Karson's Updates

Karson's Leukemia Updates

Another Happy Milestone


Today was another milestone in Karson’s life. He “graduated” to once-a-year clinic visits for his post cancer check-ups.

Once a year.

That’s crazy! When I think about how far we’ve come since the first days of Karson’s leukemia diagnosis, when he was just two years old, it’s almost hard for me to comprehend. In the past seven years we’ve seen a lot changes in Karson’s life. We used to be at the hospital daily (and even spent many nights there!)…then weekly… then monthly… and now to think we don’t have to schedule another appointment for a year…WOW! As the doctor reminded us, “It’s weird, but a GOOD weird.” Yes, it’s good, indeed.


Karson’s physical exam went well. He’s happy that he remains tall (that may be an understatement) for his age. He is now over 5’2″ and he’s only 9 years old. He loves it and smiles when they measure him and tell him that he’s almost as tall as some of the nurses. He’s hoping to be taller than Daddy someday and he just may be… maybe by 5th grade! 🙂


Karson has very minor issues that I feel bad even mentioning because they are so minor. But, for my own memory and to record this for later I will note that Karson does have some tooth decay and damage that is most likely due to receiving chemo when his teeth were forming. Again, this is minor and we’ll deal with it as we need to with the dentist. Karson also has some very tight heel cords in his legs probably due to the vincristine chemo that he received for three years. Sometimes Karson gets sore legs and pain in calf muscles and this may be due to this tightness. Our plan is just to have him stretch his legs each morning while brushing his teeth to see if we can help them loosen up a bit. Again, not a big deal. Otherwise, he shows no long-term effects from the chemo and steroids. We will have his heart checked again in a few years and we will continue to monitor his teeth, eyes, bones, etc. but we really anticipate no problems.

At each appointment we’ve been asked about Karson’s cognitive skills and if he’s doing alright in school. The answer is yes. He’s at the top of his class. This really shouldn’t be the case. The doctor has told us repeatedly over the years that Karson could have learning disabilities and trouble concentrating or understanding things because of the amount of chemo that was put into his nervous system via spinal taps (he had 22!) We were prepared that Karson may struggle in school. And we’ve yet to see it. It is so humbling and amazing to be able to tell the doctor that he’s doing so well. (And we also try not to let Karson know that he’s got a pretty good excuse for slacking off! Ha ha!)

The doctor was pleased that Karson is so active in sports and encouraged him to keep it up! What a blessing for a little boy who loves to be active. Karson is in the midst of baseball season right now and has even been doing some pitching-which he loves. Who would have thought that a kid who was given three-and-a-half years of chemo and steroids would be able to have the fine motor skills to pitch a baseball–let alone even be on the team! We were told Karson may have coordination problems and so sometimes I get choked up even looking at him on the pitcher’s mound as he’s doing his wind-up and throwing pitches with precion. We’ve been so blessed and God has been so gracious to us. I never want to forget that. Ever.


I admit that struggle sometimes with the fact that Karson is doing so well. Don’t get me wrong. I REJOICE when I get the news that he’s still cancer-free. In fact, I realized today I was holding my breath while waiting to hear the blood work report. I finally breathed again once I heard that all was well. I think I’ll always do that to some extent. But I feel a struggle inside when I hear of others who have children who are dealing with long-term side-effects, or who have relapses of cancer, or who don’t win their battles at all. I’ve been closely following a family’s story (a family I don’t even know personally) and they just lost their son to cancer this week. I feel such a heartbreak and pain for them and I get weepy when I look at Karson and see the full and healthy life he’s living. It doesn’t seem fair.

I don’t have any answers as to why some are healed and some experience death. I don’t claim to understand the issue of suffering in our world other than to know that this world is broken. We weren’t created for death or pain and that’s why it hurts so much.

I grieve with those who grieve and rejoice with those who rejoice. There have been times when I’ve wept for my own child and times when I’ve wept for kids I don’t even know.

