Monday, December 31, 2007

Reflection.

The last day of 2007. Here on Kyrie's blog, we've all come to value time and its gifts much more now than perhaps we did last year. Many of you have made significant decisions based on information & ideas shared here. You have started projects; you have said what needs saying; you gave and forgave; you began a new path; you thought a new thought; you passed on this story; you let the seed of change settle into your bones, which may grow into a whole new & improved you in the coming years.

Last year at this time, no one saw this coming. No one expected the unexpected, which lends some trepidation at flipping the calendar page tomorrow. What's ahead? What will happen? What's to come?

For much of 2007, it's as if we've held our breath, hoping to prevent further wakes of heartache. Tomorrow, though, brings something new, something fresh, something that polishes the past in a way that we can take it wherever we go as proof that we're following His plan. The foundation has spent much time thinking & healing; 2008 promises to be a year of growth and, with enough help, financial development that will lead to the Kyrie Foundation Research Grant.

If He is with us, who can be against us?

And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the Unknown.'

And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'"

Minnie Haskins
teacher and poet

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thankful Thursday

We hope, above all, that somewhere, sometime throughout this holiday season you have felt love. We hope you've seen it, heard it, showed it and honored it. We certainly have here, thanks to you. What you've done for us, what you've done for each other, what you've done in memory of a darling child who's become an angel to us all, what you've done to be better, to do good, to put kindness into action--all of this has been miraculously beautiful. We are so blessed. We are so thankful.

And we hope you've been able to treasure the little things this season, too. Like the soft, salty texture of a cashew that was planted and nurtured on the other side of the world. Or an original handmade gift that combined hands, thought & creativity just for you. Or feeling the warmth of whomever occupied the couch with you. Or the glow of moonlight reflecting from carpet of snow outside or the drifting steam off a mug of hot chocolate or green tea. We hope you treasured smiles and the hugs.

Don't overlook the ordinary. There are a thousand blessings in every moment, if you look. Each breath and heartbeat, every color, texture, taste, smell. A lifetime of blessings, beauty, love. Thankfulness is like water. Allow yourself the release, the cleansing, the quenching that gratefulness brings.
-Mary Lee Bonasera Matthews

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

A gift for you.

We want to share Susan & Rita's visit with you, a story that we hope you'll let percolate in you heart. It's incredible, absolutely incredible.

Thank you, Susan! Thank you, Rita! Thank you, helpers! You have no idea how powerfully healing your good work is, especially to this family, as well as dozens of others as you now know. And to take Kyrie with you ... oh, we are so blessed to have you care for her in this phenomenal way. We love & adore you.

Dear Friends & Family,
How do I know that Santa has the best job ever? Well, I got a little taste of what Santa gets to do every year when Frosty, Elf Rita and Friends all went to

Wesley Hospital Pediatric Floor and the PICU Floor the evening of Monday, December 17, 2007.

Frosty, Elf Rita, Buster, Diane, and Deb all met at "the workshop" Monday evening to load up the 2 wagons/sleighs (great job on the sleighs Elf Rita!) FULL of toys, books, puzzles, coloring books, crayons, markers, sketch pads, craft kits, activities, dolls, trucks, dinosaurs, play-dough, electronic games, board games, card games, stickers, puppets, and love! AND 3 big-o duffle bags STUFFED with soft blankets, stuffed animals, cuddly Frosties, tiny beanie-babies for tiny hands, etc...and more love!



So off we went, pulling the bright red sleighs with heart-shaped snowflake backgrounds on each side, framing a precious picture of Miss Kyrie Dawn Thome...
eyes of wonder focused on a pretty piece of wrapping paper. A simple, sweet, little reminder as to why we were doing what we were doing. big sigh...



There we were hauling the bags of goodies thru the halls of the PEDS floor, stopping one by one at each door, as our hospital assistant, Jessica, read off the age and sex of each little patient, sometimes giving a little extra hint about the child, such as "he loves to draw!" or "yes, she would love that doll!"

To see a 15-year-old girl open her eyes when a blanket that was her favorite color was put beside her and a 20 Q game given to her...just light up and start to talk to Elf Rita about where she went to school and how she would keep in touch once she got back home via e-mail was....wow-wee!

To look way down to the end of the hallway and see a 2-1/2-year-old, curly-headed, blonde girl excitedly waving at Frosty...fidgeting but staying exactly where she was told to stay until I got to the room—what a warm fuzzy feeling these kids exude!

Although we weren't allowed to enter each and every room - several items were left for each and every child! And looks of surprise and amazement on the adult faces as Elf Rita handed out QT gas cards, Dillons & Wal-Greens gift cards, and McDonalds & Spangles gift certificates...made me oh-so-glad we had not forgotten the parents/grandparents/care-givers.

After we had given out all we could give, there were still left-overs. But not to fret, as they were left to be handed out to incoming patients in the days and weeks ahead. The joy would continue to be spread.

And along with every gift was a copy of the story of Kyrie and how Frosty & Friends came to be. Maybe more little seeds planted along the way?! Maybe "good-deed-doers" inspired. Maybe "pay-it-forward" could be a new way of thinking for someone who was helped in a time of need. Maybe, just maybe...

It's hard to describe something that is such a feel-good-thing but not in a feel-good-environment. To see the smiles and looks of excitement in the child's eyes as we handed over gift after gift—and then to have my gaze drift to the many tubes and tape and IV's all attached to a little one. It was in a way a two steps forward and three steps back dance with my heart. Such little troopers. And...such big troopers. The parents/grandparents/caregivers ...what an undertaking. You can see the worry and strain and lack of sleep. But they were all so kind to show such appreciation for what was being done for their little one.

And Frosty did her best to be cheery and friendly and upbeat. But 3 instances caused a moment of pause in the evening. One big, burly daddy, holding the blankie, stuffed animal and book we had handed him, got the "thank you so much" out just fine. It was the "God bless you" that got him choked up.

Me too.

The 2nd was a young, skinny, cowboy of a daddy, who was so very grateful with our visit to his little one who was sleeping in the PICU unit and with his "thank you" came eyes filled to the brim with tears. Big lump in Frosty's throat. ugh.

And our 3rd encounter was with a young mother who had found us in the hallway on our way out, holding the baby doll that had been given to her little girl. She was bravely trying to explain to Elf Rita that her little girl had not wanted to play since she had arrived at the hospital, and since our brief visit with goodies for her a bit earlier, had not stopped playing and having fun since we left her room. hugs & tears? yes, of course, for all of us.

So I will have to alter my previous statement just a touch...
Santa almost has the best job ever. He has to visit children and families when they are tucked in their beds asleep. Frosty & Friends got to visit children when they were awake, and got to see the expressions on their faces when they were given present after present after present!

Frosty & Friends were able to visit with kids, and give well-wishes to their caregivers. We were able to see up close and personal what a little magic can do. And to know where that magic came from...sooooooo many of our friends, family, co-workers and special people close to Kyrie...WOW!

There is no magic wand or wave of the hands with hocus-pocus being said. The "magic" is from those who are generous and kind and giving and who are able to share the blessings they have with others. THAT is why Frosty & Friends were able to put into action such a simple little saying of..."Go! Kyrie! Go!"


A Merry Christmas and A Happy & Healthy New Year,
luv,
Frosty & Elf Rita

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Reason for the Season.

