Colin Loves Tractors Follow Colin's progress through treatment for a brain tumor

December 3, 2009

Expressing Thanks

Every year, Thanksgiving is an opportunity for many things, the most honorable of which is the recognition of what we as individuals are thankful for and humility for having so much when there are people who have so little.

This is even more true this year than it ever has been.

Obviously, we are extremely thankful for the treatment that Colin has received, especially these last few months in Memphis. There are too many individuals to mention them all, since I would surely leave somebody out. Very generally speaking, we are extremely appreciative of St. Jude as an institution. Not only does Colin personally benefit from the direct medical care here, but he and other children with cancer also benefit from St. Jude’s laboratory and clinical research.

For example, the chemotherapy protocol and other innovative treatments for ependymoma are based largely on in vitro experimentation with ependymoma stem cells. Translating that work requires longitudinal treatment studies like the ones Colin is participating in, but the choice of specific drugs for his cancer is guided by prior clinical research and the laboratory work done here.

The cost of providing patient care and conducting the science is tremendous, and St. Jude asks nothing of us except our cooperation in caring for Colin. On Saturday, we are slated to participate in the 5K, which is the baby event of the St. Jude marathon. Because Colin is just starting chemo, he will not get the opportunity to go out on the three-ish-mile jaunt with the family as we had hoped, but he will be able to go outside (on campus) to see the runners.

However, I am still planning on heading out on Saturday morning and have been sporadically training on the one-mile trail that wends around the hospital. 

For those who are able and so inclined, during this gift giving season, we ask that you consider making a donation to St. Jude, either directly to the institution or through our race-related fundraising site ( Some of you, prompted by the sidebar note on, have already done so, and thank you!

No amount is too small. Children notoriously collect their pennies for donations to this institution. Today, Colin had a new G-J tube placed and started round 4 of chemotherapy. During this intense period of active treatment, we are especially cognizant of the gifts that St. Jude gives our family every day.

Also, we would like to remind people that Target is also a tremendous supporter of families here at St. Jude. We shopped at Target before and didn’t realize that some of that overspending would come directly back to us in the form of housing.

To everybody who has been following our family’s adventures, we greatly appreciate the support and encouragement. Following the rigorous certainty of this last round of chemotherapy, we face scrutiny of Colin’s case and crucial decisions regarding the next steps of treatment. With all that he has regained over the arduous months since his second surgery, we dread the idea of him suffering setbacks or, worse, new neurological deficits.

We will send out a more colorful update with the latest happenings on our end, as well as Colin’s unprecedented four-day stint out of the hospital. He continues to do great, though we’re bracing ourselves for chemo!


  1. Dear Colin, Aiden, Tomiko and Ian,

    Look for me tomorrow in the marathon. On teh back of my St. Jude Heros Maroon singlet is written “I Run For Colin”. Good luck in the 5K and see you all tomorrow morning. Rebecca

    Comment by Rebecca and Max — December 4, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

  2. Hi Cuz, Uncle Bobby gave me the site to contact you. We have been going thru the same things here with Bev. I guess Mary told you.. Oh well, Best of luck and our thoughts are with you also.Luv,,Cousin George & Bev.

    Comment by capt.lockhart — December 4, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

  3. Dear Ian, Tamiko,Aidan and Colin.

    Prior to Colin’s experience at St. Jude’s I knew very little about the hospital beyond the periodic fund drives. Now that I have seen it in action, I am moved to make a little contribution. I’m sure all at St. Jude’s appreciate your efforts to make others aware of what they do.
    My love and prayers are with you. When does Colin begin his next round of chemo? Specials prayers for that!
    Love, Diana

    Comment by dinetzer — December 5, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  4. During the recent six months, a fair number of us have been amazed and stunningly comforted by your witness. Compressed, virulent competition for your energies are unimaginable. Whether or not you are able to spend any energy from the eye of the Hurricane in which you find yourselves, please be sure and certain, you are in our thoughts and prayers with each and every breath we ourselves are fortunate to be revived by. I cannot erase those little eyes in the cherubic face from my mind’s eye. Please hold him, hug, and kiss his little fat face – as I cannot.


    Comment by Dick Hayward — December 7, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

  5. We would like to thank everybody who has supported us and those who have contributed to St. Jude. The fundraising site will be active through the end of the year if you have not had the opportunity, but I mention this as a convenience, not to cajole.

    We have so much to be grateful for, a fact that we cannot iterate enough. As time goes on, we are delighted to share in our good news on Colin’s recovery and look forward to more postings. There is much that has happened that I haven’t written about, but I appreciate your patience as I balance the creative act of digesting the events around us with the need to communicate contemporaneous information.

    Comment by Mom — December 8, 2009 @ 1:55 am

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