But through it all I want continue to give thanks to my Heavenly Father for ALL that he’s blessed each of us with–life itself and the opportunity to know Him.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m thankful right now for this moment and I desire to honor God and give Him the glory for all He’s done through Karson’s life.  That’s easy to do on days like today. And I’m so thankful.

We also want to continue to be faithful to help others, whether it be through prayer or whatever support we can offer. We’re forever grateful for those who have walked this journey with us for the past seven years and we want to help others as we’ve been so graciously helped.

Ok, that’s enough update and deep thoughts for now…

I’m going to wipe away my happy tears and enjoy the reality that we don’t have to schedule another cancer check-up for an entire YEAR! 🙂

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7 Years.

Seven years ago today Karson was diagnosed with leukemia.IMG_4064

February 9th always carries a lot of emotion for our family. We never could have dreamed what all Karson would have to go through during his battle with cancer and his 3 1/2 years of chemo. We also never want to take for granted the fact that he’s now been OFF of chemo for 3 1/2 years!

Karson remains cancer free and very healthy! We are beyond thankful. It’s hard to put into words how we really do feel.IMG_3090

Seven years ago today was the beginning of the hardest journey of our lives. Karson was 2 years old and we didn’t know if he’d live to see another birthday. We were told the chemo may stunt his growth and cause him to have learning disabilities. We were also told his coordination may be affected. Today, Karson is the tallest kid in his grade and academically he’s near the top as well. And his coordination is just fine too. He plays basketball and baseball and loves sports.

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How do you even put into words how wonderful that is? How thankful you are?

I can’t. I just can’t express all the emotion I feel. But we try hard to never forget where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. We never want to take for granted all of the support, love and prayers on our behalf–and how those prayers have been answered. On these anniversaries we always talk about Karson’s cancer as a family. Our little girls don’t remember much of anything about it, but Karson does. It’s good to process things together and continue to give God the glory for all He has done in our lives and the lives of others.


Today we let Karson choose where he wanted to go to lunch to celebrate. He chose Culvers and we all had ice cream for dessert! How sweet it is!

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We take Karson to the Cancer Clinic every six months now for blood work and a physical. Six months between appointments feels like an eternity when at one point we went almost daily and then weekly for years! It’s wonderful to have gotten to this point. Again, we are just so very thankful.

Thanks for your support and prayers these past seven years! It’s incredible to look at the archives on this blog and how many times I updated this for years with SO much medical information. I’m thankful that now I don’t have much to report. What a blessing!

“On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:10b-11


A Happy Heart!

We got word today that Karson’s ECHO and EKG showed a healthy heart! Thank you, Lord!! What wonderful news. It’s hard to really put into words the gratitude we feel regarding the lack of negative side-effects Karson has experienced due to over three years of chemotherapy and steroids. We feel so thankful and blessed. We also believe God has his hand on Karson’s life and we look forward to watching him grow up and be used in great ways. I’m a little weepy thinking about it all.

As a “side note:” We have been given some amazing opportunities lately because of all that Karson endured. We have tried to accept the good with the bad. Sometimes we don’t feel deserving of all the good things that we’ve been given, but we want to do what we can to help Riley Hospital and other Riley families along the way. In the past few weeks we’ve been able to:

-Walk in a parade for Riley Hospital (and ride in a giant Riley wagon!)

-Eat free all-you-eat Edy’s Ice Cream while watching a children’s show and Edy’s give $10,000 to Riley

-Oh yeah, MEET NASCAR driver JEFF GORDON and go bowling with Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief and Dayton 500 winner, Trevor Bayne! This was all during the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation Fundraiser for pediatric cancer research. Karson was a Riley kid “celebrity” and our whole family had a blast!

-Kraig and Karson shared our Riley story at a golf tournament at Noble Hawk golf course in Fort Wayne which was also a fundraiser for Riley Hospital.

Wow. It’s been quite the summer so far. We are so thankful for Karson’s health and for these special opportunities.