Giving is so good, isn't it? On a calculator, it seems that we would lose something by giving, but the burgeoning fulfillment that swells from within surpasses and surprises most of us. The act of giving to someone who may or (even better) may not be on your list often fills a void—be it a void of compassion, consciousness and even a void of loss.

This particular season is different for many of us, not just our family, but also for many in our circles who have suffered greatly and lost much this year. Sometimes it's difficult to feel the spirit that others have at this time. And that's okay.

We may not be with spirit, but the Spirit is with us.

A dear friend of mine passed on a link that is absolutely heartbreaking to hear, but so infinitely profound in its message. It's difficult to believe under normal societal circumstances that God truly loves us, let alone during harrowing personal trials. If you have a moment and are in a place today where you can bear God's plan, give it a listen.

Thanks, Shelby.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Big Day.

Today's the big visit for Frosty & Elf! Lots of sweet boys & girls will receive heaping helpings of good cheer, sincere wishes and special toys. Warms the soul, doesn't it?

Also, if you're looking for a unique gift for anyone who lives in or plans to be in Michigan on March 7, 2008, take a look at this. Mark Schultz tickets on sale online now and all proceeds benefits Kyrie's Gift!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Someone else out there.

Dear Anonymous Donor #2,

The warmth that radiated from your card and donation was one of the most pure forms of true Christmasness we've ever seen. In lieu of a gift for yourself, you bequeathed that gift to the Kyrie Foundation, who will, in turn, fight cancer with all we've got. You are a conduit for this cure, and we are overwhelmed and humbled by your selfless, compassionate gesture. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Just as important is the one who gifted to you, too. His or her love for you and the compliance to your wishes is an exceptional example of giving a gift that the recipient would like to receive versus what we would like to give.

We are so grateful for your goodness. Thank you for giving, and thank you for caring about Kyrie.

with immense gratitude,
The Kyrie Foundation

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for the people who receive no thanks. Often these people include parents, the pillars of a family who battle the world and withstand the ebb & flow of life to give and give and give to their children. Their investment of time and love often doesn't not see a return for decades, if at all, yet still they give.

Thankless jobs and those who dutifully occupy these positions with care and integrity also include road workers who make our ride smoother, custodians who clean our messes, soldiers who protect our way of life, farmers who provide our food, pharmacy assistants who volley between irate patients and stingy insurance companies, factory workers who zipper our jackets, shepherds who woolen our sweaters, quiet employees who provide brilliant, uncredited ideas, people who compost, reuse and recycle and all those who make Tylenol, Band-Aids and Cheerios.

All of these people and more make our lives noticeably better yet go largely unnoticed. So many to thank in our thoughts & prayers, don't you think?

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

tick-tock.

If you'd like to donate to Frosty & Elf's trip to Wesley Hospital, the time is drawing nigh. So many special givers have already donated nifty gift cards and super-fun toys. If you're wondering what ideas you could give to their trip, they're still in need of a few:

•new stuffed animals
•teenager items
•gift cards for the parents (Wal-Greens, McDonalds, Spangles)
•stickers (there are always siblings that we try to give a little something too!)
•things to do while laying in a hospital bed

Remember, items need to be received by Friday, December 14 to:

Susan Jae Eckel
3738 S. Dugan
Wichita, KS 67215

And here's a sneak peek at Frosty during a holiday event in Clearwater, Ks. Isn't she the most beautiful snowperson you've ever seen?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Someone out there.

Dear Anonymous Donor,

From the very essence of our core, we thank you. Although we don't know your name nor your face, we will be hoping that you are with the Kyrie Foundation here on this blog, at our events and in your prayers.

It would be impossible to launch a cause like this alone. Absolutely impossible. You and others like you are our miracles. I've often wondered what exactly incites the leap from thought to action. What is it that compels someone to not only care with his or her heart but to care with his or her time, money and ideas? To really walk the talk? To be moved?

The Kyrie Foundation was thrilled to open your envelope because inside was not only a donation but also a portion of who you are and what you care about. Thank you for giving, and thank you for caring about Kyrie.

with immense gratitude,
The Kyrie Foundation

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that we live in an era where, with the flip of a switch, there is light after sundown, and there is warmth without soot. I'm thankful for night lights and reading lamps and flashlights that you can wear around your head. I'm thankful for clothes dryers that warm our towels and hot water heaters that give us warm baths and hot tea. So nice, isn't it?

Best of all, I'm thankful for the resonating warmth that a radiant soul leaves in his or her wake. Don't you love it when you run into one of those? Someone who seems to float? To remind you? So thankful for those lighted people.

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lighting the way.

Perhaps more than any other seasonal irritant, cynicism/rudeness and all-around retail snarfism taints the wonder of the weeks to come. Even within our own homes, we are short with each other as the pressure cooker of demand heats. We understand the greater sense but how quickly we lose sight at the smallest slight.

Whereas November was our month to personify the Kyrie Foundation's attitude of gratitude, December is our month to embody the Do Good portion of our mission. And as Susan mentioned in her musing, small good can become mammoth good in half a wink. What if you could think of something small to do this week that could make a big impact? What if you just took a breath before getting upset? What if you said a prayer for somebody you really didn't want to pray for? ;) What if you could just let go of something? Or just hang on to something you truly believe in? What if you could love more, love better?

As the days are getting darker, let's be lights this week to those who need some illumination.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Helpers.

So remember that Easter Bunny who visited the children at Wesley Hospital this past spring, Susan? Funny thing—she's in good with St. Nick, too!

With the talented help of her elf, Rita, Frosty (a.k.a. Susan) will be visiting Wesley Hospital again to deliver toys, goodies and good cheer!

Spirit of the season, no? Isn't this, this good, isn't this what IT is all about? Doing something kind for others? Helping the world spin in such a way that it's better off for having you here?

A dear friend of mine knows a Good Deed Doer who said that she works to have money so that she can give it away. So profound.

The dynamic Christmas duo is accepting donations for the visit by way of new toys, gift cards (gas, grocery, restaurants for the parents) and dollars. (Please no coloring books, clothing or used toys.) If you would like to donate to the effort, please send to the team no later than December 14 to:

Susan Jae Eckel
3738 S. Dugan
Wichita, KS 67215

Also, since they are covering Wesley, Susan is encouraging/inspiring any of you Good Deed Doers our there to do the same for another hospital, children's home or special need location. And these words of inspiration come from Susan, too. Count me in as one of the flakes! ;)

...you know how it takes lots of
snowflakes to come together to
actually make a snowman.

well, trust me, this is not just a
one-snowman-show.

there are many individual and unique
flakes that are being rolled all together
to enable THIS snowman to do "her thing".

each and every snowflake plays a very important role...
kinda makes me look forward to our first snowfall now.

hmmmmm...
"Frosty"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Novemberings.

Hope we all thanked and gave this November, the month that symbolizes much of our thinking here, especially last week as we reached for hugs, passed the gravy and contemplated the moment.

In the next few posts, we'll have some swell news about Kyrie Foundation happenings. Until then, though, here's something to ponder:

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.
Earl Nightingale

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Thursday

The biggest Thankful Thursday of the year!!

Today I'm thankful for tradition and the wisdom that tradition doesn't just happen on its own. Somone has to make the tradition happen. Thankful for the ability to bear life and keep going, even when we don't want to. Thankful for the promise of what comes next so that gathering together means gathering all together.

Most of all, I'm thankful for friends & family, those near, far & above.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Today.

This week, NBC's Today Show is highlighting work done at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and this morning they profiled a very young girl who was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer before she was two. Although the kind of cancer this child had was not a PNET like Kyrie's, the prognosis was just as terrifying.

