Monday, December 31, 2007


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!

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,
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


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.