If you’d like to read more about any of these or see  more pictures, you can go to the Riley Foundation Blog here: http://blog.rileykids.org/ I am a guest blogger for Riley and I have shared about our personal experiences in these special events this summer. Writing for their blog is another way I can help “give back” and share our story while helping to raise awareness and funds for Riley.

We return to the Kids Cancer Clinic at Lutheran at the end of August for Karson’s next physical exam and blood work. By then he will have started 2nd grade! Wow.

Thanks for continuing to follow our journey and for your care and prayers. We just can’t express how very grateful we are!

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Cancer Check-Up

The other day we had to take our youngest daughter to a well-child check-up when she turned 2. Karson then asked me how often he had to go to the doctor. I answered him by saying it was just once a year just like his sister about the time his birthday rolled around each Fall. But later in the day it dawned on me that the very next morning I had to take Karson to the cancer clinic for a check-up. We go there every 12 weeks now, which seems like almost never compared to how often we used to be in the clinic, for Karson to get blood work done and a physical exam. These appointments are just to make sure that the cancer has not returned and that he is otherwise healthy. How could I have forgotten these appointments? It made me realize how we are becoming more and more removed all the time from the life we used to live while Karson was receiving chemotherapy. It’s such a blessing, really.

I did have to tell Karson, when he got home from school, that I had been wrong about how often he would have to go to the doctor. I explained that for regular check-ups it was once a year but since he was a cancer survivor he had to go much more often. He took it in stride and said he pretty much knew that. I reminded him that not all kids have to go that often and he said that was ok, he was excited about ordering room service from the cafeteria! I love his perspective.

His 12-week blood work and exam went very well. His blood counts are well in the “normal” range and his physical exam was good. He still doesn’t have reflexes in his legs, but that may take a long time, if ever, to return. Otherwise, he looked great. He is still the tallest 1st grader in his class and you’d never guess by looking at him that he fought cancer for over three years as a preschooler. We are so thankful. NEVER do I take these good reports for granted.

The doctor did talk to me about Karson’s heart. We had a long conversation about the damage that a certain chemotherapy drug that Karson received (doxorubicin) can inflict on the heart. Doxorubicin was given to Karson three times during his most intense phase of chemo. The drug is pretty potent and can damage the muscle fibers in the heart. The doctor explained that if they are all damaged in random places throughout the heart it’s not a big deal, but if they happen to be damaged in a cluster then it can cause that part of the heart to be weak and eventually lead to problems.

Soo…. every 5 years Karson will be getting an EKG and Echocardiogram to check the condition of his heart. We scheduled the first for this July when he’ll be out of school for the summer.

The doctor said the two biggest things they see long-term with leukemia kids are learning disabilities (due to the chemo given through spinal taps directly into their nervous systems) and heart issues. So far Karson had shown no signs of learning disabilities and so we hope and pray that his heart will also look good.

I don’t “google” the side-effects of doxorubicin or do any more research on my own. Kraig and I read the list of medications and side-effects at the beginning of Karson’s treatment years ago and that about did me in. I decided then just to listen to the doctors and take things one step at a time with Karson instead of learning about all the scary potentials. So far the Lord has been so good and Karson has grown into a healthy, tall and smart little boy. I desire to continue trusting the Lord with all my heart as we now look into the health of Karson’s heart this summer.

Thanks for checking in and we appreciate your care and prayers.

We’ll keep you posted after the heart tests this summer.

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Two Years Chemo Free!

April 23rd, 2012 marked two years since Karson took his last dose of chemotherapy. Wow! The date is always full of emotion for our family. Mostly we feel so thankful for Karson’s health and growth. We also feel thankful that he no longer receives chemo or other meds. Sometimes it’s already hard to remember just how we did that every single day for over three years.

