Thank you so much for all your help and support of our First Annual Childhood Cancer Walk and Run. Our walk was held on February 9th, one day before our One Year Anniversary of becoming an official non-profit organization. I can´t believe how much has been accomplished in one year. The Walk was a great success.
I was greatly moved by the cancer families who joined us for the Walk. One young man with bone cancer and a prosthetic limb, walked the entire three miles pulling a wagon with a 2 year old cancer kid along for the ride. Another little four year old girl, who lost her little brother to leukemia less than a year ago, ran with great determination in the one mile kid´s run and told her family that she won the entire race. I wish you could have seen her great big smile when she crossed the finish line. Also, one of Brooke´s friends from TCH, completed the one mile kid´s run in her wheel chair. Her Dad, who battles MS, ran the mile pushing his girl the entire way. Incredible emotion flooded all of our hearts when they crossed the finish line. It was more than a race it was a declaration of victory over cancer...the smiles and shouts demonstrating this clearly. Thank you for helping to make this day a GREAT, GREAT success!
At the beginning of 2008, we had set a goal to raise $30,000. Our BIG Love Walk exceeded this goal. We made over $38,000. We wanted to start small...and then grow and expand as the funds allowed. As a starting place for BIG Love, we began providing weekly groceries and weekly catered meals to the critical care cancer families at Arkansas Children´s Hospital. Since January 2008, we have provided this service every week to approximately two-three families. Things are working out great, and the families have been very appreciative.
Also, for Valentine´s Day this year, we delivered over 40 large and 70 small Valentine Baskets to TCH and around 20 baskets to ACH each large basket ranging in price from $70-100. BIG, BIG thanks to all who sponsored baskets and volunteered to make this holiday extra special. On the 9th floor, kids were dashing from the playroom back to their rooms when they heard that someone was bringing a Valentine surprise. They were sitting in the middle of their beds waiting patiently for our arrival much like Brooke did the day she heard Santa was in the building. My mom, who is usually the behind the scenes person and generally just pushes the cart from door to door, delivered some of the baskets to the rooms on the 9th floor. She told me that when she entered one of the rooms, a little boy about 10 years old gave her a big smile and then jumped out of his bed and threw his arms around her and "LOVED HER UP." She said at that moment, she truly understood what the mission of BIG LOVE was and that display of love by that little boy made it all worthwhile.
Valentine´s at ACH was just as incredible. One cancer mom explained that this was the first time in her entire life that anyone has ever done anything for her on Valentine´s Day. We were humbled. We not only delivered LOTS of baskets and 26 Giant Bears donated by Wal-Mart to all the PICU kids, but we also provided massages and pedicures to all the cancer moms. One Mom was so relaxed after her massage that she feel asleep in the massage chair. Each Mom explained to us that this was their first time to EVER receive a pedicure or massage. What a blessing. I think Brooke would probably say, "Now that´s what I´m talking about."
Our goal NOW will be to expand our scope of service to hopefully, in the near future, provide meals, groceries, and parking passes to the families at Texas Children´s Hospital as well.
You are a BIG part of all that we have accomplished thus far, all that we are doing, and we greatly appreciate you. Thank you for loving us and for believing in our vision.
In His Service,
Chaney and Jessica Phillips