I just had to double check my calendar to see that, yes, this is my last scheduled blog for this campaign! Wow, this time has moved quickly! I am a little sad that we are nearing the end as we have had such fun meeting everybody…the wonderful and amazing LLS staff, Zaki and his family and of course all of you candidates. We have loved every minute. Thank you for being so kind and generous!
As I sat down to write tonight, I was feeling uninspired so I looked up some motivational quotes to see if any would jump out at me. So many did! Not sure how to narrow them down, but I will see what I can do…
This quote by Mark Twain spoke to me and reminded me of Maeve:
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”
When our first baby girl was born we decided to name her Maeve for a couple reasons. First, we are Irish and thought it was a beautiful Gaelic name. Second, it means “the bringer of great joy”. As you have all heard, Brian’s brother passed away from pancreatic cancer just 11 days before she was born. If there was one thing our family needed after the saddest, most difficult year of our lives, was a little joy. Maeve, of course, was too young to realize what she was doing for our family. She still doesn’t know that she got many of us through this very sad time.
In her short life, she has continued to be an inspiration and bringer of great joy. From the time she was diagnosed with Leukemia, she has touched the hearts of nurses and doctors and so many other families. She was the “Honored Hero” for Team In Training last year and served as the inspiration for the runners. Of course this year she is the Girl of the Year and is hopefully providing lots of inspiration for all of you! Today we were at the hospital where Maeve and 3 other kids were chosen to do a photo/video shoot with Peyton Manning for a commercial. I can’t count the number of times someone has told me that Maeve has touched their life and that she is an inspiration to them. It is truly amazing to me that a little girl, just barely 5 years old, can make such an impact on this world, just by living her life!
So, the quote touched me because I thought to myself, Maeve doesn’t know the “why” yet, but the rest of us sure do.
The next quote that jumped out at me was a simple one by Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”
What I didn’t realize when Maeve got sick was that she had an advantage over adult cancer patients, and even older kids. She didn’t know how serious her diagnosis was. She had no idea that Brian and I spent nights lying awake wondering if she was going to survive this, if her 104 degree fever would ever go down, if her bleeding ulcers would ever heal, if the chemo would even work! And on and on….
I am a firm believer that attitude is everything and that a positive outlook and positive thinking can change your life and your outcome. Watching Maeve go through this grueling treatment reinforced this. For all we knew, she felt nauseous for 2 and a half years of her life. We will never know just how she felt because she never complained. Never. She took her meds and if she was feeling good, she was up playing. If she was feeling bad, she was on the couch with a show. It was that simple. She had a positive outlook and wasn’t worrying because she didn’t really know any better. She had no time for being “sick”, she had toys to play with and things to do. She had no reason to think that she wouldn’t get better and eventually feel good again. I am forever grateful that Brian and I were the ones worrying and wondering “what if” and that Maeve didn’t have to. I just know it made a difference.
The last quote I will mention is this one by Anne Frank: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”
Whether you are improving the world unknowingly like Maeve, or choosing to do something great (like all of you!), it is a wonderful thing. Brian and I had the chance to make it to 2 of the MWOY events in the past week or so and are hoping to make it to one more on Sunday. Wow, were we impressed by what we saw! These functions are amazing and the hard work and dedication is obvious. You are all doing something great and improving the world.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. From someone whose daughter would not be alive today without people like you and the funds raised for research, I am forever grateful. Best of luck as you near the end of this campaign!!