This evening, to celebrate, we took the family out to dinner. And, since Karson used to ALWAYS order breadsticks from the hospital cafeteria during his appointments, we took him somewhere where he could order unlimited breadsticks… Olive Garden! He took us up on the challenge and enjoyed eating 7 breadsticks along with some macaroni and cheese (I think that would be called an anti low-carb diet! 😉

Two years chemo free. We are just so grateful!

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Lamentation 3:22-23

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A New Look for Karson’s Blog!

If you’ve followed Karson’s leukemia journey for the last several years then you’ll notice that this site looks different! In fact, it’s a whole new address. Yep-we’ve moved his blog! 🙂 My previous web hosting platform is changing some things and so we needed to move the site. WordPress gives us a more simple url to remember and share http://www.karsonsupdates.wordpress.com and will also be easier for you to follow and comment.

I am in the process of bringing all of the archived posts and comments from the past almost 5 years into this site. Those posts and your comments serve as a wonderful journal for our family and remind us of your support through the years. The previous site: http://web.mac.com/eccchristy/Site/Blog/Blog.html will still be in “cyberspace” if you wish to go back and check it out… but, all new updates will begin being posted here.

Thank you for caring about Karson. We are so thankful for the healing and health God has granted him and we are so blessed that we do not have to update everyone on Karson’s health as often as we once did.

As of today, Karson is feeling great and enjoying 1st grade! He’s a happy, healthy, normal kid! He does struggle with a chronic cough that often turns to croup (his specialty!) but overall his health is great. His last blood work check and exam was November 16th and everything looked wonderful. We will return for his next appointment on February 8th.

You can choose to follow this blog (in the right column) if you wish to get emails when new posts are added.

Thanks for praying and caring! God Bless!

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Summer ends, School begins and a Seventh Birthday celebration!

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve updated the blog. In this case, no news is good news! In fact, we are so blessed by Karson’s overall health and the opportunities we’ve had the past couple of months. God is good… I know I say it almost every time, but God continues to be faithful through the highs and through the lows. What a Mighty God we serve!

Since my last update we’ve enjoyed a great week of family vacation on a large lake in Virginia. Karson swam, fished, tubed, swam, fished, attempted to ski and swam and fished some more. He even learned to dive and perfected his cannon ball form! Watching him play and swim in the water was such a joy. To think that a few years ago we canceled our vacation to this lake because it was dangerous for Karson to swim in “dirty” lake water with his compromised immune system and his port. Now he’s big and strong and we can hardly get him out of the water. Sometimes I feel like I should be thanking the Lord every minute of the day for turning our “mourning into dancing” as Psalm 30:11 says.

A week after returning from vacation Karson started 1st grade! He’s loving school and has a wonderful teacher and many new friends. Last year he was in half-day Kindergarten so moving to a full day away from home was a big change, but he took it in stride and is really enjoying it. We are so pleased with his social and academic development and we think school has been a wonderful thing for Karson. On a side note, Karson remains the tallest kid in his class… a nice reassurance that his growth was surely not stunted from 3 years of chemotherapy! 🙂

In late August, Karson had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Tin Caps game. It was Make-A-Wish night and Karson was chosen along with a few other children to represent the GM/UAW and Make-A-Wish. Karson’s pitch was not quite a strike but he was quite pleased with his performance! 😉

In mid September Karson had his 8-week blood work check-up and physical exam. Everything was great. His blood counts were “beautiful” and his exam was just fine. The only concern is that Karson struggles with a chronic cough. He coughs almost every night and morning and also sometimes when he’s running or exercising. The doctor said that sometimes the cancer kids struggle with asthma after their treatments end because they’ve been on steroids so long and it has suppressed the asthma that then flares up as the immune system returns. Anyway, Karson’s cough has had a tendency to turn into croup and we’ve ended up in the ER the past couple of winters for breathing treatments. So, this year the doctor wanted to get ahead of the croup and find out what would help Karson when he struggles with the cough or breathing issues. We were sent for a pulmonary function test and we are awaiting the results and the treatment plan. Most likely it will be a home nebulizer or inhaler.

