Now, here I am, another year closer to 40. Another year closer to achieving those goals. So I thought I'd check in and do a little progress report.
Goal #1: Make The TIL Foundation a reality.
As I began going down the path of making The TIL Foundation happen, I realized I was going to spend so much time and money making our foundation happen that I would miss time and money going into raising awareness and funding a cure. In the Fall, we instead decided to partner with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and created the TIL Fund. This allowed us to organize events in honor of our daughter without having to jump through all the hoops of creating our own 501(c)3. I'm gonna check this off my to-do list!
Goal #2: Raise $100,000 for pediatric brain tumor research.
In case you haven't heard, we've got some stuff going on! Here's what's in the works:
Norwood Elementary Kindergarten - There are 90 kindergarteners at Norwood Elementary and they are gathering change from all over Knoxville for ALSF. In early April, I went in did presentations to all of the kindergarten classes and sent home coin collection boxes for the kids. We have a large container that we have been filling with bags of change that have been coming home in Luke's backpack. These kids are a giving bunch and I'm so impressed by their excitement to help "Luke's sister".
Go Gray Sunday - This idea has been swirling in my head since 2014, as cards and care packages kept coming in from various churches. Tillery has been on prayer lists across the country and we decided to reach out to many of the churches who have supported us (and others we have met along the way) to have an awareness day. Churches will say a special prayer for families with children with brain tumors, there is an insert for the church bulletins, and many churches are also creating a fundraiser to go along with this day. Go Gray Sunday is May 7th. Here is a recent article written about the day. For more information or to be involved, visit GoGraySunday.com.
Tillery's Hustle for Hope 5k - Our first attempt at a 5k is really coming together. To date, we have 134 registered participants and have raised over $5,000 and we still have almost a month to go! The event is May 20 at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville but we also have an option to register as a virtual runner for supporters outside of the Knoxville area. For more information, visit HustleforHope5k.com.
We have other ideas that we are working on for September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, as well. After we get through May, we will share more on those plans.
To date, we have raised $17,563 for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation through the TIL Fund! (including funds already raised thru the 5k) I'd say I'm well on my way to $100,000!
Goal #3: Write a book.
Okay, I'll be honest...I've done nothing on this one. I mean, I have 3 more years. Cut me some slack!
Goal #4: See our family be on the healthy side of this diagnosis.
Dare I say it? Could it possibly be true? According to Tillery's neurosurgery and oncology teams...
WE ARE HERE!
Here on the other side of chemotherapy and surgery and hospital stays.
Here on the other side of pain and hurt and tears.
Here on the other side of delays and setbacks.
We are here, where the rest of you are.
And we are enjoying every minute!
So that's where I am, where we all are.
3 years to go. 40, I'm coming for ya!
*Looking for a birthday gift idea? I'd say a donation to ALSF would be awesome!