We’re in Texas! We left Oklahoma today after doing some errands. We drove several hours to get to the next venue in Texas. Oklahoma is far more forested than I expected, at least eastern OK is. We drove through the tribal grounds of the Choctaw natives. They are the most famous in history for the “Trail of Tears” when the federal government moved them to Oklahoma in 1830. But another fact many don’t know is that the Choctaw were the first “code talkers”– they were instrumental in WWI.
We started seeing ranches and a few small oil wells and arrived in Texas around dinner time. There are too many highway overpasses and construction areas in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. After getting off the wrong exit in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, we found Hulen Mall in Ft. Worth and were happily greeted by volunteers to help with set-up!
Thanks to help from Emily and Jeff Wade, and Jon Shaw, we are set up and ready in Hulen Mall in Ft. Worth, Texas. We’ll be here Friday through Sunday, August 2-4.
Please Meet our Texas Angels:
Zachary Isaiah Santos
12/22/2002 – 06/26/2006
Zachary Isaiah Santos was born on December 22, 2002 to Daniel and Deann Santos of Galveston, Texas. Zachary was born a chunky baby and was always considered as healthy until he was diagnosed with Stage II Wilm’s Tumor at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX on March 10, 2004. On March 15, 2004, Zachary had his right kidney removed and underwent several months of chemotherapy. He didn’t lose any hair or weight and never had to be admitted to the hospital within that time. We were told that Zachary was healed.
In November 2004, the weekend of Thanksgiving, Zachary had a limp to his walk in the right leg. When we took him to his pediatrician and some x-rays were done and the Dr. told us that he hated to have to tell us this and hesitated, but told us that Zachary had a mass growing on his right femur. We thought that the worst was over! How could this happen again to our child. We were devastated. Our world was once again shattered into pieces. That is when we knew that we had to take Zachary to an Oncologist in Houston, TX at MD Anderson Cancer Center. On Zachary’s 2nd Birthday, we were told that Zachary had Stage IV Neuroblastoma. Our hearts literally feel. How could parents be told this when their supposed to be celebrating their child’s second birthday? We knew that stage IV left Zachary more at risk of losing his life and through the tears of sadness and fear we kept our faith in God that Zachary would overcome this deadly cancer. Zachary went through several rounds of chemotherapy, blood transfusions and procedures and once more had a tumor removed from the area where his right kidney had once been. Zachary then went one more round of harsh chemotherapy and on December 15, 2005, Zachary had a bone marrow transplant. We prayed that with the bag of ‘rebirth’ a miracle would happen and cure our son. On June 26, 2006 Zachary earned his angel wings. He went to Heaven to be with God and the other angels that have passed away fighting cancer. Zachary was a loving and cheerful little boy that was full of energy and life. He touched the lives of everyone that knew him and those that have heard of his story.
Rebecca Lynn Boren
07/21/1999 – 10/08/2004
Rebecca was born on a bright morning, July 21, 1999, 7 lbs, 7 oz’s, 21″ long, our first child, and a beautiful little girl. She was diagnosed at 8 months of age, the doctor’s struggled to find a dosage of chemotherapy suitable for such a small child, and struggled to find a sure diagnosis. She fought hard through numerous rounds of chemo, radiation, experimental treatments, blood transfusions, surgeries, strokes, vision loss, all while struggling the road we all take to be a child- learning to crawl, walk, and talk. She was extremely gifted despite her issues, wise beyond her years, and shared her unfaltering happiness and infectious laughter with everyone she met. She loved the color purple, tea parties with Grandma, Sarah McLaughlin, Classical Composers, and The Beatles ( thanks to Grandpa ), she dreamt of being a ballerina, and of one day raising her own baby ( who at the time she promised would be named Dumbo ). Truly and Angel in every way, we lost our beautiful girl to her long hard battle just a few months after her 5th birthday, long before the days of her life should have ended. Her last breath will always haunt me, but her spirit is ever encouraging, and has taught me that no matter what you are dealt, you can always make the best of what you have. I love you always- Mommy
Christine Yvette Mazyrack
3/5/1987 – 6/2/2007
Christine was a 20 year old beautiful young lady. She loved being involved with her church and enjoyed spending time with her family. She was a faithful friend, loving daughter and sister. She had dreams of one day getting married and having children. She was excited about attending college and building a career. She loved shopping and spending time on the computer chatting with her friends.
Christine was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma of the right femur in 1999. She received chemotherapy treatments followed by countless surgeries. She battled the disease for eight years. Even though the doctors had told us her survival rate was 5 years. She proved them wrong!
She fought hard and beat the odds many, many times. She was courageous and had tremendous strength to endure all the pain and treatments. She was cancer free for four years. Unfortunately, in December 2006 her cancer returned with a vengeance. We were told the cancer had spread to her kidney and her pancreas. She continued to fight, never losing her faith in God and believed for a miracle until the last minute. She was taken from us on June 2, 2007, after an eight year battle.