At the end of September Karson turned seven. How can that be?! Seven years old already! 🙂 Karson and my Mom share a birthday and Kraig’s birthday is just 4 days before so we had a big party for everyone. Karson and Kraig enjoy playing a silly video game on Kraig’s phone called “Angry Birds” (where you shoot birds out of a sling shot at pigs who have stolen a golden egg… naturally, right?! 🙂 and so they requested an Angry Birds party! It was a lot of fun. I found some Angry Bird cake toppers online and made an Angry Birds cake! 🙂 We had a great time and my Mom was nice enough to play along with the theme although it probably wouldn’t have been her first choice! Ha! We also had a party with Karson’s cousins and Karson and Kamron (his 6 year old cousin) reveled in all things Angry Bird! 🙂 It was a fun weekend!

Now we will await results from Karson’s pulmonary function test and return to the clinic next month for another check-up. We are thankful for such a wonderful pediatric oncologist and great nurses.

Thanks for caring and for reading these updates. Most importantly, thank you for continuing to pray for our little boy. Your prayers have been heard by our gracious God. To Him be the glory!

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Today we traveled to Riley Children’s Hospital for Karson’s annual cancer check-up. Yes, we still go to the local clinic every 8 weeks for Karson to get blood work and a physical exam. This is to ensure we’d catch any relapse or problem quickly (and praise the Lord we have not had either – and we pray we continue to have good results.)

Once a year, however, we make the longer drive to Riley Hospital because Karson is a part of a clinical trial and Riley dictates Karson’s treatment and this study. The oncologist at Riley performs blood work, a physical exam and goes over any chemo side-effects, problems, or questions we may have. Today was such a visit.

We are thrilled to report that Karson’s lab work was perfect! No signs of leukemia cells anywhere! And, his white blood count, hemoglobin and plateless as well as his ANC were excellent! This is a sign that his bone marrow and body have recovered and are working properly on their own. To say that we are thankful is an understatement!

After the appointment we ate lunch in the Riley Cafeteria. We happened to sit in almost the same spot we sat the very first night of this journey 4 1/2 years ago. It hit both Kraig and I. The contrasts between those two mealtimes were not lost on us.

Four and half years ago Karson laid in a red wagon beside our table and he didn’t want to sit up, let alone eat. He was 2 years old and was sucking on a pacifier and twirling his hair between his thumb and index finger. We cried intermittently throughout the meal and wondered how Karson would be able to sleep once he lost that hair in the coming months. The reality of three-and-a-half years of chemotherapy for our toddler was ahead of us and the burden of sadness was fully on our hearts. And it felt heavy.

Today Karson was not only sitting up in the cafeteria, but he ate 2 cheeseburgers, a large fry, and drank a large lemonade (we can save the healthy diet discussion for another post! 😉 Kraig and I again felt lumps in our throats – not because of a burden of sadness, but because once again it had been lifted by such wonderful blood counts and a healthy, big Kindergarten graduate sitting beside us! Karson thrives and his blonde hair has long since grown back and has been buzzed for the summer! We never want to take any of this for granted. These are blessings. Really… the entire journey, even that first night, has been.

We listened to Laura Story’s song, Blessings, on the way home. I still can hardly get through it without crying! Part of the song says,

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

Wow. Blessings fell on us today in the cafeteria… but they also fell 4 1/2 years ago. The moments and my heart felt so different today than during that first forlorn meal in the cafeteria but God’s mercies were still there… they’ve been there all along.

It’s easier to recognize His mercies on days like today but in our foggy hindsight I can see that His mercies and blessing have been there through it all. It’s still hard to say that this trial has been God’s mercy in disguise, but we trust Him and know it’s true. We don’t know for sure what lies ahead for Karson…or for any of us. But whatever may come, may we know that the Lord is near and may He be glorified.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for ALL of these blessings.

21Yet this I call to mind 
   and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, 
   for his compassions never fail. 
23 They are new every morning; 
   great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:21-23

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From Mickey… to Icky!

