The Best Birthday

I was able to bust out of the hospital just before my birthday which is an amazing birthday gift, but the real reason this has been the best birthday ever is because I have been blessed – so blessed to have another birthday. Two months ago, I didn’t know if I was going to be dead or alive. Today, I am very much alive and feeling wonderful. In a couple of weeks I will have results from my bone marrow biopsy which will reveal if I am in complete remission – making me an eight-time leukemia (ALL) survivor!

I just boarded Amtrak and am headed from Philadelphia to Philipsburg – A four hour trip to visit the most inspirational family in the world – The Whitehead’s! πŸ˜ƒ

This is my third visit to stay with the Whitehead family. I am looking forward to our visit – it is homey and peaceful, and I always come home feeling ten-times more inspired! Not only do I get to hang out with Tom, Kari and Emily, I also get to see their dog, Lucy and my dog, Sir Bentley (who has been with the Whitehead’s since part of my hospital stay). Definitely looking forward to some major pet therapy and being blessed with good company. 🎊

I want to thank everyone for the many amazing birthday wishes and especially thank those of you who supported my birthday fundraiser for the Emily Whitehead Foundation – I am forever grateful.

I also want to thank my mom for being here for my birthday. I was sad to see her depart for California yesterday and I cried, but we had such an awesome visit. Thanks mom, for helping me grow stronger. 😘

And, I thank God for blessing me with another birthday! πŸŽ‚

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My Birthday Wishes For #GivingTuesday

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#GivingTuesday only comes once a year and is always the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. #GivingTuesday is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of Christmas and holiday season. This year #GivingTuesday falls on November 27th – which is also MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Being that I am now a two-time CART survivor and it all began one day with a young girl named Emily, I have decided to raise more money for the Emily Whitehead Foundation – it just seems so fitting!

Now, I know that I already created a Birthday fundraiser a couple of weeks ago, but I needed to create a new and separate fundraiser for this wonderful BIRTHDAY and #GivingTuesday because, on Tuesday, November 27th, Facebook and PayPal will match a total of $7 Million in donations.

I am not asking for $7 million (yet… haha), but I would love to raise $1000 more for the Emily Whitehead Foundation – this is my BIRTHDAY wish! So, for every dollar you donate, Facebook and PayPal will match – doubling your contributions!!! There is nothing better than doubling your money on the biggest day of giving of the year πŸ™‚

Please help me β€œpay it forward” by donating and/or sharing via the link below:

CLICK HERE to Donate and Doubble Down on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/donate/270531343662344/?fundraiser_source=external_url

For those who wish to donate through PayPal, you can use the following link:

Emily Whitehead Foundation – PayPal

I wish you all a very magical #GivingTuesday and thank you for your continued support.

Thanks For Giving

It is the calm after the “storm” and my body is beginning to recover. Thanksgiving day was the first day I felt great and had no CRS. As I begin this healing process, I can’t help but think about all the things I am thankful for.

First, I am thankful for all of you who came to visit me here in the hospital during my CART22 trial. I thank you for giving me your precious time and I thank you for giving me great memories. Thank you for giving.

Second, I am thankful for all of my supporters out there who have continued to pray for me. I am thankful for those who sent me care packages (GE marketing team!) and inspirational cards (so many of you!). I am also thankful for the Emily Whitehead Foundation and those who ran for me in the November marathons. I especially want to thank the Whitehead family for including me in their lives and giving me support and guidance – they are “always praying for me and they always have me in their hearts”. I am thankful for all of you – thankful for giving me support and giving me inspiration. Thank you for giving.

Third, I am thankful for my team of doctors and support from UPenn staff. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to start this new clinical trial (patient #1) and to also receive the newest “supercharged” CAR T technology. We are all excited for good news to come – remission – which we will know by December 6th. I am thankful for the care that I continue to receive from this amazing group of individuals. Thank you for giving.

Finally, I want to thank my mom for being here each and every day – we started this eight-year journey together and I am happy to end this journey together, and as an eight-time cancer survivor! Thank you, mom… for giving.

With recovery in motion, I am due to go home this Sunday – just in time for my birthday – and this I am certainly thankful for.

Thanks to all for giving me another birthday!