September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. I know I’m really late sending out this yearly reminder – and it’s not that I forgot I just have been putting it off and putting it off and now here we are almost to the end of the month. But it’s OK that I’m behind because I still have time to share a few things with everyone. First of all, it is very hard for me to forget September and Childhood Cancer because Teagan was diagnosed on September 7, 2007. She had her first surgery on September 12, 2007 and National Childhood Cancer Awareness day is September 13th. Although the 13th has come and gone it’s still important to me to make people aware of this month. I wish some day I could turn this month into something as spectacular as October and Breast Cancer Awareness month. I wish that you saw as many gold ribbons on everything as you do pink ribbons. Don’t get me wrong I think the giant pink ribbon campaign is great and you can buy everything from golf balls to pots and pans sporting pink and pink ribbons with all of those companies donating to Susan G Komen for the Cure. Now I just think it’s time for more kid oriented companies to get into the gold ribbon campaign. Just think if Chuckie Cheese donated a portion of their profits or if Build-A-Bear sold a Gold Ribbon Bear each September what kind of funding that would create for kids with Leukemia, Brain Tumors, Sarcomas and Lymphomas.
There is one national chain who is doing something very important for the month of September – and they have done it for quite some time. As you can see by the Chili Pepper above (that Teagan decorated) Chili’s Restaurant is going to be my highlight in this blog. I know I’ve mentioned them several times before on Caring Bridge and to just about anyone who will listen but Chili’s is a major contributor to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital and they even have their own wing named the Chili’s Care Center specifically for kids with cancer. On Monday September 28th if you eat at a Chili’s restaurant they will donate 100% of their profits directly to St Jude’s Children’s hospital. You can also go to their create-a-pepper website and decorate a pepper like Teagan did and you can make a donation or buy a Pepper Hope shirt at http://www.createapepper.com.
I truly hope everyone will consider eating at Chili’s on Monday. Even though Teagan has never received treatment at St Jude’s – one day she might, or one day it might be some other child who needs treatment. Chili’s truly holds a special place in my heart because they focus on kids with brain tumors. Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer, but brain tumors are #2.
With all my love for Chili’s……. I have to also mention some of the great organizations who have helped our family directly. #1 by far is Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent. It’s tiny in comparison to Riley, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I’m truly thankful that we were sent there for treatment. My #2 pick is Gary Brackett’s IMPACT foundation. You don’t always hear a lot about Gary Brackett, but his foundation is HUGE for helping kids with cancer. And after meeting Gary I can tell you he is truly sincere in his efforts to help kids and he is just an all around great guy. So if you are looking to make a difference locally – please consider donating to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital or Gary Brackett’s IMPACT foundation.
And I’d also like to thank the Hendrick’s County Professional Firefighters Local 4406 and Johnson County Professional Firefighters Local 4252 – without these two organizations supporting our family I honestly don’t know how we would have made it through the last two years.
And since it’s September and Halloween is lurking around the corner…….. as always I like to mention if you like to be scared and go to Haunted Houses you need to visit The Asylum House at German Park. The Asylum House supports a lot of programs including Greenwood and White River Fire Cadets and were also a major help to our family. So even though I’ve never been to their haunted house (not big on screaming and having things jump out at me) I still recommend going there if you like creepy crawlies and things that go bump in the night.
Ok… so just a reminder Monday September 28th eat at Chili’s. For Halloween go to The Asylum House. And donate any extra $$ to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital and Gary Brackett’s IMPACT Foundation. And if you’re looking for other charities to support…….. Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Tug McGraw Foundation and American Brain Tumor Association round out our top 5 favorites.
Thanks for listening……… this is my contribution to the Gold Ribbon Campaign.