found out that his cancer has relapsed. He’s in the hospital now and unable to have too many visitors, so Ali organized a big group of people who gathered in the lobby of the hospital yesterday to wave to him and sing happy birthday to him as he looked down from the 3rd floor. And Alex is a 19 year old young man who, just two weeks ago, also learned that the cancer that he beat through chemo, a bone marrow transplant, and so much more, is back. Alex will be in the hospital for an extended period of time and I ask you to pray for Alex, Christian, Frankie, and all of our brave B+ Heroes.
Thank you very much for your support of The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. Please follow us on our FB page for the latest events and easy ways that you can help us. We’re not going to stop until there’s no more kids with cancer.
Ali & Andrew’s Proud Dad