Autumn Days

Good evening Catie followers,

It has been an exciting week for the Catie’s Wish Foundation.  True to the mission that Catie left for us to eradicate pediatric cancer through prayer and research, the week consisted of both fund raising and awareness as well as prayer.  As September ends and October begins, the month that was dedicated to Pediatric Cancer Awareness gives way to the sea of pink that has come to signify the battle against Breast Cancer.  My guess is that like myself, you have already seen many indications that the fight to raise awareness and research funding for breast cancer is in full swing, yet you saw and heard very little in the past thirty days about cancer affecting our children. 

Friday, the St. Joseph Chargers football and soccer players and their cheerleaders held a pep rally to celebrate their seasons.  As they have for the previous two years, the members of the respective teams sold subs and donated the proceeds of the sub sale to the Catie’s Wish Foundation.  The first year, Catie accepted the check herself, and I am sure that she was with us today as well.  The school and the communities that comprise the school and its athletic programs continue to be a major source of support, encouragement, and strength for us as a family and through their prayers and financial support, for the children of St. Jude.  As I prepared to accept the check, I thought about the over 210,000 children who have received the news that they have cancer in the days since Catie last graced the halls of the school she loved so much.  210,000 families who have received life changing news, and the almost 30,000 who face each day without their child.  Of all of those children and all of those families, I know that no child and no family was supported, loved, and held in prayer more than Catie and we were by the St. Joseph’s community.  Their continued support is a testament to who they are, and also to who Catie was and is in the life and spirit of that school.  Faced with the news that the tumor had returned and the realization that she was going to die, Catie’s first and most fervent request was that she go back to school to be with her class which she did while Christine patiently sat in the hallway outside her classroom.  As I looked at the fourth graders today, I could have seen the hole left by Catie’s absence, instead, I watched as they won the school’s Spirit Award and knew that she will never be absent from the hearts and minds of the classmates she loved so much.

St. Joseph's cheerleaders at the Pep Rally

The other event of the week occurred on Wednesday night as the St. Joseph’s Council for Catholic Women hosted a fashion show with Kohl’s department store to benefit the Catie’s Wish Foundation.  Over one hundred women attended the event that featured mothers and children of the school and parish modeling the fall clothing lines from Kohl’s.  Terri Rosenstein did a wonderful job of coordinating the event with Kohl’s, lining up the models, including the fab 5, modeling herself, and MCing the event.  True to their mission, the evening began with a prayer, and then the modeling began.  Max and Terri’s grandson Jack modeled the boys apparel, while 16 moms and daughters showed off the fashions for the ladies.  The night was a wonderful success and was very well received. 

M.E. and Jack modeling some of the wonderful clothes from Kohl's

Last night, our family went to St. Joseph’s church and prayed.  Each week, we set aside time as a family to pray for Catie’s kids, to pray for the families that are dealing with their own journeys as we did with Catie’s, and to pray for an end to pediatric cancer.  We know that many of you do the same.  Thank you.  As Christine and I sat holding each other in the Presence of Jesus and asked for healing for all of the kids we know and those we do not, I thought about all of the people who still do not know about Catie or about pediatric cancer.  I need to do more to spread the word so that the prayer for these kids is unceasing.  I thought about people who diligently pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament weekly or monthly and for ways to tap into them and raise their awareness so that when they present themselves in prayer to God they will carry Catie’s kids with them.  I also thought about all of you who choose to continue on this journey with us.  I asked God to bless each of you, to open His arms to you so that you each can experience the warmth, peace, and joy of your Father’s embrace.

May the peace of God be with you,

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Mia, Molly, M.E. and always Catie

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