We got to spend some time away from home again this week… but unfortunately we didn’t get to go to Disney World this time. Instead we checking into the hospital. Karson was admitted to Lutheran in the early morning hours (like 4 am!) Sunday morning with an inflamed appendix. He had been complaining of pain in his lower right abdomen accompanied by frequent bowel trouble and eventually vomiting. After consulting via phone with his oncologist we took him to the ER Saturday night and after a CT scan he was admitted.

Karson’s case was unique though. Usually they remove an inflamed appendix. However, only the bottom part of Karson’s appendix was inflamed and the top half looked normal…so they admitted him and gave him 6 rounds of IV antibiotics to try to fight the infection. Karson was also dehydrated so they gave him IV fluids as well. We were discharged late Monday night and have been home since. We are hoping these antibiotics took care of the infection.

Karson still complains of pains in his stomach periodically and he has not had a normal appetite or bowel habits yet. Still unsure if this is a bug that is passing through him in addition to a bothersome appendix or what. Karly has a stomach bug and has vomited since Monday night when we got home from the hospital so it’s possible Karson has this bug as well. It’s not pretty around here! 🙂 And the icing on the cake is that our clothes dryer quit working so we have a laundry back-up! My Mom has been awesome though and is serving as our full-service laundry mat. Thanks Mom!

So, now we are just waiting to see how Karson does. If he gets a fever or vomits again we are supposed to take him back to the hospital. But, for now we are home and we think he’s improving, but it’s not very clear to us why he still has pains and very frequent trouble with his bowels. It’s also strange when he does not want to eat… appetite has never been an issue for Karson. It’s hard as parents to know what to do sometimes. We don’t want to over-react, but we also don’t want to miss something either. We’d appreciate your prayers for wisdom and also for Karson to feel completely better. And poor Karly too. 😦

We are just SO thankful that this did not happen during our Make-A-Wish trip. That week was perfect and we’re still enjoying day-dreaming about it and looking through our videos and pictures.

We also had the privilege to go to the GM plant last week (before the hospital trip) and have a tour of the plant. Karson learned how the trucks are built and that was really neat. He especially liked seeing how they put the truck’s cab and bed together and how the wheels go on. We are so humbled and blessed by GM and the UAW who are raising money for Make-A-Wish and our family. We just can’t say thank you enough.

Well, hopefully we won’t have any other happenings to report. We’re hoping this illness passes through our home quickly and we can move on to enjoying the last weeks of school and in to summer.

We are thankful that during these times of illness and hospital stays we have such great doctors. We so appreciate Karson’s oncologist who checked him out and cleared him as far as the leukemia goes. This is just a “random” other issue and we’re SO glad that’s the case. We also have great nurses and a pediatrician who all checked in on us. The child life staff know Karson well and are so great about bringing things for him to do in his hospital room that they know he’ll enjoy. We are blessed in the midst of the hard times and we recognize that.

Thanks for caring and praying for us. We hope to report that we’re all healthy again soon.

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A WISH Come True!

I don’t even know where to start…

I sit here with tears of joy welling up in my eyes just thinking about last week. Karson’s “wish” was granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and we were given a week long vacation to Disney World. It was most probably the best week of our lives!

First of all, we stayed in a village for Make-A-Wish families called Give Kids the World. We just can not say enough good things about this place. It was AMAZING! We felt like we’d been taken into a little fairy tale land full of everything fun and joyful. Our family stayed free of charge and our food, entertainment, endless ice cream, and villa were taken care of for us. There was a life size Candy Land playground, a huge pool and splash pad, a kid friendly theatre, a train station, a carousel they could ride anytime they wanted, a salon where Karly could get her nails and make-up done or airbrushed tattoos, a castle of miracles and an ice cream palace! They had rules… like you had to eat ice cream for breakfast one day and cookies before supper! 🙂 They had characters that visited and even a mayor and wife who were giant bunnies… they even came to tuck the kids in bed one night. We were treated like royalty! It’s hard to even explain this place so if you’d like to watch a clip from the TODAY show about the Village you can click here  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/38466034#38466034 We are so very impressed.

