Hi reader, I glad to see you've chosen this entry to read. Hannah, Auntie Kath and I have just arrived home from a fundraiser hosted by Ronald McDonald House and the New York Giants Football club. We rubbed elbows with the likes of Eli Manning and about 15 other Giants. The team was great, they signed autographs for those who came out and then shared a meal with everyone before they headed home. The House uses events like tonight to raise the profile of the house and to raise funds to continue to operate the house and all its programs. There were more than 500 people who came out tonight, each paying a minimum of $800 and a maximum of $10 000 just to come and see the team and meet some of the families from the house.
Hannah and I were asked to speak to those who gathered and share with them the impact of the house on our lives. We were honoured to share our story and help the house to communicate about the ongoing need for the house to continue to operate. So here is a copy of the video that we shot of the speech.
The gig was held at a wonderful place called the Chelsea Piers and it proved to be a fantastic venue. There were ten families who attended the event on behalf of those who call the house their home. Hannah played with her friends while the grown ups sat and talked and shared a glass of wine. The food was very nice, although Hannah wasn't interested in any of it as it was not mac and cheese.
The other event today was our last conference with the entire Craniofacial Team at NYU. Dr McCarthy is pleased with the growth of Hannah's ramus bone and feels that if we continue to activate her device until Friday then we will have reached our goal. This means that on Friday Hannah will have a new orthodontic device manufactured and fitted and we will be able to come home as planned on Saturday. Oh yeah!
So the rest of this week will be school for Hannah, a little shopping and getting ready to come home. It has been such an incredible experience to make New York City our home for these past 6 weeks. I have really fallen in love with life in Manhattan, but I am done with it now and will wait impatiently until Saturday when we can return home. I miss my wife and long to be in her arms again in our home. I look forward to the routine of fall with Zach, Rebekah and Keziah. I anticipate answering the 100's of questions from those who I meet who will ask, "how was it?"
I am not sure how people will respond when they learn we really didn't live New York as you may have expected. We didn't see all the famous museums and galleries, although I will come back many times in the future to explore each of them, we didn't get to the famous Zoos, we didn't even go up the Empire State Building. What I will tell them about is "the house". How I met so many brave kids who are living with cancer. I will share with them how Hannah impacted their lives and brought such joy to a place that can so easily be a place of somber hope. I will tell people about the Yankee's game, Mary Poppins, Mama Mia and the Rangers. But my fondest stories will be about hanging out in Central Park. Hannah and I clocked a lot of miles walking in the park and playing there. I love watching Hannah and the other kids who gather in the park as they race around and play make believe games of who knows what.
I'm going to miss my friends the most. I am going to miss Sammy and his mom Kor, Griffin and his mom Lesley and his dad Lou. I will miss Maddie and her mom Sara and dad Duane. I will miss Javier and his mom and all the spanish speaking families who I never got to know but got to know at the same time. For Braydon and his mom and most of all Katherine and her mom. These people and their stories will be what I remember most about New York City.
Now it is time to get ready for the next chapter of our family life together.
Hannah and John