Our hearts are broken. There are no words to describe the pain her departure has left. We look forward to reuniting with her again!
We love you so much CHRISTINE!
Bryce Kameron Raub
3/2/2009 – 1/6/2011
For 674 days, 12 hours and 56 minutes, the world was blessed with the presence of a true Angel. After a long & brave battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma, Bryce earned his Angel wings. Bryce courageously battled his cancer, for almost two years. He faced the challenges of aggressive treatment with strength and determination. Most of us would collapse under the weight of these challenges. But, Bryce was so much more than his fragile little body conveyed. Bryce accepted his challenge of cancer in the same way he accepted everything: with remarkable strength, tremendous courage and with an amazing spirit. His smile was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud, warming all that it touched.
Bryce conveyed more joy, contentment and hope than anything we could have imagined possible. Bryce loved to play outside and dance to the music. Other favorite activities included swinging at the playground, watching TV, and playing trains. He loved snacking on M&M’s and French fries. He was a camera hog, and loved to ham it up for his fans, flashing an innocently mischievous smile and those piercing blue eyes. Bryce’s life would seem too short to many, but those who were touched by him, understood that being happy and enjoying life far exceed the quantity of time in which you live it. His gentle smile, and big blue eyes, could melt the hearts of those around him and though he never spoke a word, he spoke louder than any of us ever could.
Beaux Lucas Borel
8/19/1995 – 8/31/2009
Beaux had just turned 14 when he got his angel wings. He was a very content, happy, smiling baby who grew to be a kind, compassionate, funny, smiling, happy-go-lucky young man. He was big brother and best friend to Luke and loved animals, especially his three dogs and a cat. Beaux was outgoing, well-liked, well thought of, and fun to be around. He loved exploring the great outdoors, hiking, fossil hunting, camping, science, being with his friends and younger brother Luke, playing football, riding his bike, Xbox (particularly Halo), shooting his pellet guns with Luke from the front porch, funny movies, and SouthPark. We all had a lot of fun and laughs together.
In Jan. 2007, we took Beaux to the ER for horrible stomach pain. As the ER suggested, we followed up with his pediatrician who told us the “tumor” was most likely a “fatty tumor,” which was nothing to worry about. However in March 2008, again Beaux was taken to the ER for horrible stomach pain. This time they told us he likely had cancer that had grown much more over the last 14 months. He had surgery, and it was found to be pheochromocytoma (pheo) cancer. We were then told they had gotten it all. A few months later, once again he was taken to the ER, and we were immediately transferred to a children’s hospital, where he fought for his life while beginning chemotherapy. He continued chemo for a year.
The days he felt well were few and far between, but he didn’t complain. Beaux was a very social creature who desperately wanted to be with his class at school, although he did receive many visits from friends and family at the house and hospital. Beaux will be remembered by all who knew him as a gentle soul.
Amie Alden Cataldie
01/15/1978 – 10/03/1982
Amie was the older sister of Sam and Lindsie. When Amie turned 3 years of age she complained of her ear hurting. There was nothing to be found wrong with the ear, but about a month later, in May of 1980, Amie was found to have medullablastoma, a type of rare brain cancer on the base of her skull. She had surgery and suffered a stroke during the operation. The cancer was widespread in the brain and our precious baby, now in a coma was given at the most 3 weeks to live. The radiation would have been too harsh for her fragile state. We brought Amie home and in that following October after many months of care, God gave us a miracle and Amie came out of her coma. She learned to walk with a walker, talk and eat again on her own. She was such a determined little girl and was years ahead of her time in mind and spirit. She was in the local Special Olympics and was so proud of her medals. She showed us and the people around her that you can overcome any obstacle. Amie was always with her precious smile and loved playing with her little brother and baby sister. Her all-time favorite food place was McDonalds and she loved the beach. There were many set backpacks along her battle with cancer and each time Amie told me that “I am going home” and she would in full force with that million dollar smile we all loved. But in early October 1982, her tumor returned to the original place and she was not able to have any more treatments. Amie told me that she would not be going home. Amie passed away peacefully and earned her angel wings on October 3, 1982, where she went home to God to live in peace and happiness and of course her million dollar smile.
Alexis Teryn Shaw
Alexis was funny, silly, smart, sarcastic, sensitive, loving and kind. She loved music, animals, crafts, art, reading, playing games, friends and family. She had the most beautiful blue eyes and an infectious smile (she was always smiling!). She loved to laugh…I can still hear her giggles. She was very petite and thin which made her appear fragile, but she had the heart of a lion.
Our family is not the same without her here with us. We miss her more with each passing day, but we are grateful for so many wonderful, happy memories that will sustain us until we are together again.
To Infinity & Beyond Lulu.
All our love,
Mommy, Daddy, Miranda, Tamara, Kayla, Nana, Papa, Mama and all your aunts, uncles, cousins and friends