If you caught the segment, you would have a seen a snippet where they interviewed Dr. Larry Kun with St. Jude's. A few months ago, the Kyrie Foundation was in touch with him, too, as we narrowed our focus for our research dollars. Good work being done there, and we're happy to say that the our monies can go to support his work and other doctors around the country just like him.

We want you to know that what we are all doing is very real, not just a black, nebulous hole of charity. If you are reading these words, you are a part of our team, a part of this real work to save little children. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Smart, in more ways than one.

This Friday is unequivocally known as "the biggest shopping day of the year," the kick-off to the gift-giving season where consumerism is at a peak and seasonal grumpiness takes root. Here's a small suggestion: instead of the exasperating check-out lines, the mad runs on hot items, the cart wrangling, the crowded parking lots, lugging packaging to the car and trying to get them out the car without getting caught, what if you could shop wearing your fuzzy slippers with just a few clicks?

iGive(and iBakeSale & GoodShop) has been great. I ordered a few gifts two weeks ago, and-poof-they showed up on my doorstep, AND I earned money for the foundation. I even found gifts that aren't available in the brick & mortar stores. It's like an online mall--better, in fact, because you have hundreds of stores to choose from. Depending on your total, some stores even offer free shipping. Bonus! Anyone else tried it? Mind sharing your experience?

Monday, November 19, 2007

'Tis.

In 1981, a slender music teacher with cotton-ball-white, spherical hair and briliant, red-rimmed glasses taught Clearwater Elementary School's first grade class the song "Simple Gifts." Her berry-red lipstick mouthed the words over and over again as her skirt draped over the piano bench and her determined fingers plunked the ivory keys. Thank you, Ms. Ray.

A simple song written by a Shaker in the 1800s. A song that has gone on to TV, movies, Broadway, universities and even on cellist Yo-Yo Ma's CD. Now it even includes two (more modern) verses.

It is a gift to be simple, to be small and to have such impact. Hope we all remember that this week.

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of o-thers what we try to live each day,
Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,
(refrain)
'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One+one+one ...

We're over $50 with GoodSearch! Wa-hoo!

This amazing tool has woven "doing good" into our days without it being a hassle, a grudge, an obligation. It's just there, like a built-in. In so many ways, we've thunk ourselves into ease: convenience foods, convenient stores, movies on-demand, personal computers, electric locks, automatic everythings. It's nice that making a positive difference can be easy, too. Love that.

Monday, November 12, 2007

There we are!

In case you missed it Saturday, the Kyrie Foundation was GoodSearch's Charity of the Day! There we are in the upper left-hand corner!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Your connection to the Nobel Prize.

As you may know, the Kyrie Foundation's primary financial goal is to fund research for pediatric brain cancers. This goal has lead us to align with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation in North Carolina, which will bestow a $50,000 Kyrie Foundation grant to research deemed valuable to our cause, specifically PNETs, should proposals in this area be made.

After speaking with PBTF, we are supremely confident in their measures of accountability and progress, which is why it is no surprise really that a scientist that they supported in 2000 has gone on to win the 2007 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine! Mario Capecchi, Ph.D., of the University of Utah School of Medicine won this illustrious honor for developing "gene targeting" technology in mice.

The discoveries made by Capecchi and the other scientists are being applied to everything from basic research to the development of new therapies for a multitude of diseases, the Nobel Prize committee said.

"Gene targeting in mice has pervaded all fields of biomedicine," the committee said. "Its impact on the understanding of gene function and its benefits to mankind will continue to increase over many years to come."

The PBTF supported Capecchi's work in 2000 with a grant for "A Conditional Mouse Model of Medulloblastoma." Medulloblastoma is the most common brain tumor of childhood and is associated with significant impairment and mortality.

Capecchi's project explored whether the early and intermediate events in the progression of medulloblastoma occur with a predictable sequence. The project used gene targeting to generate a mouse model of medulloblastoma in which the Patched gene was carefully controlled.


So what does this mean for you? Your pennies are really going to make high-caliber progress. Pretty cool, huh?

p.s.
Bookings have already started for our December 1 photo-fundraiser with Sandy Braun Photography!

p.p.s
Don't forget to make an honorary search on GoodSearch tomorrow where the Kyrie Foundation with be their Charity of the Day!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Flipping through channels last week, I ran across that WEtv show Crossing Over with John Edwards. Not quite sure about the programs's validity, however this particular episode was of keen interest. The host was speaking with a father in the audience who had lost his 4-year-old son to brain cancer 12 years prior. After speaking with the mother via on-air telephone, John asked why she wasn't there, and she said that it was more important for her husband to go because he still mired in unrelenting guilt & blame. John asked her why she didn't feel that way, what advice could she offer to other parents that go through this, and she simply said, "Always blessings, never losses."

That statement took everyone's breath away.

The courage to think & believe that is miraculous, isn't it? After suffering in the most emotionally painful way, this mother found her grace. Such trust & faith in God's goodness despite torrential pain. Even when The Plan doesn't make sense, isn't right, isn't fair, alas, we are still His. [big sigh] Working on understanding that.

A song was written about it, too. You can download that here.

Today I'm thankful for the blessings. What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

And guess what?!


In a community of over 44,000 other nonprofits, GoodSearch has chosen the Kyrie Foundation to be their Charity of the Day this Saturday, November 10!!!!!!!

Can you believe that?! We're are so honored to be acknowledged, especially since we're one of the newbies in the world. And I credit you. They did not divulge their criteria for selection, (Maybe it's random. Who knows?) but maybe it has something to do with the amount of supporters that sign on for a cause. Maybe it also corresponds with search activity, for which we thank you GoodSearchers out there!

We love that this is a SUPER-EASY way for you to help doctors find a cure for pediatric brain cancer. And we cannot thank you enough for jumping on board with this. Please feel free to pass on this opportunity to friends & family in your circles. Isn't it a great feeling to know that, yes, you sitting right there at your computer today, can make a real difference? Thank you so very, very, very much.

p.s.
Today an ad is in the Lee's Summit Journal for the Sandy Braun Photography/Kyrie Foundation offer, which means if you'd like to book a spot for December 1, it would be smart to call soon!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

First dibs!

Just in time for the gift-giving season, a talented friend of ours has volunteered a fantastic idea to financially benefit the Kyrie Foundation, especially if you live in or plan to travel to K.C. soon.

Sandy Braun of Sandy Braun Photography is hosting a full day of QuickFlash photo sessions on Saturday, December 1 in Lee's Summit, MO where ALL of the proceeds go directly to the Kyrie Foundation! For $100, you and your family will get a professional mini session and a 10x20 designer photo collage. All orders placed by December 10 will arrive in time to make great Christmas gifts.

The great thing about a mini session is that you get professional results with minimal commitment, which is great for kiddos & pets and those plagued with impatience. ;) Plus, with a professional photographer like Sandy, you'll get that photojournalistic style from her mini sessions where you'll see personality and dynamics captured forever in your photos. She is also keen on making you feel comfortable and relaxed, which yields the most beautiful photography.

If you're interested, check her site out and give her a call/e-mail.
sandy@sandybraun.com
816-916-4636

p.s.
There are a limited number of sessions available that day, so the earlier you call to book a session, the better!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Just in case ...

