Thursday, October 30, 2008


I know this is a long post, but please read the entire thing:

I've had quite a bit going on and hadn't planned on making a kit until Christmas. But then something happened to my friend's baby that I wanted to share with you.

One of my best friends, Kari, is a mother of three. Her oldest son Caleb (age 6) has Down Syndrome, then she has a 3 year old son named Gunner, and finally a 7 month old baby named Bree (they call her Breezy). Kari and I had the exact same due date with our babies and I lucked out and delivered Claire one week before her.

For the past couple of weeks they saw these bruises under Baby Bree's eyes (they thought one of their sons had rough housed her). But then after 2 weeks the bruises didn't go away. After bringing her into their pediatrician, she was immediately sent to the hospital for testing and was diagnosed this past Monday with the highest stage of neuroblastoma cancer. The cancer has been found around her spine, in the liver, pancreas and bone marrow.

I just can't believe it. Already they are dealing with the worries of raising a Down Syndrome boy, a 3 year old boy (which is a challenge in itself), and now their 7 month old has cancer.

She started chemotherapy today.

To let you know what kind of a mom Kari is, this was from her most recent blog post (and this was written PRIOR to them knowing Breezy has cancer):

Yesterday was a great day. It was one of those Saturday's where you are busy but have those moments where you wish you could freeze time. We took some time to go down to the park as a family. We packed some snacks and headed to the neighborhood park and played there in the beautiful weather. My kids were having so much fun running up and down the playground, playing soccer with their Dad and running all over the place. I was loving holding and cuddling with Breezy. We were watching the boys have fun, roll down the grassy hill and biff it every couple of times. Caleb even ate grass a few times, but got up laughing each time. I also enjoyed watching Justin and his boys run around and play together. It's so much fun to see how the boys love their Daddy. And Bree has such a huge crush on Justin. Every time he walks in the room, she gets a huge smile on her face and giggles so shyly. So sweet.

Yesterday was just one of those moments in time where I loved being together with my family and truly wanting to freeze time just so that I could look at each of my children's faces and memorize them before they grow up on me. I know life goes so fast and there are some days when I can't wait for the day to be over and to have a moment to myself, but I know this will pass me by in a flash if I don't appreciate the little moments. So, here's to our little family...enjoying the here and now, relishing the sweet times and loving each moment!
This family is amazing and has always had the most positive outlook on life. As I rocked Claire to sleep last night, I tried to think of what I could do to help Justin and Kari.

And then I thought of something that people had done for me when Claire had her brain surgery. My mother-in-law's friend had gotten many other people to help donate money to buy gifts for our family. Complete strangers had pitched in and gotten things for me for my stays at the hospital (crossword puzzles, snacks, socks, etc.). They got DVD's and toys for our other kids. They got us gift cards. As much as we appreciated the gifts, it was the fact that these were complete strangers who had donated so much.

So I decided to make a kit called Gratitude.

I tried to make it a Thanksgiving theme so it would actually be one you might want to use. But truthfully, this kit is dedicated to Kari and the wonderful mother she is.

Here is what I am asking of you:

I would like to be able to put together a gift basket to this amazing family. It will not cure their daughter's cancer, but it will lift their spirits. If you could donate even $1, then every single penny donated will go towards the Cook family: Justin, Kari, Caleb, Gunner and Baby Bree. I will do this for a couple of weeks.

On the upper righthand side of my blog is a PayPal Donate button. Just click on it, enter your amount and you are finished. **If you do not have a PayPal account, then you can pay with a credit card. Just click on the donate button, then you'll see instructions on the bottom lefthand side. (Or email me if you prefer to mail a check and I'll get you my address). If you want to email me a message that I can put from you in the gift basket, then please feel free to do so (or if you want to just post a reply to this post I can get it from there). If there is something specific that you want your money to be used towards, please let me know.

Thank you so much.Download free "Gratitude" kit here: