Courage for Kennedy – Journal


October 26, 2006

Shopping Day and Raffle

Category: Treatment – Melenie 10:39 pm

HOLIDAY SHOPPING EXTRAVAGANZA to Benefit Our Little Warrior, KENNEDY DUVAL

Join us on Saturday, November 4th from 10am until 4 pm at:

Mountainview Christian Church
1890 NE Cleveland Avenue
Gresham, Oregon

Get started on your Holiday/Christmas shopping BEFORE the big rush with our many wonderful vendors. These are just a few:

Big Yellow Box
Pampered Chef
Body Shop at Home
Cookie Lee Jewelry
Creative Memories
Princess House Crystal
Arbonne International
Gold Canyone Candles
Home & Garden Party
Jafra
Mary Kay
ID4Kids
Juice Plus
Stampin’ Up
Usborne Books
PartyLite Candles
Tastefully Simple
Safe Smart Strategies
Home Interiors & Gifts
Michelle Baratta Jewelry
Northern Lights at Home
Southern Home Living

All of these companies have agreed to donate a percentage of their profits to help care for our little girl. Not only will you get a jump on the upcoming season, YOU can make the difference in the life of a child.

This will be our last fundraiser this year and we are so excited that you will be joining us! Our Spaghetti Feed and Silent Auction were a success raising over $1700! What a huge help that is!

I have so many exciting things to share including: ballet, the Nutcracker, soccer, Harvest of Hope, how well Kennedy is doing, new opportunities, homeschooling and the list goes on!

Please continue to pray for Gage. His parents were NOT a match but they have leads on 12 matches in the bone marrow registry and one cord blood match. Please check his website for more information regarding his treatment, to leave encouraging messages and to find out about an upcoming drive to be tested for and join the national bone marrow registry. This is an AMAZING family who needs heaven bombarded with prayer for their precious boy.

Love-Faith-Hope-Courage

Mel

October 19, 2006

Come See Me at the Spaghetti Feed and Silent Auction

Category: Fundraisers – Melenie 9:26 pm

Just in case you haven’t yet gotten the word, my friends and family are having a Spaghetti Feed and Silent Auction for me! And guess what? I will even get to be there! And, boy, have I grown and so has my hair! It’s true! I’m not bald anymore! Can you believe it? We never thought I would have hair again 🙂 We are so excited and so many people have worked really hard to put this together and make it a really fun event. Many wonderful companies and people have donated some of the best items to be auctioned off that even I was surprised! I would love to see all of you now that I am feeling better-so many of you I have missed over the last year and a half. Please join us…you won’t want to miss the premier get together of the year!

If you have any friends or family who love spaghetti and fun…feel free to pass this on…the more the merrier!

Love you all,
Kennedy

SPAGHETTI FEED and SILENT AUCTION to Benefit Our Little Warrior, KENNEDY DUVAL

On Saturday, October 21st, join us from 4pm until 7pm at
Parklane Christian Reformed Church
16001 SE Main Street in Portland
(162nd and Main Street between Division and Stark Streets)

Excellent Food (only $6/person for a full meal!) and
Exciting items to bid for including a
HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE, $400 GC TO THE PREMIER SUNRIVER RESORT, A TRIP TO THE COAST COURTESY OF THE SURFSAND RESORT AND PRIVATE ROCK CLIMBING LESSONS! All proceeds will go to help the Duval family care for their little girl!

Kennedy Duval was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on 5/9/05 at age 4. Her family originally had no medical insurance but Kennedy was approved to receive benefits from the Oregon Health Plan for 6 months. That assistance was terminated 11/30/05. Although her father had insurance benefits through his employer, they refused to cover any of Kennedy’s cancer related expenses. She started her chemotherapy in May 2005 and will continue treatment until August 2007. On June 1, 2006, Kennedy was approved for benefits from the Oregon Medical Insurance Pool/Regence Blue Cross-Blue Shield. Her medical bills and care expenses are continually overwhelming because of the period of time that she had no medical coverage. An account has been opened in the name of Kennedy B. Duval Contribution Fund at Wells Fargo Bank (12005 SE Division, St, Portland, OR 97266) / Acct. # 2246146969. Donations may be made at any Wells Fargo Bank. The Tax ID Number for the Kennedy B. Duval Contribution Fund is 83-0484895. Any donations to her medical fund would be greatly appreciated. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers! For progress updates, Kennedy’s website is www.courage4kennedy.com.

October 12, 2006

HAPPY 6TH BIRTHDAY, KENNEDY!!!

Category: General,Gratitude – Melenie 9:20 am

KENNEDY IS 6 YEARS OLD TODAY!!!

Our precious girl turned 6 at 9:18 this morning. Wow! And the best news? This year she is running, playing, laughing and she is not hooked up to any chemo! As many of you remember, last year she was inpatient in the dreaded 3530 getting high dose Methotrexate and recovering from treatment. Not today, my friends! No, she is enjoying her new DVD The Little Mermaid, eating everything in sight (no tube feeds for this girl!), looking forward to having her favorite Hitchin’ Post pizza and can’t wait for her party on Sunday afternoon! Does life get any better than this?

NO WAY!! Today is a day of celebration! Today is a day of rejoicing! Today is a day to praise our all mighty God who is the giver of life and protector! Life is such an amazing gift and I have to use one of my most favorite quotes ever! As Auntie Mame would say, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!!!” So, today, in honor of Kennedy and the gift of life that is precious beyond words…go out and enjoy the banquet! Do something new! Choose a new path! Grab an adventure! Be kind to others! Pay for that person behind you at the drive thru! Sign up for that language class! Offer a loving word to someone who really needs it…maybe yourself! Remember…do not waste a minute…we can NEVER get back time…so take the kids to the park or share a candlelight dinner with someone you love. No matter what you do today…live.

Please take a moment to send birthday wishes to Kennedy either through the comments or her guestbook. Today is a VERY special day!

Love-Hope-Faith-Courage,
Mel

October 3, 2006

Kennedy is a Mouse!!

Category: General,Treatment – Melenie 9:43 pm

Yes, she has a part in this year’s production of the Nutcracker! Kennedy will dance the part of a mouse! Her audition went well, she was the youngest there, and while it was still difficult for her because of her problems with strength and coordination, she listened and followed directions and gave 100%! It was hard to watch her struggle with things such as skipping but the smile on her face gave no sign of worry 🙂 and that gave me encouragement. She worked hard and the next day was sore. She still has a lot of tightness in her tendons, ligaments and muscles so it was hard to walk but by Monday she was off and running again. She has her first costume fitting and program pictures next week and she is so excited! You will all have the opportunity to watch her scurry across the stage on Saturday, December 16th (shows at 1:30 and 7:30 pm) or Sunday, December 17th (2:30 pm) at the Canby Fine Arts Auditorium in Canby, Oregon. It is performed by the Clackamette Youth Ballet and is an incredible production. Please check the CYB website for more information regarding tickets. It will be a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas season.

Kennedy returns to the clinic tomorrow for her monthly IV Vincristine, counts check and Pentamadine. There is always a lot of anxiety for her regarding being accessed when it has been so long so please pray that it goes well. She also starts her 5 day steroid pulse-yippee for us! The last few times though she has done really well. We did have a bit of a scare last week. My friend, Jackie, brought our horse, Chaz, as well as her horse, Ladybug, for us to enjoy at our house and Kennedy was walking Ladybug and had her foot stepped on! She screamed and even cried for about 10 minutes (I would have cried much longer myself!) but then calmed down. Of course, her foot began to turn purple and swelled but it wasn’t long before she was walking fine on it. I called the clinic who sent us back to our regular pediatrician but suggested we have it x-rayed because no matter how good she felt it could be broke (she is more likely to break a bone because of the high doses of steroids she has been taking for so long) but thankfully it was just badly bruised. I was so relieved! Not just because a break would have been terrible for a 5 year old, but because it would have created more weakness and tightness in her muscles and she would have been devestated to be out of ballet and the Nutcracker. But, as with many things this past year or so, it all worked out just fine 🙂 It hasn’t even deterred her from wanting to ride as she could not wait to ride yesterday when we went over to care for Chaz. It sure looks nasty now though!

Saturday we went to Portland’s Saturday Market and had a blast. We were even able to get some amazing donations for the upcoming Spaghetti Feed and Silent Auction from a variety of artists! They were just wonderful and so generous. For more information please see the link to the event. I want to personally take the time to thank those who have contributed to the event so far:
The Mouse Factory
Jim’s Woodworking
Cycle of Gold
Rileyville Soap
Gypsy Camp Creations
Spoonman Creations
Moppethill Farms
Stonewear by Fronks
Bellavista
Pterylae Designs
Candy Castle
Beard’s Framing
Les Schwab
Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa
Oregon Zoo
Vista Balloon Adventures
Portland Children’s Museum
Portland Rock Gym
OMSI
Enchanted Forest
Sunriver Resort
and there are more, I just don’t have all the details yet but I will add those soon. If you have a product you would like to donate, or know someone who would, please contact me via e-mail at melenie@courage4kennedy.com and I will be happy to discuss it with you. Remember the event is just over 2 weeks away and we are really getting excited! It is going to be such a blast!

Austin is doing well in soccer. They are a little frustrated because while they all give more than 100%, our team is so small that they do not get to rest and are really tuckered out by the second half of the game. Most teams we play have about 15 players and can swap out the entire team while we often have 1, or if we are lucky 2, subs to swap. Makes for a long game but they sure are getting good and learning to play as a team.

We have not finished the neuropsych testing yet. Three hours was just too much for Kennedy so we have to return in a few weeks. I am going to a conference next Friday to learn how to better educate her and get a deeper understanding of the possible challenges so I’m hoping to take come away with some good information. The kids are doing great homeschooling and are really enjoying it. It can be a lot for me some days but we are still working out the kinks. Overall, I think we are off to a good start.

On another note, we did qualify and get approval for the health hardship to put another house on our property so that my parents can continue to help us with Kennedy. We even found a house! The problem has been financing. Please pray for things to come through. Because of Kennedy’s mounting expenses, we are at our limit as far as our debt to income ratio and can’t get a loan for it as the property is in my parent’s name. They of course, have the loan for the property but adding even a small loan to buy the house and move it is proving difficult. Winter and cold weather is coming making this an urgent need and our house is just not big enough. We are leaving this in the Lord’s very capable hands but are concerned, as anyone would be, about how the pieces are going to come together. Any suggestions or prayer would be so appreciated!

Other than the above, we are staying busy. Mostly the kids keep us hopping and with Kennedy’s 6th birthday just over a week away and the holidays fast approaching we are very thankful for all of our blessings no matter how crazy they make us sometimes! I was thinking today about where we were just a year ago…finishing up IM1 and wishing there was an end to our every other week hospital stays. Wow! What a difference a year can make, huh?

Finally, please pray for Kaeli and her family. She was just recently (9/26) diagnosed with ALL and as many of you know, this is just excrutiating for her and her family. Tomorrow is Day 8 of induction for them when they find out if her leukemia is in remission so extra prayers tomorrow. My heart just hurts as I remember what that first week was like.

Faith-Hope-Courage-Love

Mel