If you've e-mailed me or anyone else at the Kyrie Foundation last week, we did not recieve your messages. Server went down. We've since remedied the problem, but are unable at this time to retrieve any old messages. Please re-send your e-mails, if you'd like, and we'll respond promptly. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Love & forgiveness.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
―Maya Angelou

With the season of togetherness looming, if you have any broken fences in your pasture, it might be a time to consider mending. Well within our control and certainly on our Do Good list, asking for forgiveness or reaching a better understanding is one of the most supreme changes for good you can make within your own life and in the life of another. Mending makes your soul bigger & brighter. Mending is powerful.

Unfortunately for real humans living in the real world, misunderstandings aren't always solved in 30-minute, sit-com style. Sometimes it drags into oblivion or mushrooms into something that takes on the presence of a rhino. Whether it's pride or the love of drama or stubbornness or embarrassment, the rhino impedes honesty, compassion & healthy living. And here's the deal: as long as you did something to mend, it doesn't matter if the other person is receptive. You've already found a degree of peace simply by making the gesture.




Luckily for us, the Campaign for Love & Forgiveness is out there and PaperSource, a chic shoppe for stationery, is on board to promote letter writing as a means of mending. Here's what they mean:

Paper Source has joined the Fetzer Institute in a national Campaign for Love & Forgiveness, an inclusive, nonpartisan project that invites everyone to think about and connect on the topics of love and forgiveness with the goal of effecting meaningful change in individuals and communities.

In addition to hosting conversations throughout the U.S., the campaign seeks to revive an interest in writing letters as a way to express kindness and deepen or renew relationships. A letter written from the heart can become a thoughtful practice that helps one stay connected — or reconnect — with cherished friends and family. Join the campaign and write your letter today.

You can even download Love & Forgiveness stationery here, or take a gander and the beautiful options at PaperSource, too.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today, November 1, is not only a day marked to commemorate all saints, those known & unknown, but this is also the first day of what I think is our month. This month unifies many of the ideals of the Kyrie Foundation. November is a month of gathering, when hands are joined in family prayer, when animals begin to huddle & hunker for winter and when cornicopias burgeon with blessings. November is month of gratitude, a thankful time to note all that we've been given, all that we've endured and all that we hope to come. November is a month of giving, giving time, giving extra patience, giving food, giving a second chance, giving warmth and giving thanks.

A whole 30 days to honor gathering, gratitude & giving. Sounds pretty saintly to me. ;)

I'm thankful for November. What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Because of One

(Written by Chad, Megan's husband and one of Kyrie's uncles)

While my wife can write circles around me, I still thought that I would take this opportunity to post an entry. Seeing all the comments and response to this site made me reflect on the one person that created the means for it: Kyrie Dawn Thome.

Because of one little girl, a large community of people view this site every, single day. They also express what they are thankful for and, sometimes, become more closely knit with others they have never met. These people also sometimes buy t-shirts and use GoodSearch.com (with The Kyrie Foundation as their designated charity). While this seems so simple, it could one day snowball itself into a research grant that could help pave the way for a cure for pediatric brain cancer. I would not have written the last sentence if I did not believe, in my heart, that it could not be achieved. It can. Because of one, we can triumph together.

Chad T. Eickholt
President
The Kyrie Foundation
www.kyriefoundation.org

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for dirt roads. Anymore, the most authentic things in our American culture are not the prettiest, most coiffed or sculpted ideas. I'm thankful for addresses housed on dirt roads, the places far away from 24-hour anythings and drive-thrus. I'm thankful for the washboard ruts, the dust and the tiny pings against a vehicle's metal exterior that symbolize how difficult, how blinding and how real our life roads are, indeed. I'm thankful that dirt gives us roots.

What are you thankful for today?

p.s.
Just checking: Is there anyone out there that has ordered a Kyrie tee but has yet to receive one?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Good thought.

This is not a political endorsement by any means but rather a good, simple suggestion:

We reward people a lot for being rich, for being famous, for being cute, for being thin... one of the values I think we need to instill in our country, in our children, is a sense of 'usefulness', in other words, are we useful, are we making other peoples' lives a little bit better?

Barack Obama
U.S. Senator from Illinois

Monday, October 22, 2007

Keep going.

The awareness that the newspaper article created was good, wasn't it? More people knowing yields more people caring. I love that. And though we are further along this road of time, we hope that you are still up for our journey.

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.

Ayn Rand

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shooteth.

Hey, Wichitans, have you checked out today's Wichita Eagle? You'll find a nice article+photo about Kyrie's Gift, Kyrie and a little about the Kyrie Foundation!

Thank you to Lee & Leslie Clark, the Custer family, Via Christi Medical Center, Jordan & Lacie and Joe Rodriguez. Well done!

Friday, October 12, 2007

The power of several.

Last weekend, Chad & several of my dearest friends hornswaggled me with a surprise slumber party ambush. These dear friends have been in my spirit for decades and are also staunch supporters of the Kyrie Foundation.

After hours and hours of much-needed laughter, a few tears, stories, memories & queso dip, we slumbered until rousing in the morn for brunch at a local cafe, a somewhat dive-y hangout serving up free, delish cinnamon rolls. We marched into Neighbor's Cafe in uniform: all of us in our Kyrie tees. Everyone—everyone—noticed. The hostess. The cashier. The waitress. Fellow patrons. And we told them Kyrie's story. We told them about the Web site. We told them about plans. We shootethed.

After omelets and hashbrowns, we popped into several stores. The shopkeeper at m. culture noticed our shirts, and we told Kyrie's story again to this dear woman who ended up in tears recalling her own daughter's brain injuries.

We told Kyrie's story in Traditions & Cameron's, two home decor & furnishings stores. As a team we shopped The Bath House, and that shopkeeper, too, noticed Kyrie's tees. The whole morning, as my insides were torn between heartache and perseverance, I marveled at the impact just a few friends had as a team roaming the world. The gestalt of friendship.

So thank you, again, to all of our friends who are talking & wearing. That's how a grassroots effort like ours turns the tide.



p.s. We're still happy to post photos of Go, Kyrie, Go! t-shirt wearers! Just send 'em our way.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I am deeply thankful and truly honored for friendship. Posting a little true story tomorrow, but for today, I marvel at what it means to extend care to someone outside your family unit, to care for someone as if they were family or perhaps as the replacement of family. How lovely is it, too, when relationships with spouses, siblings, cousins & parents mature and tether into true friendships. Laughing & crying, hugs & apologies, silliness and compassion, differences & similiarities, friendship is a miracle.

Jordan sent me an e-mail, which I'm sure you've seen, that outlines the different kinds of people that come & go, to & fro, within our lives. Some are there for a season, some for a lifetime, some for a day—all intentionally put in place, sometimes even painfully put into motion, as opportunities for us to give or to receive. Must be divine, no?

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The power of one.

A friend mentioned that sometimes people may feel overwhelmed by giant research goals like ours, meaning that someone may doubt that their $1 would do much good when we need so much. That's understandable. And one person may, indeed, wonder about his or her own isolated contribution. Luckily, we have mustard.

And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

– Mark 4:30–2

One lil', ol' mustard seed ends up growing into something magnanimous. From little acorns grow mighty oaks. My little dollar combined with your little dollar combined with their little dollars ends up being something bigger than anyone of us could do on our own. One + one + one. We shooteth.

The point is not how large your actions but that you act at all.

Maybe it's a coincidence or maybe it isn't that we could quite possibly be in the midst of the butterfly effect, like It's a Wonderful Life, where just a tiny reverberation impacts with sweeping scope. Maybe we're in our own Bedford Falls. And maybe we have an angel to remind us that you matter.

