Monday, January 19, 2009


I have never really been one for celebrity worship. I mean, don't get me wrong, I think Brad Pitt is just about the most yummy thing out there. But, generally speaking, I am not one to get all star-struck over just about anybody.

We have met more than our fair share of celebrities over the last year or so. Most are sweet and kind, and they make an effort with the kids. A few are obviously only there because their agent told them they needed some positive press. A precious few, however, really get it. They get what these kids go through. They get how much a little attention from them means to these kids.

Brad Richards is the latter of these types. Brad played for the Tampa Bay Lightning before he was traded away to the Dallas Stars. He did so many amazing things for the pediatric cancer community. He bought a suite in the Forum, just for them, decorated it all up like a kid utopia and always had it stocked with all sorts of kid food and drink. He had a bunch of fun outings and activities for his "Richy's Rascals" group.

Oh yeah, he got it. And then some.

Tonight was Brad's first appearance at the Forum as a member of the Dallas Stars. As always, he stepped up to the plate for his Rascals.

Richards is that kind of celebrity. He's the kind of celebrity that always has time for his littlest fans. He's the kind of celebrity who plays his heart out, and within 20 minutes after a heartcrushing 4-2 loss is in suit and tie hosting a room full of kids and their families, smiling for photos, signing autographs. He's the kind of celebrity who calls the people running his foundation to say, "Hey, I am coming home, get the kids tickets to the game and I want to say hi to all of them afterwards."

I can be star struck over that. He doesn't do all of what he does for the kids because he has to. He does it because he wants to. He is truly one of the good guys, and I hope he realizes just how much of an impact he has had here in Tampa.

Thanks, Kasey and Brad for a great hockey night! You guys rock!

Zachary, Mandy and Brad. Regrettably, Alannah was not feeling well and couldn't make it tonight.

And while I am being all sappy...

When Mandy first started treatment, I was so scared and was overwhelmed by the alone- in-a-crowded room feeling. I had a million questions and zero ability to be articulate and ask them. I stumbled across a website of a family whose youngest daughter was battling leukemia.

As it turned out, the hostess of this site and her family live 15 minutes from my house. She was foolish enough to answer the phone when I called all crying and terrified. Now, uur kids love each other, we have an annoying habit of finishing each others sentences, our husbands have lots of geeky things in common to talk about ... our families became fast friends.

Through the last year of Peyton's treatment and the first year of Mandy's we have cried together and laughed together.

Last week, we rejoiced together.

After over 2 years of treatment, chemo, radiation, countless blood tests and hospitalizations, Peyton is officially a cancer survivor. She finished her chemo, her port came out, and she is done! Peyton survived, and so did their family, in whole, intact and overflowing with love. It is impossible to overestimate the difficulty of any of those accomplishments.

This one? Right here? Kicked cancer's booty, y'all!

Congratulations, Mayhew family!

Love to all~


Anissa Mayhew said...

AWWWW!! You made me all with the blubbery and slobbery and I love you guys too!

NF Endurance Team said...

That's great news for the Mayhew Family! I caught your comment on the Racing 4 Research blog. I don't know if this would interest you, but the NF Endurance Team is going to be doing the Gasparilla Distance Run at the end of February in Tampa. I can get you in touch with the people who will be running in that race to find a cure for NF.