All of those awesome things were given to us…and that doesn’t even include the tickets we were given to Disney World and several other Orlando theme parks. We went to the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, SeaWorld and Aquatica! Yes we were exhausted at the end of the week, but a wonderful exhaustion it was! 🙂 We have so many sweet memories now to make for great dreams. In fact I’ve been constantly day-dreaming about the whole trip since we got home late Saturday night. Did we really do that?! It felt like a dream.

We have been looking forward to this trip for 4 years. Karson’s wish was granted after he was diagnosed in 2007. Since that time we’ve been dreaming about this trip and we’ve heard stories from other wish families about Give Kids the World Village. We had very high expectations going into the trip. This actually made us a bit nervous wondering if anything could live up to such hype and hope… but it did. And our experience last week exceeded all expectations. We just can not express how wonderful, magical and special the entire week was!

The week started with a huge SUV Limo pulling up to our house and taking us to the airport in Indy… from that moment on we felt like we could not stop smiling! Watching Karson experience flying, a limo ride, Disney World and a Village made just for his joy was a parent’s dream. We’ve lived some nightmares the last 4 years. There are days and nights that are etched in our minds forever with true sorrow. We have had so many fears and have even feared for Karson’s life. But last week all of those things were forgotten for a time. We truly did not worry or remember any of the sorrow. We had a BLAST! And the best part was watching all three of our children take it all in. Wow. We are so very blessed and thankful to our God for all He’s done for us.

Karson wore a Make-A-Wish shirt several days as well as two buttons that showed he was a Wish Child and was staying at the GKTW Village. These buttons were “magical!” We were able to go to the front of every ride and character meeting station. We also sat in the front row at the Shamu Show at SeaWorld, we were given private feeding and petting times with dolphins, sting rays and sharks. We got to take an animation class at Hollywood Studios and sit in the front row and learn to draw Jiminy Cricket. The teacher even displayed Karson’s completed drawing on the screen for the whole class to see. The class cheered! 🙂 Karson was given drawings of Toy Story characters and other scenes by animators at the studio. We met so many characters that the kids filled their autograph books and had to double up on many pages! It was amazing!! The Disney staff would see his buttons and immediately treat him (and all of us) even more special than they already work to do for every family. It was just incredible.

I have posted a TON of pictures on this site. I took over 2,500 pictures and we have a lot of video as well. It has taken me quite awhile to go through the pictures and label them in albums. I have placed all of the Make-A-Wish Trip albums in one spot. You can click here or on Make-A-Wish Trip Albums in the top menu. Sorry for all the pictures but I just couldn’t narrow it down any more! 🙂 I just can’t find the words to express how great it all was so maybe the pictures will tell the story more eloquently and completely.

Oh! And, you have to check out the iFly picture page and the video. I dare you not to laugh and smile while watching that video!! 🙂 Karson had wanted to skydive as a part of his wish but he’s too young and I also didn’t want him to! 🙂 His doctor has even teased him that there’s no way he’s giving him a note to do that!! BUT, while in Orlando, we were given free tickets to go to a place called iFLY and do indoor skydiving in a huge wind tunnel. It was AWESOME! Kraig, Karson, Pappy Miller (my Dad, Denny) and I got to each take two “flights.” We had to do some training first and learn how to position our bodies, etc. Then we put on gear and we flew!! Our instructor, “Stryker” was a great teacher and gave us all certificates after we were done. We were so proud of how brave Karson was to even do this-and he did a great job!!

I could go on and on and on… so many stories to tell. I am going to be day-dreaming about this trip for months to come. It was magical.

Enjoy our pictures and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Make-A-Wish and the GM Plant for making this trip possible. You have given our family a wonderful gift that we will never forget!!

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