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    Default JANA update--a MB thank you! :) :)

    Dear MB friends,

    3 years ago today, I wrote my first ever post about Jana, our 11 year old daughter, and asked for your prayers. 3 days after her diagnosis of cancer, I remember lying on the cot in her hospital room in the terror-filled wee hours of the morning. To block out the fear and doubt that crept in as darkness settled in the hospital, I tried to focus on the wonderful memories of our first-ever trip to CSA. My wonderful tan and fading pedicure reflected hours of the peace and tranquility spent on the beaches of Jamaica just the week prior.

    As Russ slept in the Ronald McDonald house across the street, Holly and Emily stayed with friends at home, and Jana snoozed to the sound of the IV machine and monitors, I felt a need to log on to the message board. It was an overpowering urge...a “calling” to share our situation with people that I knew only by MB user names. How glad we are that I followed my instinct! How blessed we have been by the abundance of support and friendships that have developed out of this group of “strangers”.

    Last week, I re-read the thousands of messages posted to the MB throughout our 8 month journey. I was touched once again by the goodness of people who took time to support and encourage us. Right from the beginning of our journey, we had a clear message from the medical professionals and it’s one in which I strongly believe: Attitude IS everything! The MB gave us an outlet to express our concerns, prayer requests, celebrations, and stories throughout Jana’s journey. Through the message board, our family gained strength and hope. In turn, we were able to maintain an attitude which gave us the stamina and focus and gave Jana the HOPE and positive attitude required for this battle. The bottom line is this...THANK YOU for your help in saving our daughter’s life!

    I have pondered how or why this message board is so is it that people can meet through this MB, feel like family, and then maybe even travel hundreds of miles to meet in person and become like family? I don’t know why, but I sure am happy that we have been blessed with our MB family. As I try to explain it to friends and family—they are skeptical. How is that you can meet people over the internet and consider them to be family? Why would you travel to meet and see strangers that you only have met through a message board? They don’t get it. I just smile ‘cause I KNOW and I BELIEVE.

    So, here we are three years later, and we have a happy, healthy daughter that has given us so much joy and laughter. Although I can’t understand why this happened to Jana and that is OK. What a do know, though, is that through our struggles, we have been blessed with an appreciation for life and laughter and our family has grown and strengthened in so many ways. An added bonus is that we have a new set of MB friends that we consider family.

    Thank you Couples. Thank you Randymon and staff for allowing this MB to build a network of support and friendship. This week, I am feeling sentimental. In my mind, I hear over and over again the words a parent can’t fathom—“Your daughter has cancer.” But, I don’t cry. I smile, because we conquered it and we are better because of it. We have been so blessed and we are so grateful. Thank you, our MB family.

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    Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

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