Monday, March 29, 2010

Moab and Vail

Nick here.....

So this past week has been CRAZY. I arrived in Moab Tuesday night and woke up Wednesday morning to clear skies and warm weather. I love that place. I spent the next two days riding horses up the canyon to fix washed out trails and learning how to rope like the real cowboys do. It was a great time and always is when I go there. Its a good thing when you leave Moab walking like an 90 year old man.
My Dad met me in Moab on Friday and we left together on Saturday morning for the First Descents Ball in Vail. FD has this ball once a year to raise money for the program and its their biggest source of income for it. Since it was a hat party I was sure to wear my cowboy hat with my rodeo shirt, boots, jeans, and belt buckle! The Ball took place at the Ritz Carlton in Vail and it sure did live up to the name. It was the nicest ballroom I have ever seen with a GREAT band playing. I was told that last year there were around 250 people who came to the ball, but they were expecting close to 450 this year! So FD is officially starting to take off. The first camp in 2001 only had 15 campers..... they expect to have 1,000 in one year for 2015. Awesome!
So I spent most of the time talking to past counselors that I know well but did not see one fellow camper that I have gone to camp with, which I was surprised. I expected to see a few of them. But I did meet a lot of awesome people that have been to some of the other camps in other locations. All of them with great stories of survival and how FD has changed their lives. Anyways the dinner was great, the auction was great, the people were great, the music was great, it was just all GREAT. I was sad when the party ended. But the good news is that they probably raised around $300,000 that night. One night!!!
I am also in the process of getting a movie premier together of the documentary film about FD which I will most likely be showing at the dinner before the Ogden Marathon as well as the marathon in Philadelphia. So if your going to be at any of those two events this May be prepared to see how amazing this camp really is.
Lastly, I just wanted to thank everyone who has donated to my foundation because I have been reminded yet again how much we really make a difference with our efforts. Also I want to thank Brad Ludden for all he does and for getting the whole FD program where it is today.
Thanks everyone!!
Nick (Nickname)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Going Great!

Carly, Nick, Lee & Kelsey

Nick has had a great week! Last Wednesday, he went in to sign off on his clinical trial to discontinue treatment. Final results inlcuded a weight of 148.8 - a gain of almost 10 lbs in one month! His blood tests came back a little low - he is anemic - we can certainly work that out!
Grandma, Carly, Kelsey & Nick
We went to Spokane to watch the NCAA tournament and got to see the Maryland vs. Michigan State game - fantastic! We were only able to see the 1st half of the Purdue vs. Texas A&M game (which went into overtime) because we had to catch our flight home. We had some quality time with our extended family there, too.

He took off yesterday for Moab to have some cowboy time during his spring break, sporting his first pair of new cowboy boots. Then he's off to First Descents Ball on Saturday in Vail.
We are in full swing introducing WACKY - Warriors Against Cancer in Kids and Young-adults. This is the fun marketing side to Nick's Warriors. It is our intent to have WACKY represented at all of our fundraising events. The Broad Street Run in Philadelphia is our next event on May 2nd, followed by the Ogden Marathon on May 15th. I will be posting additional information within the next couple of weeks.
For all of those that continue to pray for Nick, please take a moment to acknowledge His grace in answering our prayers with blessing Nick with good health. Celebrate!
Love Lori

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sometimes it takes someone on the outside looking in...

"No Evidence of Disease" is a funny space to live in. When you have an actual tumor or markers, you are actively and aggressively fighting cancer with various treatments. When there isn't anything to see or define active cancer in your body and treatment has stopped, you aren't technically in "remission" and can't consider your self "clear" until after 5 years of clean scans. So where do you fit in? What is going on in your body that you can't see? Why is the fatigue still so strong? What is normal?

I'm sure these are the feelings Nick has been experiencing this past month. I really can only be so empathetic as he is the only one really experiencing this journey. As his mom, I continue to encourage him to embrace whatever sense of normalcy he can, on whatever level. It wasn't until we had a visitor, Thomas, from back east, that gave us a brilliant perspective.

Thomas continued to dominate the dinner conversation his first evening here, when he stopped to look at Nick and proclaim, "The cancer card is over. Go get a job. Go apply for an internship. Do SOMETHING and start contributing to YOUR future!" Nick stumbled in his reply, stating his has BIG plans for the summer, all involving kayaking. But Thomas wouldn't let it go. "What else are you interested in? What classes are you taking in college?" He applauded Nick's commitment to First Descents and his being a counselor this summer. But what else? He gave Nick much to think about.

When we all came home from work the following evening, Nick announced he had an interview set up with the Utah Grizzlies (Salt Lake City's minor league hockey team) for an internship. Nick would be able to earn college credits and apply his efforts in his business major, if he was selected, in an area Nick loved - hockey! Nick's interview was yesterday afternoon. It last about 30 seconds since Nick is already on a first name basis with the director of PR. It consisted of, "So, Nick - what do you want to do and can you start Friday?"
Sometimes you need to hear "Get off the couch!" from someone other than Mom and Dad. Thank you, Thomas!

Upcoming events:
March 19th & 21st - NCAA men's basketball tournament in Spokane, WA
March 23rd - 26th - Moab, UT for spring break
March 27th - Vail, CO for First Descents Ball
April 16th - 18th - Moab, UT for weekend fun
May 2nd - Philadelphia, PA for the Broad Street 10 Mile Run
May 15th - Ogden, UT for the Ogden Marathon

I also received a phone call with excellent news! The Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation have committed to 8 (maybe 12) softball fields and field crew for our 3rd annual charity softball tournament on September 10th & 11th. Not only that, they will handle all the on-line registration as well!

Things are going great! We'll have more to follow!

With love,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Check it out!

Latest press release - be patient, it takes a few minutes to download: