Carving With Kailynn: The Fight Goes On
Believe me, I would love to be blogging about boobs.
If you are not aware, my goddaughter/niece Kailynn is battling a nasty, aggressive brain tumor. The long term prognosis is not good. We are a family of faith and believe in the power of prayer, miracles and medicine. My brother and I narrowly escaped death on more than one occasion and KNOW the same fight exists within my niece.
When I went to see her on Sunday, she was in a great amount of pain, discomfort and suffering. It's like your own private hell to see it happen to a 4 year-old. My brother broke down when he saw the shirts we had made for the Kickin' it for Kailynn benefit coming up November 9th at Ellie's Country Kitchen. Click here for details. Then after seeing what my niece went through that day, I understood why he was so upset.
I was more prepared to deal with seeing her in pain when I arrived last night to carve pumpkins. My sister Jamie said she would be there at 6 pm to carve with Kailynn. Mrs. Pants and I couldn't wait to be a part of that. We hadn't carved ours this year and have been pretty busy doing things for the benefit. We arrived after 6 and Kailynn was sitting in the living room watching tv. The day before, her cousins visited and that was the first time she walked in days. Something about being around her friend and cousin that inspired her to push through it. The picture they took was the first real smile I have seen on my moms face since this started.
I knew she was REALLY into her television show, so I waited to say hi. I saw her cat, Gator when I was walking up. She loves Gator and I knew she would appreciate me saying hi. I went out grabbed him and said "hi Gator!" By the time I picked him up, she had walked to the window, jumped up on the shoe chest and was smiling at me through the window. I said "do you want me to bring him in?" She smiled and nodded, yes. When I took in that cat she noticed I was wearing a kitty shirt and giggled at it. As she was smiling, petting Gator, she was a little chatterbox. Each word she said, you could see her strain and fight just to speak it. She had over 36 hours of surgery and that cute little voice she once had is now a hoarse, raspy growl. But I am proud of how she didn't give up and has pushed through it. It's sad but very inspiring. She had on her Hello Kitty socks and Mrs. Pants had on the same pair so, she got a kick out of that. I let Gator out and we sat and watched some more tv until Aunt Jamie got there. When my sister Jamie arrived, she said something before she opened the door and Kailynns face lit up. Just the sound of Jamie's voice made that little girl beam. My mom said she had been waiting all day for us to come over and carve pumpkins. Jamie wasn't there long before Kailynn said, "I'd like to get started now!" Kailynn designed her own pumpkins and helped Jamie and my niece Peanut carve and clean them. It was just what she and the family needed.
Sometimes, when you need to make a little girl who is hurting smile... You have to man up and put on a kitty shirt.
Thanks to everyone who has donated to help my family in this difficult time. My sister in-law Lisa hasn't been able to work at all. Taking care of Kailynn is a full time job. My brother is also very busy helping and had to miss multiple days of work due to this. Eventually, this will catch up with them. When I got hurt in the year 2000, the only reason we were able to survive was because of my family and the guys I worked with took up a collection at work. My wife and I struggled for years to get back to where we were and never really have. I don't want the same for my brother and family. He is a hard working, hard farming loyal brother who has switched stations to listen to me! He was a country boy when we were kids but because his brother works at a Classic Rock station, he gave it a try and even got some of his coworkers to start listening. He has been his brothers keeper. It's about time I become the same.
When he asked me to be Kailynn's godfather, I was very honored. I vowed to look out for her when times got rough. Times are very rough. We are not the type of family who gives up easily or asks for help when they don't need it but we need help. The medical name for the tumor is Anaplastic Ependymoma, Grade III. Look it up. It's an aggressive, nasty thing.
If you would like to donate, we have a go fund me account set up here.
Mrs. Pants has worked her butt off getting t-shirts, prizes and has put up fliers all over the area. She said "I never thought I'd be the one hanging up fliers for someone I love."
I would much rather be blogging about boobs. This Halloween horror show isn't fun. It's real and it's not going to end anytime soon. Life can be a real bitch sometimes. That is why the ones you love in your life, should know you love them. Go tell them now.
Get up with Deb and Joey weekdays 6-10 am. If you would like to donate a raffle item for the benefit, you can find me on Facebook here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to everyone who is rolling up their sleeves and joining the fight.