Dear Family and Friends,
When Jason was diagnosed in August with leukemia, it wasn't long before we realized that not only would we need to assemble the best team of doctors and nurses to help him but we'd also need everyone who has ever touched our lives to help us. We were soon overwhelmed by the acts of kindness, concern and selflessness that became an every day occurrence over the last months. You have truly helped us get this far.
The next part of our journey will be the hardest for us because we must leave our homes to get the treatment that Jason will need for a cure. Jason and Melissa flew to Houston on Wednesday morning and we follow in a car packed for 4 months of living down there. So, because so many of you have asked what you can do while we are gone, we have come up with a few possibilities that we're sure will help us in the weeks and months we must spend in Houston.
1. While we promise to keep you informed of Jason's progress and how we are doing, we will need to hear about you. Tell us about what is happening in your lives; keep us connected. Include us in the mundane and the milestones: new arrivals, birthdays, anniversaries, basketball's "March Madness".
2. In our absence, if you are able, give blood. Leukemia patients use an incredible amount of blood over the course of their treatment. Total strangers have kept Jason alive over the last months with their donations. And if you feel inclined, get on the National Registry for Bone Marrow donation. It won't help Jason at this point but believe me you would be someone's hero if you are found to be a match some day.
3. We will need to take you "with us". Jason's room at Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh was always filled with cards and balloons. (There were admittedly too many balloons - the seventh floor almost flew away!) Looking at those cards helped not only Jason and us, but even the doctors and nurses brightened up when they came in that room. Once we get to Houston we want to have a wall dedicated to everyone who is on Jason's "team". We want pictures, photos or caricatures of everyone who is praying for him and who is sending him the positive energy he will need to pull this off. If there's room we will put up a map so we can locate the "team" members. Of course Pittsburgh, New Jersey and Virginia will be well represented but we know his "team" has members from all across the country. This is important - we want YOUR picture up on that wall to remind him of the love and hope that are out there pulling for him, to remind him he is not alone. We are aware there are many people who have never even met him or us who have included him in their prayers. YOU belong in this collage. Send the pictures in cards, by email, in letters; whatever is easy for you. Just send them.
4. Finally, continue to keep us in your prayers and thoughts. God has blessed us all our lives with loving families and friends. With His blessing we will face a future that includes Jason, restored to good health.
Thank you immensely for all you have done to help throughout the last few months!