Monday, May 5, 2008

Honey Bear

So yes, the weekend getaway was great. On Saturday, I hiked the Collins Gulf Trail (scroll down to the bottom of the page for the article I wrote in 2001) in the Savage Gulf State Natural Area with my friends Charlie and Nicole. While we were taking in nature's beauty, Dori, Anne and the kids went to Hallelulah Pottery in Monteagle. Later that day, all of us went to Beersheba Pottery, which the kids have renamed "Pug Pottery" because of the feisty dog that roams the premises.

Saturday night's dinner was a delicious blue cheese pasta and gourmet salad by Dori with plenty of adult grape juice. The night before, Anne made a fabulous fresh taco bar with grilled skirt steak, fish and incredible fixings. On a related note, I'm planning a six-mile run early tomorrow.

I don't think I've blogged before about Honey Bear. When Dori entered VUMC last summer, the kids and I bought Dori a guardian bear from the hospital gift shop. She loved it and clutched it often during all her hospital stays. One frequent question during difficult days was, "Where's Honey Bear?" Usually under the covers or her hospital bed, but we never left the room without making sure Honey Bear was with Dori.

Honey Bear is still with us, often in Dori's clutches as she falls asleep. I've been known to grab HB a time or two as well. HB was Dori's knight in shining armor coming to her emotional rescue. Thank you, Mick and the Stones. I do believe Honey Bear reminded Dori - many times when she needed to think this - that her angels were by her side, even when we were home sleeping and praying for her recovery.

Last week, Dori and I attended a small reception hosted by the local Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We heard from a researcher at Vanderbilt who is looking for breakthroughs to help drug companies target new gene therapies. Her team had success a few years ago and think they're on to something again. It was nice to meet this very intelligent person for many reasons, one of which was to hear from an important person who our LLS fundraising helps directly. We learned the LLS funds about 400 researchers at about 25 facilities across the country. We learned 87% of children diagnosed with leukemia survive today; several years back (I don't recall the number), the survival rate was 50%. That's good progress for children; 100% would be nice, wouldn't it?

Channel 4 here in Nashville did a nice story tonight about Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt's daughter, who had a bone marrow transplant at age 11. They interviewed the daughter and her donor, who said all she had to do was say "yes" when asked to donate her marrow. Very true, but we need more people to register through the National Marrow Donor Program.

So have you registered?

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