And you can grow this mustard with your words, too. Tell someone what you're doing with the Kyrie Foundation. Put it on your resume. On your blog. On your person. One + one + one.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Percolating.

Several Kyrie Foundation fundraising ideas are percolating as these words type. Hope to share more news in the next week or so. In the meantime, made my first GoodSearch shopping purchase. They've made doing good so easy. Love it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Did you see?

The Kyrie Foundation is up to $7.01 on GoodSearch! Way to go!!! Very thankful for you searching today!

Thankful Thursday

"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father."

Matthew 5:13-16


Today I'm thankful for salt. As salt—you & me—we preserve & we season the world with our lives. So what we do and what we don't do really does matter, like ripples in a pool. Even our attitudes matter: Do we accept or not? Do we help or not? Do we forgive or not?

Another great thing about salt is that a little goes a long way. So something small, like a sweet, little girl or a "what if" idea or a search on a a charitable Web site, can really change the entire trajectory of a path, a life, a community. That's powerful.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Wow!

Did you see how much you've earned for the Kyrie Foundation on GoodSearch? We're already up to $3.51! Wa-hoo!

If you've read on their site, they do not advertise. Our earnings are based on word of mouth. So if you are inclined, we'd certainly appreciate it if you could spread the word to those in your circles: friends, family, colleagues--anyone who you think might help the foundation.

Thank you SO much for GoodSearching for Kyrie!

Friday, September 28, 2007

An easy way to help cure pediatric brain cancer.

A big thank you to Jonathan, a new commentator here on the blog, who has given this idea/invitation for you to help us raise funds by sitting at your keyboard.

Instead of using Yahoo or Google to search online, if you use GoodSearch.com, for every search you make, the Kyrie Foundation earns a penny! Just sign up (for free!), choose the Kyrie Foundation and type your search into the bar just like you would another search engine. You could make it your homepage or put the search bar into your toolbar instead of Yahoo.

Now here's the begging part: You have a lot of charities & causes from which to choose. I'm hoping, pleading & begging that you choose the Kyrie Foundation because we really need the help. The board is made of a few devoted volunteers whose heartache—not time or money or ego—brought them to this point. They work on the foundation, not as a full-time opportunity but amidst everything else: in the car, before work, while opening the mail, on the weekends, over their lunch hours, in airports, while they sleep and ... even in the bathroom.

The average research grant is $50K. That is the Kyrie Foundation's minimal goal every year. Anyone know how many bake sales that is? ;) And the Kyrie Foundation wants to financially help families, too. We know all too well that in these situations, the family precariously teeters over a bottomless pit of insatiable bills. So you can see that we have a steep hill to climb, using what resources we have but very conscious not to burn out our biggest supporters.

Please know that the foundation's "board of directors" are simply organizers. You make up the foundation. You, the blog reader, the t-shirt wearer, the friend, the relative, the classmate, the donation maker, the commentator, the business owner, the prayer giver—you are the Kyrie Foundation. You who want pediatric brain cancer to end—you, too, are the Kyrie Foundation. We've counted you among our most treasured blessings since day one with Kyrie's diagnosis. We hope that you will remain steadfast, inspired and encouraged with Kyrie as we all move together toward a cure.

Go, Kyrie, Go!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for today. Often times, it's dreadfully difficult to be in the moment, isn't it?

Carpe diem? Nice in theory, but it's nearly impossible, almost inhuman. We're so caught in what happens next, what isn't done, what's going on over there that we lose right now. The very trendy phrase "live in the moment" doesn't tell you how to live in the moment. And that's what we need to know, right?

So for right now, it's right now. Threats loom on the horizon, doubt plagues like the plague, worry is hovering overhead, pain lingers at the legs, still, this moment, and this one and this one and this one are as real as you will ever get, even if it's at a desk, in the kitchen, on the beach, in the car or up above.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

For the shoppers ...

If you visit the Kyrie Foundation Web site and click under donate & shop, you'll see the icon for iGive. iGive is a site that is set up to retrieve donations from online shopping at venues like Target, PetSmart, Bombay Company, Home Depot, Lane Bryant, Avon, HSN.com, Bass Pro Shops, Ebay, Dean & Deluca, Sephora and so many more.

You sign up for free & choose your cause. (The Kyrie Foundation is already set up in their system.) Then shop away! The key is to use your iGive portal to get to the stores' Web sites. So if you go to Target.com and shop, there won't be a donation made. Gotta go through iGive to Target.com to get the credit.

I also completed three reviews for Viewpoints.com (an opportunity sent to me by iGive), and I earned $5 for the Kyrie Foundation!

And now through October 2, 2007, several stores are doubling their donations to the Kyrie Foundation: Home Bistro (those gourmet dip/soup/bread mixes), Staples, Land's End, Drugstore.com, JCPenney's, Doctors Foster & Smith, Nordstrom, Quill, Expedia & NewEgg.

The cool thing is that you're donating while you're shopping for things you'd purchase anyway. Painless!

Good to keep in mind as holiday shopping draws near ... ;)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Person of the Week

Each week, ABC News honors a person worth noting. Last Friday, in case you missed it, their person of the week was Randy Pausch, a 46-year-old Carnegie Mellon computer science professor who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This 19-minute lecture on "How to Live Your Childhood Dreams" is worth a listen.

You can read a little about Randy here, too.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Somedays.

Somedays are tough. Somedays are fraught with doubt & confusion & worry & frustration not only with ourselves but also with regard to others in our lives and even with regard to God's plans. There are plenty of somedays where I still wonder where all of our prayers went. There are plenty of times where fairness is completely MIA to what shakes out at the end of the day. Supremely difficult to step away from feelings and into faith, isn't it?

As a manner of practice, there is a nifty site that gently helps stir a bit of faith back into the day. Sacred Space is a daily online prayer site, a site that brings a little soul into the soulessness of technology.

Here's the passage for today:

Ephesians 4, 1-7

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A thought.

"This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good."

Author Unknown

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Step by step.

Around 2:30 a.m. at the Relay for Life event in Maryville, you could tell who was in it to win it, so to speak. Most of those who donated by way of nachos, a couple minutes in the bounce house or through the silent auction had gone home. Those left (and there were plenty) were either manning the booths, warming up the omlette griddles or walking round & round, lap after lap around the luminaries holding their team's baton, which could be virtually anything: a sparkly baton with streamers, an altered Barbie doll, a stick, a decorated plunger.

There were groups of people walking & laughing, power duos working up a sweat, lone walkers deep in contemplation. Among those circumnavigating were three walkers who slowly, steadily made their laps methodically and with monosyllabic conversation. Three men, each wearing hats to cover their heads rather than express fashion; two in bib overalls flanked the one in old Wranglers. Three men whose slightly bowed, ambling gait was the result of wearing work boot for decades; tonight they wore support sneakers. Three men who walked with a good yard, a manly distance, between themselves, but waiting for one another should one's pace outdistance the remaining. Three men in no hurry. One step then another. Little by little. Chipping away the wee minutes of the morning, walking for someone who couldn't.

You could tell that they certainly weren't there to be seen, not because they had to or even because they felt emboldened by doing something for charity. It was just a quiet, steadfast expression of support. Not a race to the end, but a determined presence to do something that from the outside looks like walking but intrinsically meant having paramount moxie to brawl with cancer. They weren't looking for thanks or even appreciation. They were doing it just because, one step at a time.

And what we're doing--a tee-shirt here, a conversation there--may seem small right now, but every time you tell someone about Kyrie or the foundation, you're growing the cause by leaps and bounds. You're part of this. Thank you for walking with us.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The artist behind the logo.


The talented artist that designed the Kyrie Foundation logo is creative in many, many ways. Julie Reed knits, felts, graphically illustrates, collects and designs all from her home base in Kansas City. With all that busy creation, she has somehow found time to launch her Etsy shop. For those of you unfamiliar with Etsy, it's a great site where you can buy or sell handmade items from artisans all over the globe. Super great if you're looking for something really unique and special for a gift.

Feel free to check out these sites to learn more about Julie:

Etsy shop
Portfolio
Blog

And her designs have been selected by this entity's holiday store. Very, very cool stuff here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for Thursdays. I love how this has become the day of the week that we've singled out to find something worth acknowledging. I love that Thursdays feel sturdy, like four properly inflated tires, like Abraham Lincoln, like a good hug. I love that Thanksgiving will always fall on a Thursday (apropos, huh?). I love that Thursdays happen all over the world ... every week! And I'm thankful that Kyrie made me thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Relay for Life

What an amazing event!

We put a ton of time & effort toward creating a booth for the Kyrie Foundation in conjunction with Chad's cousin, who was promoting melanoma awareness, a tenacious cancer affecting her husband. I think we were the only booth centered on educating people about specific cancers, a fact not gone unnoticed. Toward the end of the event, a man came up and said how great he thought it was that two families would come together to raise money and awareness. We thought that part was pretty great, too.

We began early in the day to stake out our electricity and put up our tent. Thanks, Uncle Paul! Then we headed to the house to decorate our luminaries both for Kyrie and Jenni's husband, Brian.



The kick-off began at 6 p.m. with a survivors lap and the all-teams lap. Then we got down to business telling people about Kyrie, about the foundation and selling those shirts!


Of course, those in our booth wore our Kyrie shirts. Such a great response to the design. Karis, a regular commentator here on the blog, said that she couldn't wait for the first time she'd be out in Maryville and see someone wearing a Go, Kyrie, Go! shirt. Us, too!

We learned a ton and can't wait to be at the next Relay in Wichita & K.C. And we walked and walked and walked and walked until the wee hours of the morn, giving our raffle gift basket at 4 a.m. to Joy, another proud owner of a Kyrie tee. Kyrie's & Brian's luminaries shined brightly the whole time.


One look at this event and anyone could see the massive abundance of love. So many luminaries. So many walkers. So many stories. So many people donating their time, money and resources to raise money to fight cancer. So much love. But in another sense, you could calculate the pain. All the families & friends who were there because of agony or loss, because this is one of the only positive ways, as Chad would say, "to turn tragedy into triumph."

Friday, September 7, 2007

Relay for Life

Headed to Maryville, MO, this evening for an American Cancer Society Relay for Life event. The trunk is loaded with Kyrie shirts, and we're hoping that folks in Nodaway County fall for them like we have. We'll take plenty of pix and post 'em on Monday.

Go, Kyrie, Go!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for sharing, specifically your stories & ideas shared here. When passed on, stories & ideas pour onto the soul like sunshine through a window on a January afternoon. And when Susan shares her luminary design, or Erin shares her Go, Kyrie, Go idea, or Mother of 2 shares a lesson, or Karis shares a little reminder, or Melissa shares a song, or Jordan & Lacie shares Kyrie's story, suddenly, what seems a simple thought to the giver multiplies in proportion & purpose. Stories become resonating feelings; feelings create empathy & community. Ideas become personal goals; goals become motivation & inspiration. Amazing, isn't it?

Ksfaith, a longtime reader & commentator here, shared a moving video with me a while back that's really something. Ksfaith herself is really something, too. She is a magnificently talented dancer who has traveled the globe with her award-winning, passionate skill that she uses to express artful stories through muscular grace. As a young mother and faith-filled follower, she now choreographs and teaches dance to the next generation. While not her work, the video resonated with her in a way that deserves to be passed on. This video is a choreographed skit by young adults in Knoxville, TN, to Lifehouse's "Everything" song. An unusual interpretation of the world versus The Big Guy. Pretty neat.

What are you thankful for today?

p.s.
Shirts are back in stock! If you haven't ordered already, just mail us your quantity, sizes & payment, and we'll pop 'em in the mail to you ASAP.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

As promised ...

Andrea really did an amazing job--plus she straightened it for a fab finish.




Mother of 2, what a WONDERFUL story! Such a gift to correct our own thinking by a memorable example. And kudos to you for being able to admit a shortcoming. Many people can't even get that far, let alone decide to change. Way to go!

Karis, are you out there? Did I hear that you might have a story about this past weekend, too?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Thank you so much.

A huge thank you to all of you who put special thoughts & prayers into the world this weekend on Kyrie's birthday. We are continually amazed at your generosity of time, treasure and compassion, especially those acts of kindness & prayers supporting Jordan & Lacie.

The first official board meeting for the Kyrie Foundation was very productive--so many good ideas to make little dollars do big things. We hope that you stay tuned for ways to help fund the fight against pediatric brain cancer.

Also, this weekend, it was time for me to make good on a promise I made during Kyrie's first stay in the hospital--donating my hair. Andrea at Fringe Salon in Wichita did a fantastic job! (Photo to come soon.) Please, if you get a chance, patron this salon: ultra-fab environment, ultra-talented stylists. Thank you, Andrea!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Believe it or not, today I'm thankful for work, especially with regard to the foundation. To do something, to create something, to see at the end of the day the difference that was made because you put effort toward it--wow. And to know that your very special talent or skill is a gift from God, but what you do with it is your gift to God.

Work: Thank God for the might of it,
the ardor, the urge, the delight of it;
Work that springs from the heart's desire
setting the brain & the soul on fire.

Oh, what is so good as the heat of it;
And what is so glad as the beat of it;
And what is so kind as the stern command,
challenging brain & heart & hand.

Work: the power that drives behind,
guiding the purpose,
taming the mind,
reigning the runaway wishes back,
holding the will to one steady track,
spending the energies faster & faster,
triumphing even over disaster.

And what is so good as the pain of it;
And what is so great as the gain of it;
And what is so kind as the cruel goad,
forcing us on through the rugged road
Work: Thank God for the might of it.

--David Jeremiah


What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Even More Caring & Wearing.

So many great people out there helping us make a difference. These Go, Kyrie, Go! photos come from Melissa, a regular commentator here on this blog. She & her family wore their shirts on a family vacation this summer, which included a visit to the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri. Thank you, Melissa.

I'm also attaching the pics I promised. They are horrible quality, but oh well. We couldn't use our flash inside the chapel. The fact is we spread Kyrie's story just a little further. The Precious Moments chapel is such a neat place. I was there not too long after I lost my friend Caryn our senior year in high school. I still remember the mural of the gates of heaven being so soothing to me then...just thinking of Caryn being greeted by those who loved her...a fun place where she would feel no pain. This time was no different, maybe even more poignant for me. The sign that says "No More Tears" cut me to the core...isn't that we are all just getting through each day here on earth for...so that we can get to a place where there are simply No More Tears allowed.




Monday, August 27, 2007

Belated Congrats

Congratulations to Lyn B. of Wichita, winner of Kyrie's Quilt and member of the Prairie Quilt Guild! And another giant round of gratitude to all those who quilted, planned and organized the fundraising and the beautiful, handcrafted quilt. So good.

Friday, August 24, 2007

As promised ...


The butterfly had landed on a bright, ripe tomato in the garden. Actually looks more like a purple/aqua/yellow with blue iridescence. Can't believe Chad was able to get this photo.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for coincidence. With a raised eyebrow, the word coincidence includes an element of chance, a mere alignment of happy indiscretion. But as Oprah and others will tell you, there are no coincidences. To even recognize something as a "coincidence," well, there must be a message, a clue, a reason within, right? Otherwise why bother noticing?

For the past week or so, Chad has spotted a beautiful blue butterfly in our garden. He's been seeing it so often that he snapped a photo of it the other evening (we'll post tomorrow!). Coincidence? Perhaps, but I like to think of it as a little thumbs up, a little clue that we're all moving in the right direction.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Inspiration.

Sometimes a thought can keep you going. This may be one of those thoughts.
It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while
DARING GREATLY
so that his place shall never be
with those timid souls
who know neither victory or defeat.


Theodore Roosevelt
26th President Of The United States

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More Caring & Wearing.

Thank you everyone for wearing your Go, Kyrie, Go! shirts out and about. That's one of the best ways, we think, to raise awareness and to get others to join the cause. Thank you so very, very, very much.

Another cutie for Kyrie: Thanks, Jeni, for sending us your photo! Jeni is also a family photographer who has helped promote the foundation to her clients through her Web site at www.weilertphotography.com. Ginormous thanks for that, too, Jeni!


I apologize for taking so long to get this picture to you, and it's not even taken with my good camera. Not exactly photographer quality. Jalynn is so proud of her shirt!! For obvious reasons, she's wearing it as a night shirt, but she walks around the house with it on saying "Go Kyrie GO!!" It's pretty cute.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Caring & Wearing.

Here's another set of very caring people wearing their Go, Kyrie, Go! t-shirts. Thanks, Leah!

These were from about a month ago when me, my husband Derek, and my friend Sarah (the blonde) did the 'Race to Rebuild Greensburg' in Kingman, KS. It was a Kyrie-inspired event, so naturally we had to wear the tees!! Then after the race we flew out to Ponca City, OK to have lunch (Derek is a pilot). Kyrie came along with us to lunch as well! She was definatly using her wings that day!! She started in Wichita, then to Kingman, then to Ponca City, all before noon!!






Thursday, August 16, 2007

Look-see.

So if you have a moment today, you may want to check out www.kyriefoundation.org. ;)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Working upward.

We are closing in on the foundation's Web site. For those of you who have followed this site, you may see some familiar reminders in addition to some very interesting additions to help the cause. We're elated to be creating something that is far beyond ourselves, something that has wings.

The fluttering of a butterfly's wings can effect climate changes on the other side of the planet. ~Paul Erlich


sferko family, please feel free to e-mail Jordan & Lacie at lacie_thome1@yahoo.com for questions, comments or comfort.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thoughts today have careened back & forth between Kyrie & Taya. And Ethan. And all the children who need our help. All the children born today that will need our help next year or the year after that. Or the year after that. The Kyrie Foundation has much to accomplish to help these families, these children. Please consider this your personal invitation to be a part of the Kyrie Foundation's effort. Lord knows, we and these families need you.


I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.
-Dawna Markova

Monday, August 13, 2007

Help.

All, we have another child for whom to pray. See the last comment on the last post.

sferko, please feel free to e-mail megan_thome@yahoo.com. Jordan & Lacie, I'm sure this family could use your precise insight & care. Marcy, are you out there? This family might benefit from your journey, too.

In the meantime, prayers, prayers, prayers please.

Friday, August 10, 2007

We have ...

a logo!

Accomplished designer Julie Reed donated her time & talent to create a logo that symbolized what the Kyrie Foundation is about. We wanted it to be simple & uplifting, something identifiable.

We thought the metamorphosis of a butterfly--all the energy it embodies and the symbolism of good change--captured the spirit of our goals. And this isn't just any butterfly; ours has beautiful angel wings, to protect & guide, to soar as a messenger between us & heaven.

We hope you like it.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for butterflies. They grow from such unlikely creatures into delicate beauties whose jobs include visiting flowers and inspiring art.

Did you know that Monarch butterflies regularly migrate beween southern Canada and central Mexico, a total distance in excess of 2,500 miles? They only weigh 1/50 of an ounce yet travel at 20 mph and reach altitudes of 10,000 feet. If a little butterfly can do that, imagine what we can do.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Monday, August 6, 2007

Something to share.

Remember our artist friend Rhonna who designed the Kyrie Foundation's t-shirt? Well, if you pick up the latest special issue of Paper Crafts magazine, you'll see on page 74 & 75, a journal project that her 21-Day Challenge inspired. Last year, Rhonna promoted the idea of a 21-day challenge to break a less-than-desirable habit; twenty-one days being the length of time in which a new habit will stick. Creative journaling chronicles the emotional/spiritual process.

Willingness to change is never easy. Even moreso, the conscious willingness to bear struggles come what may is nothing short of a miracle. This willingness to carry on is really the essence of courage, and it's evidence of real, day-to-day faith. Make no mistake: courage is difficult. And many times right behind a moment of miraculous courage comes our human selfishness, wanting it our way, wanting it to be easy, wanting God to change things, wanting God to change His will. This struggle between the selfish comfort of habit or blame or ease and the awareness of becoming better, of choosing grace is a daily challenge. It's like having the past & future, the worst & the best within you all at once.

There's a song about this struggle, this fulcrum point where two feelings collide, and wanting to get to the good side. Perhaps that good side is heaven. Maybe you'll like "Twilight" from Shaun Groves.

And if you come to courage today, you may be inspired by this one, too.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Small Update

We're underway becoming official not only in Missouri, but Kansas as well. And ... we just put in for our second t-shirt order! Much will be happening in the days ahead, so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today, I'm thankful—immensely thankful—for help.

That small, one-syllable word embodies the human & the divine all in one. That word can change the world; I know it's changed mine.

Whether giving help or receiving help, a glowing grace usually accompanies the exchange. That grace must be why doing good feels good, as if your skin is radiating with compassion or gratitude, depending on whether you are the giver or the recipient.

The best is when help comes from unexpected people & places, like a holy ambush. Thank you people. Thank you places.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Not alone.

The Kyrie Foundation's Web site will soon be up & running, and we're hoping to debut the logo right here within the next few days! Wa-hoo!

In the meantime, we wanted to tell you about our sister organization in Holland, Michigan. That's right, not one but two groups inspired by Kyrie. Months ago, a prayer request came to Margorie Sondermann. It was a request for Kyrie, and Margorie, like many of you, followed the blog journey each day. She was especially touched by the photo of Lacie & Kyrie coloring together. With that image in mind, she and her husband were inspired to create a non-profit ministry that donates Christian-themed coloring books to pediatric hospital units. Can you believe that?!?! Such proactive kindness.

You can learn more by visiting the Web site for Kyrie's Gift. There was also a very sweet article written in the local Holland paper. You can download that PDF here on their site.

Go, Kyrie, Go!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Little girls. Big hearts.


Instead of the normal pile of birthday presents, two friends (with the help of their amazing parents) in Council Bluffs, IA, decided to celebrate turning nine this past weekend by hosting a skating party where their friends brought donations instead of gifts. Abby chose a cause that is raising funds to build an religious education center to honor a friend of the family who was taken as the prime age of 34. Emma chose the Kyrie Foundation.


For us, walking into a room and seeing others wear their "Go, Kyrie, Go!" shirts was honor enough! To have these young ladies join in the fundraising was breathtaking. Their birthday choice may fund the research that saves a life! Amazing.

This is Emma and her mom, Maureen.


Maureen gave birth to twin girls in early February, number four & five for their family. She also made the girls special outfits for the party. Do you recognize little Ella Sue's onesie design?


And Ava Ann's matching ensemble?



The adults got in on the skating action, too. Here's Emma's dad, John, skating under the limbo stick--so fast, he's blurry! In the background, you can see Chad wearing his shirt, too.


And for the grand finale: a game of Red Light, Green Light.


We're so grateful to you, girls! Thank you for doing good!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful the number-one, best-selling publication ever: the bible. Sometimes it's an easy book to take for granted. No flashy cover art. No author signings. No media-blitz. Funny how the bible sets in the nightstand drawer of nearly every hotel room, waiting for a guest.

The good book has been an instrumental healing tool in the past several months—through anger, confusion, frustration, sorrow and hope. It's a whole different experience reading it on your own terms versus hearing a part of it on a Sunday. After you get past the beget-begot-begats, there's some pretty good stuff in there. ;)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shirt Alert!

We are sold out of the Youth Small, Youth Large and Adult Medium. We have one Adult 3X left. Quantities are getting limited with the Youth Medium and the Adult Large, too.

Would love to see those snapshots, if you got 'em!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Reflection.

Been thinking a lot in the last week or so about where we've been and where we've come here on this blog. Apologies for the absence, but we wanted to make sure that we were on the right track. Believe it or not, we still have new people joining us each week! And slowly, one by one by one, all of us are teaming together to make a difference by supporting the foundation and personally challenging ourselves to do good things for others on behalf of Kyrie.

For newcomers, you may wonder what a story about an overlooked concert violinist has to do with Kyrie. Or what a quote from Gen. Patton or a video of a man singing opera or a family trip or St. Augustine has in common with Kyrie. The answer is everything. Everything here has been to honor her and to thank you.

It was here on this site that our rallying cry, "Go, Kyrie, Go!" was born out of the momentum of you choosing to do good things with your life, be it all the generosity that you bestowed on Jordan & Lacie or perhaps the good deed you did for someone while thinking of Kyrie. It was as if Kyrie was pushing people to do better, to be more, to go further. Since then, each post has been an effort to inspire you to keep going and to keep looking for opportunities to be a part of Kyrie's legacy. For some, you may appreciate more now. For others, you may be encouraged to take a leap of faith. For still others, you may have made your friends or family a new priority.

We have chosen to fight pediatric brain cancer. Another has chosen a charitable career. Another has chosen to organize frequent nights to cultivate deeper friendships. Another has chosen to begin a ministry. Yet another has chosen to give to The Kyrie Foundation in lieu of birthday gifts. And it goes on and on, like little pin lights of good shining toward the heavens.

Because of the little random quotes and stories shared here, people feel propelled, emboldened, encouraged to keep going. It's why people are sending us mail like this:



and this:



Some days are tough, though. We try to share that, too, because it's part of the complete picture. It's the human shortcoming in spite of the greater good.

Lord knows that a load of statistics wouldn't have compelled you to care for this family or about fighting pediatric brain cancer. Nor would mere business updates about the foundation. The love has been among the details, even the uncomfortable ones. Lacie & Jordan have been kind enough to share Kyrie and their story with thousands of people here, and that's what has made all the difference. She compels, just like the other heart-stirring ideas shared here. It's amazing how many lives have been touched by their little girl. And we're honored to know that you're wearing your shirts with such care and love.

So please know that so long as you are inspired, we will continue to inspire.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thankful Thursday.

We hope that we've been able to convey how grateful we are to all of you. We're all still thankful that you're still with us, still reading these posts and still volunteering to do good things in Kyrie's honor. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I hope everyone out there is enjoying their tees! We're completely out of youth small! I'll double-check counts on the other sizes. Chad & I were talking about fundraising ideas for the foundation and he mentioned that at these functions, it would be great if people wore their Go, Kyrie, Go! shirts. That idea took my breath away. How awesome.

Lots being done for the foundation. We are officially official according to the secretary of state. Wa-hoo!

There are also some wonderful little stories bubbling up that I hope to share with you soon.

I'm learning that my July word "vision" is a lot about perspective. If I think about all the work that the foundation will entail, I begin to get overwhelmed. The whos, wheres and hows crowd out the intention. Instead, I focus on today. What can I do today to get me toward the goal? Little steps over time cover a long distance. Ask any marathon runner.

Really, that's what it's about for all of us, right? What are we doing today to get us toward the light? Sometimes today is difficult to prioritize with demanding jobs, family and bills. We think in terms of weekend plans and milestone days. But what if today were THE day? What if today were your big chance? And what if you started tomorrow--an ordinary Thursday--what if you started tomorrow on purpose?

Monday, July 9, 2007

July.

So it's now been officially three months we've been without her. Longer than we knew Kyrie even had a PNET. Seasons have changed. Life has moved on. My heart has not.

Traveling abroad, I kept hearing Jordan's voice in my mind say, "It's just not fair." And over and over again, I'd see families with small children, who, from the outside, looked impatient, unappreciative, selfish. I'd silently ask, "Why not them?" Or rude fellow passengers. Why not them? Or the terrorists. Why not them? Or the families more interested in television than each other. Why not them? Or the self-righteous. Why not them? Or vainglorious celebrities. Why not them? Or, heck, even me. Why not me?

This weekend, the family came to visit Amanda & Ryan in their new home and to celebrate our sister's birthday. Dad visited the local Catholic church to find out Mass times in their bulletin: Prince of Peace in Olathe, Kansas. And in their bulletin, do you know who was still on their prayer list? Our girl, Kyrie! What a comforting surprise! And, in a way, it made me feel like she was with us.

She is with us. Seen and unseen, remember? So this week, I'm going to keep a look out for more Kyrieness. I hope you do, too.

Friday, July 6, 2007

So ...

what did you think of our swan, Paul Potts? He may single-handedly bring opera back to the people!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Don't judge a book by its cover.

Typically, I don't judge a book by its cover. I weigh it by the last page--I read the last page first, before I even know what the book is about. Usually, it makes absolutely no sense, but I'm looking for how the author brings it home, how the words feel in my head. I want to know what's on the inside of it all--it's vision.

Such is the case with this. You may have already seen the video, but it's too amazing not to watch. Everything isn't always how it appears, eh?

p.s.
I don't want to cause a panic, but just 11 days into the t-shirt sales, I need to tell you that certain sizes have quickly disappeared. As of this morning, we only have one youth small, one adult medium and one adult 3XL left. We have stock of all other sizes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Vision

So, today being the Fourth, I've been thinking a lot about "vision," more aptly the vision for the foundation. Sometimes it's difficult to see how to get from here to there without a map.

Luckily, today on AMC, we tuned into Patton. One of my favorites. You don't meet too many people today with fires in their bellies to achieve greatness. Although, some of Patton's verbiage raises an eyebrow, I do agree with this:

The great things a man does appear to be great only after they are done. When they're at hand, they are normal decisions and are done without knowledge of their greatness.
Gen. George S. Patton


And Rocky is on today, too:

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!
Rocky Balboa
Speaking to his son in Rocky Balboa
(2006)